Benjamin Sesko has signed for Bundesliga club RB Leipzig, although he will not officially become their player until July 2023.

Sesko has been highly sought-after following the 2021-22 season, in which he scored 11 goals in all competitions – including one in a Champions League qualifier – for Austrian side Salzburg.

He previously spent time on loan at second-tier Liefering, scoring 21 goals in 29 league games, while he netted Salzburg's winner in a pre-season friendly against Liverpool in July.

Seen as the next potential star off the Austrian club's production line after Erling Haaland and Karim Adeyemi, Sesko had reportedly been drawing interest from Premier League clubs including Manchester United, Chelsea and Newcastle United.

Yet the 19-year-old Slovenia international has instead elected to join Leipzig, Salzburg's sister club.

The Bundesliga side have signed Sesko on a five-year contract that will start on July 1 next year.

Sesko explained how Leipzig's track record of improving youngsters and handing them first-team opportunities is what drew him to the club.

He told the club's official website: "RB Leipzig are one of the best clubs in Germany and are establishing themselves as one of the best in Europe year-on-year.

"A success story has been written here in just a few years and I want to be a part of it in the future.

"The club's philosophy of placing trust in young players and playing attractive, attacking football is a perfect fit for me. The city, the stadium and the whole infrastructure at RB Leipzig, as well as the many good discussions with the club, convinced me that this move is absolutely the right decision.

"My focus is now on the season with Salzburg, that I want to use to continue developing and be as successful as possible."

Christopher Vivell, Leipzig's technical director, said: "Benjamin is one of Europe's best young talents and has a great amount of potential to become one of the best."

"We've managed to pull off a brilliant transfer," said commercial director Florian Scholz. "We're very proud that Benjamin has decided to come to RB Leipzig because he had a lot of offers from other clubs and we had to beat off great competition."

Leipzig are also expected to confirm the return of Timo Werner, the club's record goalscorer, from Chelsea.

They are, however, set to be without Germany defender Lukas Klostermann for several weeks, after he suffered ankle ligament damage.

Chelsea are in the market to bolster their defence following the exits of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen.

Thomas Tuchel's side have already added Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli for £35million.

The Blues are eager to add another centre-back to their ranks before the closure of the transfer window.

TOP STORY – BLUES TO MAKE WORLD-RECORD BID FOR FOFANA

Chelsea are preparing to make a world-record offer for Leicester City's French defender Wesley Fofana, reports Football London.

The Blues' bid would be the highest fee paid for a defender, having had a previous offer declined by the Foxes.

It is believed Chelsea's previous bid was £70m with Leicester insisting he is not for sale. Harry Maguire, sold by Leicester to Manchester United, holds the record for a defender at £80m.


ROUND-UP

– Manchester United are closing in on a deal for Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot, having reached an agreement with the Italian club for an initial £15m fee, according to The Guardian. France international Rabiot is in the final year of his contract with Juventus.

– 90min reports that United target Benjamin Sesko is close to agreeing to a deal with German club RB Leipzig. The report claims that 19-year-old Slovenian forward Sesko will move from Salzburg to Leipzig in 2023.

– United have also reached out to Real Betis on Guido Rodriguez's status according to AS, while the Red Devils are still considering Lazio's Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, reports The Telegraph.

– Tottenham have reached an agreement with Udinese for winger Destiny Udogie for more than €20m, claims Fabrizio Romano. Udogie, however, will still on loan at Udinese this season.

– Monaco are keen on signing Manchester United defender Eric Bailly on loan, claims L'Equipe. The Ligue 1 club want the Ivorian, who is under contract until 2024, with an option to buy.

– Fiorentina will rival Villarreal for the signature of Tottenham's Giovani Lo Celso, according to Gianluca Di Marzio. The Argentina international spent time on loan with Villarreal last season.

Valencia will revive its interest in Tottenham's Bryan Gil following Goncalo Guades' move to Wolves, claims Diario AS.

– The Telegraph claims Milan have re-opened talks with Chelsea's Moroccan winger Hakim Ziyech who has been transfer listed.

Chelsea are in the market to bolster their defence following the exits of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen.

Thomas Tuchel's side have already added Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli for £35million.

The Blues are eager to add another centre-back to their ranks before the closure of the transfer window.

TOP STORY – BLUES TO MAKE WORLD-RECORD BID FOR FOFANA

Chelsea are preparing to make a world-record offer for Leicester City's French defender Wesley Fofana, reports Football London.

The Blues' bid would be the highest fee paid for a defender, having had a previous offer declined by the Foxes.

It is believed Chelsea's previous bid was £70m with Leicester insisting he is not for sale. Harry Maguire, sold by Leicester to Manchester United, holds the record for a defender at £80m.


ROUND-UP

– Manchester United are closing in on a deal for Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot, having reached an agreement with the Italian club for an initial £15m fee, according to The Guardian. France international Rabiot is in the final year of his contract with Juventus.

– 90min reports that United target Benjamin Sesko is close to agreeing to a deal with German club RB Leipzig. The report claims that 19-year-old Slovenian forward Sesko will move from Salzburg to Leipzig in 2023.

– United have also reached out to Real Betis on Guido Rodriguez's status according to AS, while the Red Devils are still considering Lazio's Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, reports The Telegraph.

– Tottenham have reached an agreement with Udinese for winger Destiny Udogie for more than €20m, claims Fabrizio Romano. Udogie, however, will still on loan at Udinese this season.

– Monaco are keen on signing Manchester United defender Eric Bailly on loan, claims L'Equipe. The Ligue 1 club want the Ivorian, who is under contract until 2024, with an option to buy.

– Fiorentina will rival Villarreal for the signature of Tottenham's Giovani Lo Celso, according to Gianluca Di Marzio. The Argentina international spent time on loan with Villarreal last season.

Valencia will revive its interest in Tottenham's Bryan Gil following Goncalo Guades' move to Wolves, claims Diario AS.

– The Telegraph claims Milan have re-opened talks with Chelsea's Moroccan winger Hakim Ziyech who has been transfer listed.

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag remains keen to bolster his squad before the end of the transfer window.

The Dutchman, who took over at Old Trafford this off-season, wants to improve his front-line options, along with his midfield with Fabian Ruiz and Frenkie de Jong linked.

Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Anthony Martial along with Cristiano Ronaldo will likely lead the line for United this campaign.

TOP STORY – UNITED IN SURPRISE BID FOR BAYERN'S SANE

The Mirror reports that Manchester United have made a shock move to sign Bayern Munich's former Manchester City forward Leroy Sane.

United have made an enquiry with the Bundesliga champions about the 26-year-old Germany international's availability.

Sane's role at Bayern has been jeopardized by Sadio Mane's arrival, clouding his future, with Liverpool also interested in him according to the Liverpool Echo.


ROUND-UP

–  Manchester United may use Donny van de Beek in a swap deal in their pursuit of Barcelona's Frenkie de Jong, claims the Express. Goal reports that the Red Devils are also considering Napoli's Fabian Ruiz as an alternative if they fail to win De Jong's signature.

United are set to miss out on target Benjamin Sesko who has decided to stay with Austrian champions Salzburg, according to Sky Sport Austria. Chelsea and RB Leipzig were also keen on the 19-year-old Slovenian.

Real Madrid are plotting a move for Bayer Leverkusen's teenage Spanish forward Iker Bravo, according to Marca. Atletico Madrid are also interested in the 17-year-old who made his Bundesliga debut last year.

– The Sun claims that West are in for free agent Dan-Axel Zagadou amid interest from Roma. French defender Zagadou left Borussia Dortmund at the end of last season.

– Free agent Edinson Cavani will join Argentine giants Boca Juniors claims Fabrizio Romano. The Uruguayan left Manchester United in the off season and has been linked with Villarreal among other clubs.

Chelsea's ongoing negotiations with Barcelona could produce more than just midfielder Frenkie de Jong, with new reports that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is also on the table for a transfer.

The two powerhouse clubs have been in seemingly constant discussion over the past month, with Barcelona openly looking to add Marcos Alonso and Cesar Azpilicueta after swooping in to claim Blues target Jules Kounde.

Chelsea recently took Azpilicueta out of the equation by signing him to a two-year extension, but the two clubs re-opened their negotiations when the Stamford Bridge outfit decided to put in a bid for De Jong, and in the process they may have found the answer to their striker situation.

 

TOP STORY – BARCELONA WILLING TO INCLUDE AUBAMEYANG IN CHELSEA TRANSFER DISCUSSIONS

After expensive moves for Leeds United winger Raphinha, Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski and Sevilla centre-back Kounde, the Mirror is reporting Barcelona are "desperate to balance their books" and 33-year-old Aubameyang appears to be the most likely option to be moved on.

The report mentions both De Jong and Aubameyang are seen as surplus to requirements, and with Chelsea yet to bring in a replacement for Romelu Lukaku after he was loaned out to Inter, it could be a perfect match.

No potential asking price is mentioned for the striker who collected 20 goals in 38 club appearances this past season, including 11 goals in 17 LaLiga fixtures.

Meanwhile, ESPN adds that Chelsea were monitoring the Gabon frontman back in 2020 before he signed a contract extension with Arsenal, and that they are still interested.

 

ROUND-UP

– The Times is reporting Chelsea are expected to make a £70million bid for 21-year-old Leicester City centre-back Wesley Fofana after having a £60m offer turned down.

– According to Foot Mercato, Nottingham Forest and Leicester are competing for the signing of 24-year-old Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar, who is valued at €15m.

– The Guardian is reporting 25-year-old Ivory Coast winger Maxwel Cornet only needs to pass a physical to confirm a move from Burnley to West Ham after the Hammers met his £17.5m release clause.

– Radioestadio Noche claims Real Madrid have identified 19-year-old RB Salzburg striker Benjamin Sesko or 22-year-old Nice forward Amine Gouiri as potential long-term successors to Karim Benzema.

Crystal Palace are exploring a move for 19-year-old RB Leipzig midfielder Ilaix Moriba – who is a product of Barcelona's youth academy – according to Foot Mercato.

Death, taxes and Bayern Munich winning the Bundesliga title.

It is slightly paraphrasing the old idiom to say these are the only three things certain in life.

Such is the optimism of football fandom, though, the question always arises ahead of the new campaign whether this year will be the one where someone steps up and takes Bayern's throne.

The 2021-22 season saw the Bavarian giants claim their 10th Bundesliga title in a row, with Julian Nagelsmann leading Bayern to the championship by eight points in his first season at the Allianz Arena.

Since Jurgen Klopp's exciting Borussia Dortmund side of 2011-12, no team has been able to halt the relentless Bayern dominance of German football.

In fact, in the last decade, only the 2018-19 campaign saw anyone finish closer than the eight points Dortmund were behind last season, when BVB were just two points shy of their Der Klassiker rivals.

How can anyone seriously make the argument that their run will halt any time soon then? Well, let Stats Perform have a go as we take a look at some of the reasons why Bayern might struggle to maintain their stranglehold in 2022-23.

 

Loss of Lewy means new Bayern approach

Bayern's signing of Robert Lewandowski from Dortmund in 2014 was one of the catalysts for their concerted period of dominance.

However, after eight years of service and 238 goals in 253 Bundesliga games for Bayern, the Poland striker wanted to move on and eventually sealed a transfer to Barcelona.

His goals-per-game ratio in the German top flight of 0.94 bested even the great Gerd Muller (0.85), and his loss was certainly not one Bayern had planned for, with the club initially indicating they expected him to honour the final year of his contract, before finally relenting.

Despite being 33 years old, Lewandowski's impact had not waned at all, with him scoring 50 goals in all club competitions last season, making it seven consecutive seasons with at least 40 goals to his name.

Nagelsmann has insisted his team will evolve in Lewandowski's absence, though, and the signing of Sadio Mane appears to suggest that.

After Lewandowski's sale was confirmed, Nagelsmann told BR24: "I'm not worried right now, we are very well-equipped offensively and I'm still spoiled for choice. We have a possibility of building FC Bayern without a striker that can reliably score 40 goals."

With 120 goals in all competitions for Liverpool, Mane averaged a goal every 178.3 minutes for the Reds – a return of one in slightly under two matches. He also assisted 37 goals, meaning he was directly involved in a goal every 137 minutes.

In the Premier League, only Harry Kane (134), former team-mate Mohamed Salah (118) and Leicester City's Jamie Vardy (104) scored more goals than Mane (90) over the course of his Liverpool career.

His scoring rate has never been close to that of Lewandowski, though he has played a significant amount of his career on the left of a front three rather than through the middle, where he ended last season for Liverpool and is expected to mostly play at Bayern.

That means the likes of Serge Gnabry, Leroy Sane, Kingsley Coman, Jamal Musiala and Thomas Muller will need to step up and contribute more goals, while it will be interesting to see if 17-year-old striker Mathys Tel will feature much in his first season after signing from Rennes.

The club has also added Ryan Gravenberch and Noussair Mazraoui from Ajax, while former Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt has arrived from Juventus to replace the outgoing Niklas Sule, who chose to swap Munich for Dortmund when his contract expired.

Will Dortmund finally solve flakiness issue?

Marco Rose looked to be a very astute appointment in 2021, but the former Borussia Monchengladbach boss just did not work out at Dortmund.

Rose has been replaced by Edin Terzic, who enjoyed a spell as caretaker boss in the second half of the 2020-21 campaign, winning the DFB-Pokal.

Terzic now has the reins permanently and has two big jobs on his hands.

The first is fixing a leaky defence, which conceded 52 goals in the Bundesliga last season, more than any other team to finish in the top eight, and only one goal fewer than relegated Arminia Bielefeld.

The club may have addressed the issue in the transfer market as they have essentially procured the German national team's central defence by adding Sule from Bayern on a free transfer and the highly rated Nico Schlotterbeck from Freiburg.

Schlotterbeck won 69 per cent of his duels in the Bundesliga last season, the joint-most of all players who contested at least 100 duels, while Sule was third with 68 per cent.

Another issue that needed addressing was similar to Bayern's Lewandowski issue, with Erling Haaland having departed for Manchester City.

The Norwegian scored 86 goals in 89 appearances at Dortmund, including 22 of their 85 league goals last season, though he was only able to feature in 24 games due to injury.

Sebastien Haller was signed to replace Haaland but will unfortunately miss the first few months of the campaign after undergoing surgery for a testicular tumour.

The addition of exciting young talent Karim Adeyemi from Salzburg will give them a dynamic in attack they have missed since selling Jadon Sancho to Manchester United, while in Haller's absence it will be interesting to see if Youssoufa Moukoko, still just 17-years-old, can add to the five Bundesliga goals he already has to his name.

Having also signed defensive midfielder Salih Ozcan from Cologne to provide some steel alongside Jude Bellingham, who it appears they will be keeping hold of for another season at least, the balance of a frequently wobbly side could be there for Terzic to build some momentum.

Best of the rest

Bayer Leverkusen enjoyed a strong campaign last season and have replaced Lucas Alario with promising Czech striker Adam Hlozek.

They also appear to have fought off interest in Moussa Diaby so it would not be a surprise to see them go well again, but with Champions League football to contend with, questions remain whether they have the depth of squad to excel on all fronts.

RB Leipzig will hope to provide a challenge and have also kept hold of their star player in Christopher Nkunku, though losing Tyler Adams and Nordi Mukiele will be a blow, while Eintracht Frankfurt will want to build on last season's Europa League success.

It would be churlish to write Bayern off, of course. They go into the season as heavy favourites and rightly so.

 

Mane might not have the same goalscoring output as Lewandowski, but football has proven time and again that having one player who scores lots of goals is not the only way to be successful.

The African Football Player of the Year has the chance to be the face of the new Bayern, where everyone will be expected to chip in and Nagelsmann can truly cement his ideas on the team.

However, while Bayern have been somewhat forced into a new era, Dortmund appear to have reached theirs more by design and if everything clicks early on for Terzic, an exciting title race could develop.

After all, the only thing that is certain about football is that nothing is certain.

David Raum has confidently described his move to RB Leipzig as "the most important transfer" in the Bundesliga ahead of the 2022-23 season.

The wing-back has gone from strength to strength in recent seasons, leading the 2. Bundesliga with 15 assists in Greuther Furth's 2020-21 promotion campaign before adding another 11 in the top flight last term after joining Hoffenheim.

Raum led all Bundesliga defenders in assists, as well as chances created (83) and expected assists (13.9), earning another transfer – this time to Leipzig.

And the Germany defender believes his arrival significantly boosts his new side in their bid to hunt down champions Bayern Munich.

"With the new additions that Bayern has brought in, they are probably clear favourites for the championship," he told a news conference.

"But I think we have a team that can also win titles. I want to strengthen this team, and then we'll see how much we can annoy Bayern. 

"Of course, the others have strengthened well. But I think the most important transfer was mine to RB Leipzig."

Raum's move comes ahead of the World Cup in Qatar, where the nine-cap Germany international is looking to secure a spot in Hansi Flick's side, and he revealed he spoke to the national team coach about his transfer.

"I was in close contact with national coach Hansi Flick, called him and took him with me on my way," he added.

"He is a coach who always wants to know what is going on in the players' minds, what the next step will be. 

"He was immediately convinced of the idea that I fit in well here and can take the next steps. I am firmly convinced that I can assert myself here and hopefully go to the World Cup."

Another Bundesliga campaign kicks off on Friday after a frantic close-season saw Germany's top flight robbed of its two biggest stars.

Bayern Munich superstar Robert Lewandowski left for Barcelona, while fellow striking sensation Erling Haaland departed Borussia Dortmund as expected for Manchester City.

What do these moves do to shake up the Bundesliga, then? Perhaps not an awful lot...

Stats Perform AI has predicted the outcome of the coming campaign, estimating the likelihood of teams finishing in each position informed by their expected results in each match.

These are calculated using betting odds and Stats Perform's team rankings – based on historical and recent team performances – and have thrown up some interesting results, even if the title race is a little too predictable.

MANE TO MAINTAIN BAYERN DOMINANCE

Lewandowski's exit was offset by the arrival of Sadio Mane at Bayern, and Stats Perform AI expects Julian Nagelsmann's side to again charge clear at the top of the table.

Bayern have won 10 consecutive titles, so perhaps it is no surprise they are given an 84.93 per cent chance of taking the trophy home again in May.

That figure makes Bayern the most likely champions across all of Europe's top five leagues, with nearest contenders Dortmund only in with a 6.01 per cent shot.

RB Leipzig (4.64 per cent), Bayer Leverkusen (3.38 per cent) lead a group of 10 other clubs who are given at least a slim hope of winning the championship.

For six teams – including 2003-04 champions Werder Bremen and 2006-07 victors Stuttgart – their title tilt is over before a ball has even been kicked.

 

SCRAMBLE OUTSIDE THE TOP FOUR

Unfortunately, the top-four tussle appears as predictable as Bayern's coronation.

The champions will of course occupy one Champions League spot – their 99.53 per cent chance again the greatest across the top five leagues – while Dortmund (76.78 per cent), Leipzig (72.2 per cent) and Leverkusen (62.98 per cent) also look secure, forecast second, third and fourth respectively.

That means a return to Europe's elite competition for all of those who have qualified this year, even if Leipzig have leapfrogged Leverkusen.

Stats Perform AI suggests Union Berlin (4.66 per cent) and Freiburg (8.22 per cent) – one and three points outside the top four last term – have missed their shot, with Borussia Monchengladbach (22.94 per cent) and Eintracht Frankfurt (21.5 per cent) the most likely gatecrashers despite last season finishing 10th and 11th.

Eintracht are also in the Champions League this term after winning the Europa League, but they are considered the team most likely to return to the second-tier competition (13.32 per cent).

There could be a real scrap for those final European places, though. All but four teams have at least a 1.0 per cent likelihood of qualifying for the Europa Conference League, with title favourites Bayern one of those four.

 

SCHALKE AND WERDER FACE A FIGHT

Schalke and Werder – two of the great names of German football – have returned to the top flight following successful promotion campaigns in the 2. Bundesliga last season, but they face tricky first seasons back in the big time.

The ceiling for Schalke is a little higher, so Stats Perform AI has them finishing in the relegation play-off place in 16th.

This is despite two teams – Augsburg (14.02 per cent) and Werder (13.9 per cent) – being more likely to qualify for that play-off than Schalke (13.3 per cent).

Werder are ranked 17th, while the outlook for Augsburg is awful; 14th in the Bundesliga in 2021-22, they have a new coach in ex-Dortmund II boss Enrico Maassen and are considered a strong 38.19 per cent shot for relegation.

Bochum (30.84 per cent) are also in a little trouble, with Hertha Berlin (11.62 per cent) backed to pull away and finish 12th after their play-off scare last time out.

Timo Werner has only managed 23 goals in his first two seasons with Chelsea after joining from Leipzig in mid-2020.

The new Blues owners are open to allowing Werner, who signed on a five-year contract, to depart on loan.

The 26-year-old scored 95 goals in 159 appearances with Leipzig from 2016 to 2020.

TOP STORY – LEIPZIG LEAD RACE FOR CHELSEA'S WERNER

Leipzig are leading the race to sign Chelsea striker Werner ahead of Juventus, claims Fabrizio Romano.

The Bundesliga club met with Chelsea on Sunday, proposing a swap deal for Werner, who is Leipzig's main target.

Juventus and Newcastle United have also shown an interest in the Germany international. 

ROUND-UP

Barcelona are considering a move for Leipzig defender Angelino should they miss out on Chelsea full-back Marcos Alonso, claims Diario Sport.

Everton could make a move for forgotten Chelsea forward Michy Batshuayi, according to talkSPORT. The Toffees lost Richarlison to Tottenham last month and will turn to Batshuayi, who scored 14 goals on loan at Besiktas last season.

– Portuguese forward Diogo Jota is set to be rewarded for his strong second season at Anfield, with Liverpool to offer him a lucrative pay rise as part of a new deal, despite having three years to run on his contract, claims The Telegraph.

Napoli and Chelsea are in talks on a loan deal for Spanish goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, according to Sky Sports.

– Football Insider reports that Leicester City have informed Newcastle that midfielder James Maddison will cost them £60million as they circle for his signature.

– Leicester City are set to farewell goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel,  who is on the cusp of joining French Ligue 1 club Nice, reports the Mail.

RB Leipzig have announced the signing of David Raum from Hoffenheim on a five-year contract.

Raum was the standout attacking wing-back in the Bundesliga last season, leading all defenders in chances created (83), assists (11) and expected assists (13.9).

The Germany left-back also scored three times in 32 games to attract the attention of a number of leading clubs.

It is Leipzig who have landed Raum, with the right-footed Benjamin Henrichs having played on the left in Saturday's 5-3 DFL-Supercup defeat to Bayern Munich.

Raum appears set to compete with Angelino on that flank, with Nordi Mukiele's departure for Paris Saint-Germain leaving an opening on the right.

It is becoming increasingly likely that Chelsea striker Timo Werner will be on his way out of Stamford Bridge with reports he has been offered to Real Madrid, while Newcastle United are also investigating a possible loan.

The two new teams linked with Werner come after Bild reported recently he was willing to take a 50 per cent pay-cut to return to former club RB Leipzig, indicating the Blues are well and truly shopping him around.

The 26-year-old scored only four Premier League goals in 21 appearances last season, though also recorded four goals and two assists in his five Champions League contests.

 

TOP STORY – CHELSEA'S WERNER ON THE WAY OUT

Chelsea and Madrid have been in recent contact about the Spanish side's interest in 20-year-old Armando Broja – who Thomas Tuchel is said to be a fan of – though El Larguero is reporting that the London club put Werner on the table instead.

Meanwhile, the Sunday Mirror claims Newcastle have also touched base about a potential loan deal, and the report states they are currently a more likely landing spot than his former club Leipzig.

His reported weekly wage of £270,000 per week would need to be significantly reduced to accommodate a move to either Leipzig or Newcastle, and that could be where Madrid come into the equation.

 

ROUND-UP

– The Athletic is reporting that Brighton have put their foot down on a £50million asking price for 24-year-old left-back Marc Cucurella, who Manchester City is aggressively chasing.

Newcastle have had a £40m bid for Leicester City's James Maddison rejected, with his price-tag said to be at least £50m, according to the Times.

– Sport is reporting that Barcelona still have the intention of signing Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso from Chelsea, despite the English club marking them off-limits after being beaten to the signing of Jules Kounde by Barca.

Milan have agreed to a £26.9m deal for exciting 21-year-old Club Brugge midfielder Charles de Ketelaere, according to Calciomercato.

– Fabrizio Romano is reporting that Stoke City are in advanced discussions to secure young Man City midfielder Liam Delap on loan.

Julian Nagelsmann described Jamal Musiala's display in the 5-3 DFL-Supercup win over RB Leipzig on Saturday as "world class".

Musiala, 19, got Bayern on their way early in the first half with a cool finish, before playing an integral role in their next two goals as they went in at the break 3-0 up.

He played an incisive pass into Serge Gnabry, who picked out Sadio Mane for a goal on his competitive debut for Bayern, before teeing up Benjamin Pavard to make it three.

Musiala made 40 appearances across all competitions last season, yet only 18 came as a starter.

Asked if he is likely to become a regular fixture in his starting XI this season, Nagelsmann said: "Of course, that is up to him. If he plays like he did today then he is indispensable to the team.

"He had an outstanding preparation, and was very diligent. He has improved defensively. His performance today was world class."

Bayern's marquee signing ahead of the 2022-23 campaign, Mane, opened his account with a simple close-range finish in the first half and saw two efforts ruled out for offside after the break.

Nagelsmann was thrilled with the former Liverpool forward's contribution and believes his presence brings out the best in other players.

"It was a very good performance," he added. "He's humble, down to earth, hardworking, and he pushes the boys in the dressing room.

"He is a player with outstanding quality, and he's an outstanding guy."

Leroy Sane came off the bench to add a fifth goal with the last kick of the game after Leipzig had pulled two goals back having been 4-1 behind.

Nagelsmann was impressed by the former Manchester City forward, but believes there is still plenty of room for improvement.

"He's done a lot better in the past week and a half," the Bayern boss said.

"He's a great person and an outstanding footballer. He scored a great goal today. We can get him where we want him to be. We have to continue working on it together."

Saturday's triumph was Bayern's 10th in the DFL-Supercup, further extending their record in the competition.

Their bid for an 11th consecutive Bundesliga title starts on Friday with a trip to Eintracht Frankfurt.

Sadio Mane scored on his Bayern Munich competitive debut as the Bundesliga champions withstood a late fightback to beat RB Leipzig 5-3 in the DFL-Supercup.

Julian Nagelsmann's side lost Robert Lewandowski to Barcelona recently, but Mane – a €41million signing from Liverpool – suggested he will not have any problems filling the void left by the Poland international.

He slid home from close range in the first half to double Bayern's advantage at the Red Bull Arena after Jamal Musiala had given the Bavarian giants an early lead.

Benjamin Pavard made it 3-0 on the stroke of half-time, with Serge Gnabry adding a fourth after Marcel Halstenberg pulled one back for Leipzig. Christopher Nkunku crashed home from a penalty and Dani Olmo powered home late on as Domenico Tedesco's men rallied, before Leroy Sane hit a fifth for Bayern with the last kick of the game.

Bayern were rewarded for a bright start in the 14th minute when Musiala steered past Peter Gulacsi from 10 yards after Leipzig failed to clear a corner.

An unmarked Mane made it 2-0 in the 31st minute with a simple finish from eight yards after he had been picked out by Serge Gnabry. Bayern then appeared to put the game to bed on the stroke of half-time when Pavard slotted home from the impressive Musiala's pull-back.

Halstenberg reduced the deficit moments after Andre Silva hit the crossbar, the defender sending a looping header into Manuel Neuer's far corner.

Gnabry restored Bayern's three-goal lead in the 65th minute with a close-range strike after Gulacsi kept out Thomas Muller's initial effort. 

Nkunku scored Leipzig's second in the 77th minute with a powerful penalty after Pavard fouled Olmo, before Spain international Olmo added a third with a cool finish in the 89th minute.

Bayern had the final say, though, when Sane raced clear and slotted past Gulacsi deep into stoppage time to seal a third consecutive DFL-Supercup triumph.

Julian Nagelsmann has no fears about being fired by Bayern Munich if he hits a rough patch of form this term, saying the only pressure he feels is his own need to succeed.

The Bundesliga champions get their new campaign under way against RB Leipzig in the DFL-Supercup on Saturday, before kicking off their league title defence next Friday against Eintracht Frankfurt.

Head coach Nagelsmann tasted success in his maiden season at the helm at Allianz Arena, but the 35-year-old's first campaign was far from the cakewalk Bayern have appeared to enjoy under varying predecessors in the past few years.

The loss of Robert Lewandowski this term also represents a major blow when it comes to firepower, and questions are being asked about whether this could be the year the club's league monopoly is cracked.

But Nagelsmann feels the only pressure he faces comes from himself, and that whatever challenges his side square up to will happen come what may for him.

"I always put the pressure on myself," he said. "I want to play the most successful football possible, which is also nice to look at from the outside. I feel little pressure from outside.

"It's not about life and death in football. If I get fired at some point, I'll be fired – I'm not too afraid of that! That's the way it is in the job. I don't feel the pressure from outside, only my pressure to succeed.

"We want to do certain things better than in the second half of the season [but] I don't really give a damn about the pressure that's coming from outside."

While Bayern have brought in fresh recruits this summer, including Sadio Mane and Matthijs de Ligt, the departure of Lewandowski remains a major void they are arguably yet to fill.

Bayern admire Tottenham and England striker Harry Kane, but it appears far-fetched to imagine them bringing him in now, given how tenaciously Spurs clung to Kane when Manchester City wanted him 12 months ago.

Nagelsmann has not ruled out finding a successor to Lewandowski before time runs out, adding: "There are still four weeks that the transfer window is open, so something could still happen. We are keeping our eyes on the market."

Timo Werner and RB Leipzig made for a sublime match over four joyful years, but the Bundesliga club are reluctant to say whether they want to rekindle the relationship.

Leipzig head coach Domenico Tedesco was asked about the prospect of re-signing Werner when he addressed a news conference on Thursday, and gave the idea absolutely no encouragement.

Nor did he discourage the idea, though, which points to a reunion possibly being under consideration but far from certain to happen.

Werner might believe he has endless escape routes from Chelsea if he reads the gossip columns, with Juventus also linked with him in recent days.

Two years with Chelsea might be enough for Werner, whose involvement decreased last season and whose goal return in the Premier League has fallen far short of expectations.

By adding Raheem Sterling to their squad, Chelsea have brought in a player who performs a similar role to Werner – a goal threat from the flanks with a sharp turn of pace – and looks sure to be a regular starter for Thomas Tuchel.

Tedesco said: "Timo Werner is not my player, not our player. He's a Chelsea player and I have a very clear opinion on that, not to comment, not to take a position on players who don't belong to us, who aren't under contract with us. I think that has something to do with respect. And it is simply an important principle that I have established for myself."

Pressed on whether he could confirm any interest from Leipzig at all in the Germany forward, Tedesco said: "No, I can't. I can't, because as I said, I stand by that, he's a Chelsea FC player and everything else has become superfluous."

Werner scored 34 goals in 45 games across all competitions in his final season at Leipzig, at a rate of one every 105.53 minutes. At Chelsea, he has managed 23 goals in 89 appearances so far.

Leipzig may wish to sell a player to fund any offer for Werner, with Konrad Laimer repeatedly linked in German media with Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich.

But it is not the case that Leipzig particularly want to lose another significant figure to Bayern, after coach Julian Nagelsmann and first-team key figures Marcel Sabitzer and Dayot Upamecano went to Munich last year.

"[Laimer] is our player, is my player and I am happy that he is my player," said Tedesco.

"And as long as there is nothing else, he has my full support, is treated the same as any other player. And of course it's also clear that the longer this drags on, the more difficult it will be to do that at some point. So time is in our favour because, as you rightly said, there is no deadline."

Tedesco is not ignorant of the speculation surrounding Laimer, however, and said the Austrian midfielder "is also of the opinion that he would like to have clarity at some point".

Leipzig face Bayern in the DFB-Supercup on Saturday, and Tedesco believes the German champions are collectively more powerful going into the new season than they were 12 months ago, despite losing star striker Robert Lewandowski to Barcelona.

Sadio Mane, Ryan Gravenberch, Noussair Mazraoui and Matthijs de Ligt have arrived at Bayern, and Tedesco said: "They have been flexible before. But of course, this is a different story because I think that Lewandowski will be missed by them. Not just in this game but in general since he scored a lot of goals for them.

"But they have reinforced themselves and I think that they have a stronger squad than last year."

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