Julian Nagelsmann believes Harry Kane would "score a lot of goals in the Bundesliga", but admitted the England captain may too expensive for Bayern Munich.

Kane, who has two years remaining on his contract with Tottenham, is reportedly being lined up as a potential replacement for Robert Lewandowski at the Allianz Arena following the Poland captain's switch to Barcelona.

Spurs' talisman scored twice on Saturday as Antonio Conte's men came from behind to beat Rangers 2-1 in a pre-season friendly at Ibrox.

The three-time Premier League golden boot winner has netted 248 times in 386 appearances for the London club, who he joined as an 11-year-old.

 

Speaking ahead of Bayern's pre-season friendly against Manchester City, who Kane almost joined a year ago, head coach Nagelsmann expressed his admiration for the England skipper but knows it would be a big ask to bring him to the Bundesliga.

"He's very expensive, that's the problem - but [a] brilliant player, one of two or three who can play as a centre forward [as well as a] number 10," he said. "He's very strong, brilliant with [his] head and both feet.

"It's possible that he would score a lot of goals in the Bundesliga. But it will be tough, I think, for Bayern Munich. We will see what will happen in the future."

Bayern CEO Oliver Kahn had denied that the club are interested in buying Kane during this transfer window, but refused to rule out a move for the 28-year-old further down the line.

"He's under contract with Tottenham," Kahn added. "Sure, [he's] an absolute top striker, but that's all a dream of the future.

"Now, we have to look at getting the squad together for the current season. Let's see what else happens."

Leonardo Bonnuci feels Matthijs de Ligt's comments on his desire to depart Juventus showed a lack of respect to the Bianconeri, after the latter completed his move to Bayern Munich.

The Netherlands international sealed his switch to the Bundesliga champions from Turin earlier this month, ending his three-year stint at the Allianz Stadium.

De Ligt made no secret of his desire to move away from Juve, particularly after missing out on the Scudetto in each of the last two seasons.

But while Bonucci wishes his former defensive partner the best, he admits he had to address some of his words before he departed.

"De Ligt’s exit didn’t surprise me because certain comments made it clear he didn’t want to stay at Juventus," the Italy international stated after the Bianconeri beat Guadalajara 2-0 in a pre-season friendly in Las Vegas.

"But I think at the end of the day, you need to be respectful. The group he was with for three years helped him grow, and the club invested in him.

"I wish him the best, but certain comments he made on international duty were not very nice. We spoke about it after our holidays, and he understood.

"Bayern are a great club, but just being at a top club doesn’t mean you are guaranteed to win."

Bonucci, meanwhile, has not given up hope of completing his club trophy cabinet.with Juventus, despite their recent drop in form.

A multiple Serie A and Coppa Italia winner during his time in Turin - along with a Euro 2020 triumph with the Azzurri - the Champions League remains the last major club honour to elude him, having been a beaten finalist on two occasions.

"When I joined, my dream was to have a great career and win everything," he added. "I’ve almost achieved it; I’m 90 per cent there. I’m just missing that tiny piece, which hurts us Juve fans.

"Let’s hope that over the next two years of my contract we can find stability in Europe again. Winning is always difficult. The first step is to reach the quarter-finals, then you need luck.

"In a season so unique, anything can happen, so why not believe in Juve’s future in Europe?"

Sadio Mane has been named African Footballer of the Year for 2022, seeing off competition from former Liverpool team-mate Mohamed Salah and Chelsea's Edouard Mendy at Thursday's CAF awards.

The Bayern Munich new boy, who was also crowned the continent's top player in 2019, helped Senegal win their first Africa Cup of Nations title in February, scoring the winning penalty to down Salah's Egypt in the final.

The forward scored three goals throughout the competition in Cameroon, after which he was crowned Player of the Tournament.

One month later, Mane was influential in another shoot-out win over the Pharaohs, as Senegal sealed qualification for the World Cup in Qatar later this year. 

On the domestic front, meanwhile, Mane scored 23 goals in all competitions as Liverpool won the EFL and FA Cups during his final season at Anfield.

Mane made 51 appearances across a mammoth 2021-22 campaign with the Reds, a tally only bettered by Jordan Henderson (57), Diogo Jota (55) and Allison (54).

Oliver Kahn, chief executive of Mane's new employers Bayern, was the first to offer his congratulations to the 30-year-old, writing on Twitter: "We are very happy about Sadio Mane's award. 

"FC Bayern has never had an African Footballer of the Year in its ranks in its long history, which is a special honour for our club.

"We are very proud that he is now on the ball for our club and have many big goals with him."

While Chelsea shot-stopper Mendy missed out on being crowned the continent's best player, he could draw some consolation from Senegal's clean sweep of awards.

The Lions of Teranga were named CAF's team of the year, while boss Aliou Cisse won Coach of the Year and midfielder Pape Matar Sarr scooped the Young Player of the Year gong.

 

Jurgen Klinsmann labelled Robert Lewandowski as a legend for Bayern Munich after his move to Barcelona, while he has no doubts the Bundesliga champions would welcome the striker back.

Lewandowski secured his long-awaited move to Barca earlier in the week, leaving in a deal worth up to €50million as he penned a four-year contract with the Blaugrana.

The Poland talisman scored 50 goals in all competitions last season, the most in Europe's top five leagues, and leaves behind a legacy in the Bundesliga.

Lewandowski scored 312 Bundesliga goals across spells with Bayern and Borussia Dortmund, with only Gerd Muller (365) managing more in the competition's history.

After departing Bayern having accumulated 344 goals and 57 assists across 375 appearances in all competitions, Klinsmann insists Lewandowski will be remembered fondly by the Bavarian giants.

"Well, I think in the short term, there's a little bit of sadness," Klinsmann, who played for Bayern between 1995 and 1997, told GOAL. 

"Maybe also a little bit of attention because there was still hope that he would stay and not get moved out.

"I think you let the grass grow for a couple of months and then I think all of Bayern Munich fans, the club, everyone involved will be forever thankful to Robert for what he's done.

"He will be definitely one of the biggest legends in the history of the club, one of the most exciting, one of the most exceptional players.

"There will be an opportunity when he comes back. Maybe it's a friendly game, or it's maybe even, down the road, a European cup competition or whatever, where he will get an exceptional reception from the Bayern fans.

"For a couple of weeks, maybe there will be a little bit of bitterness for some of the fans, but that goes away, definitely goes away. So in the long run, he will be remembered as one of their greatest."

 

Bayern had already brought in Sadio Mane from Liverpool, alongside Ajax duo Ryan Gravenberch and Noussair Mazraoui, before signing Matthijs de Ligt after Lewandowski's departure.

Having won the Bundesliga for an unprecedented 10th time in a row last season, Klinsmann cannot envisage Bayern relinquishing their German top-flight dominance in the near future.

"I think they've done tremendously well," Klinsmann added. "They came up with Mane and I was really impressed.

"I thought that he was at the right place there with Jurgen Klopp and he's done fantastic, absolutely fantastic, with Liverpool then also with the national team and we're going to see him in Qatar in November and December. So to get him from Liverpool is a big deal, a really big deal.

"Then they added another huge piece in De Ligt, a very young, highly-promising centre back and growing at the age of 22. He's already a leader. That's huge.

"Knowing Bayern Munich, they're always looking. They're always checking the market and when there's the opportunity to get another one or two very, very crucial pieces for their puzzle, they're going to do it.

"Don't be surprised if they do it but from one of their main rivals because that's what they traditionally did over the last 30-40 years, but they've already kind of covered up a lot in this transfer market and any other player now coming in as just another piece of quality."

Niklas Sule has offered his support to Borussia Dortmund team-mate Sebastien Haller after he discovered a testicular tumour, insisting on-pitch matters are "one hundred per cent in the background" while he recovers.

Haller, a new signing at Dortmund, was forced to leave the club's pre-season training camp in Switzerland after feeling unwell on Monday, with subsequent tests revealing the tumour.

Dortmund boss Edin Terzic then revealed the striker had returned to Germany for further tests, describing the news as "brutally difficult".

Haller's former Ajax and Utrecht coach Erik ten Hag was among those to wish the Ivory Coast international a speedy recovery yesterday, sentiments which have now been echoed by fellow Dortmund new boy Sule.

"The sporting aspect is one hundred per cent in the background," the defender told Dortmund's media channels. "It is the man Sebastien Haller that we miss. 

"We wish him all the best, that he gets well again quickly and a lot of strength for the time that will come now. 

"How he handled the news was very positive. As a team, we wanted to give him a small sign that we were with him. I wish that he will get well very soon."

Robert Lewandowski declared "I want to make history" as he addressed Barcelona supporters in Miami following his move from Bayern Munich.

The Poland international pushed for a move to Camp Nou throughout the close season, with Barca finally securing the talisman in a deal worth up to €50million, including add-ons.

Lewandowski, who scored the most goals in Europe's top-five leagues across all competitions last season (50), has signed a four-year contract with the Blaugrana, with a €500m buyout clause included.

The 33-year-old appeared alongside Barca president Joan Laporta in the United States, where the Blaugrana are on a pre-season tour, and was quick to outline his ambitions to leave a legacy with the LaLiga giants.

"I am very happy to be here. It took a lot to get here, but I have finally arrived," Lewandowski said on Wednesday, a day after watching his new team-mates beat Inter Miami 6-0.

"This is wonderful. Yesterday I saw the team win and I saw that it is a team with a lot of potential and great quality.

"I love belonging to this club with so much history. I am very happy, it is a club with many titles.

"As a striker, I want to score goals to help the team, that's the best solution. It's a new challenge for me. In football, you always have to be hungry and I am.

"I always want to score and I always want to win. I want to make history here."

Lewandowski scored the most goals in each of the past five seasons in the Bundesliga, where he is the competition's second-highest scorer in history (312), behind only Bayern legend Gerd Muller (365).

Xavi will hope Lewandowski can partner with new arrivals Raphinha, Franck Kessie and Andreas Christensen as Barca look to remove the gap to LaLiga champions Real Madrid in the upcoming campaign.

Bayern Munich do not need to sign a like-for-like replacement for Robert Lewandowski, the Poland international has insisted.

Lewandowski was finally granted his wish earlier this week when Bayern allowed him to join Barcelona in a deal worth up to €50million including add-ons, as the striker penned a four-year contract with the Blaugrana.

The 33-year-old, who will have a €500m buyout clause at Camp Nou, scored 50 goals across all competitions last season – the most across Europe's top five leagues.

Lewandowski's 312 Bundesliga goals are also the second-most scored by any player in the competition's history, behind Gerd Muller (365), while he leaves Bayern having accumulated 344 goals and 57 assists across 375 appearances in all competitions.

Sadio Mane had already been signed by Julian Nagelsmann's side in preparation for Lewandowski's exit, though the Senegal international spent most of his time at Liverpool playing from the left.

But Lewandowski cannot foresee Bayern struggling for goals during the upcoming campaign, with the Bundesliga champions still having the likes of Kingsley Coman, Thomas Muller, Leroy Sane and Jamal Musiala to call upon.

 

"I think Bayern have so many talented offensive players that you don't necessarily need a number nine, a real centre forward," he told German outlet BILD. 

"Bayern's attack is outstanding, they can manage it very well, even without a one-on-one replacement for me.

"There's Kingsley Coman, Leroy Sane, Thomas Muller, Jamal Musiala. The players are given more responsibility for scoring goals and can grow in this role."

Bayern will begin their Bundesliga campaign without Lewandowski at Eintracht Frankfurt on August 5.

Bayern Munich players must share the goalscoring burden after Robert Lewandowski's move to Barcelona, according to Joshua Kimmich, who hopes new arrival Matthijs de Ligt can contribute at both ends of the pitch.

Lewandowski completed his long-awaited move to Camp Nou earlier this week, having declared "something had died" within him after netting 50 goals in all competitions during his final season with the Bundesliga champions.

The Poland international has scored a total of 312 Bundesliga goals, with 238 of them coming during an eight-year spell with the Bavarian giants, and finished as the league's top goalscorer in each of the last five seasons.

Bayern had already added Liverpool's Sadio Mane in a bid to lessen the impact of Lewandowski's exit, but Kimmich believes the Senegal forward cannot replace the 33-year-old's goals alone.

"With Lewy we lose a lot of goals, which we all have to make up for collectively," he told Bayern fans at an event in Washington, D.C. 

"Sadio Mane is a great player, but I don't think he's the player who scores 40 or 50 goals in the end. Sadio is hungry, wants to win titles, wants to score goals and move forward. We hope to see that from him.

"He brings other qualities with him, so that another might score more goals. We have a few attacking players who can be dangerous.

"It's also one of my targets to score more goals. There were three goals last season, that can definitely be improved."

 

Having received an estimated €50million for Lewandowski's services, Bayern announced the signing of Netherlands international De Ligt on Tuesday, as they bid to strengthen in defence.

Kimmich believes reinforcing Bayern's backline could make all the difference after the loss of Lewandowski's goals, though he also backed the defender to contribute going forward.

"Matthijs de Ligt has the skills to lead, organise and direct," Kimmich added. "Hopefully he will score a goal or two for us, which is important after Lewy's departure. 

"The 50 goals have to go somewhere! It's good for us when we have someone at the back who's good at tackling, who can organise, and also scores goals. We have great quality in the central defender position.

"Without Lewy, it's even more important to work better at the back. And as long as we're winning the games, it doesn't matter if we have a number nine."

Meanwhile, Kimmich could feature alongside a new midfield partner next term after the club signed Ajax's breakthrough star Ryan Gravenberch for a reported fee of €19m.

And the 27-year-old was enthusiastic about Gravenberch's progress since joining, adding: "He's doing really well in training. 

"[He's a] super boy, very sure on the ball, technically top, physically good. He's 19 years old, it's impressive that he's already at such a high level. He can be very helpful to us."

Barcelona have confirmed the final agreement to sign Robert Lewandowski from Bayern Munich for €50million, including add-ons, on a four-year contract.

The Poland international travelled to Miami to meet his new team-mates on Sunday, the day after Barca confirmed they had struck an agreement in principle with Bayern.

Lewandowski subsequently passed his medical, with Bayern "officially" announcing his departure on Tuesday.

Barca soon confirmed the transfer details for the talismanic striker, who will have a €500m buyout clause.

The 33-year-old scored 50 goals across all competitions last season, the most across Europe's top five leagues, as Bayern lifted their 10th Bundesliga title in a row.

Lewandowski broke Gerd Muller's long-standing Bundesliga record by scoring 41 goals in a single season in the 2020-21 campaign, while his 43 league goals in 2021 serve as the record for a calendar year in Germany's top tier.

The forward's 312 Bundesliga goals are the second-most scored by any player in competition's history, behind Muller (365), while he leaves Bayern having accumulated 344 goals and 57 assists across 375 appearances in all competitions.

 

Though Julian Nagelsmann was reluctant to let Lewandowski leave, he suggested Bayern's game plan will become more "unpredictable" after his departure.

"When someone like Robert plays up front, you play more crosses," he told reporters on Bayern's pre-season tour in the United States. "The way we're going to play will change. It's a new Bayern Munich.

"It will be a challenge – and I like challenges. It's good for everyone, we have to find new ways and be creative.

"In the past it might have been easier for the opponent to prepare for our game. Now we're going to be even more unpredictable."

Bayern Munich have completed the signing of Matthijs de Ligt from Juventus in a deal worth a reported €80million.

The Netherlands international has agreed a five-year contract with the Bundesliga champions, ending his three-year stint in Turin.

De Ligt becomes Julian Nagelsmann's fourth signing of this window after Sadio Mane and former Ajax duo Noussair Mazraoui and Ryan Gravenberch.

The defender had two years remaining on his contract at Juventus - for whom he played more minutes than any of his outfield team-mates in Serie A last season (2,675).

Bayern have reportedly agreed to pay the Bianconeri an initial €70m, with a further €10m in add-ons.

 

Speaking to the club's website after his signing was confirmed, De Ligt said: "I'm very happy to become a player for this great club. FC Bayern are the most successful club in Germany, one of the most successful clubs in Europe and in the world.

"I felt the genuine appreciation from the sporting management, the coach and the board right from the start, which convinced me. On top of that, FC Bayern is a brilliantly run club with big aims. I'm very glad that I'm now becoming part of the FC Bayern story."

Bayern president, Herbert Hainer, added: "Matthijs de Ligt was a top target for us. With signings like this, the big aims that we have are achievable.

"The future face of our team is increasingly taking shape, and this transfer is an important building block in the overall concept that we're gradually putting into place. De Ligt should become a mainstay at FC Bayern."

Bayern Munich have completed the signing of Matthijs de Ligt from Juventus in a deal worth a reported €80million.

The Netherlands international has agreed a five-year contract with the Bundesliga champions, ending his three-year stint in Turin.

De Ligt becomes Julian Nagelsmann's fourth signing of this window after Sadio Mane and former Ajax duo Noussair Mazraoui and Ryan Gravenberch.

The defender had two years remaining on his contract at Juventus - for whom he played more minutes than any of his outfield team-mates in Serie A last season (2,675).

Bayern have reportedly agreed to pay the Bianconeri an initial €70m, with a further €10m in add-ons.

 

Speaking to the club's website after his signing was confirmed, De Ligt said: "I'm very happy to become a player for this great club. FC Bayern are the most successful club in Germany, one of the most successful clubs in Europe and in the world.

"I felt the genuine appreciation from the sporting management, the coach and the board right from the start, which convinced me. On top of that, FC Bayern is a brilliantly run club with big aims. I'm very glad that I'm now becoming part of the FC Bayern story."

Bayern president, Herbert Hainer, added: "Matthijs de Ligt was a top target for us. With signings like this, the big aims that we have are achievable.

"The future face of our team is increasingly taking shape, and this transfer is an important building block in the overall concept that we're gradually putting into place. De Ligt should become a mainstay at FC Bayern."

Cristiano Ronaldo is still a top player, but Bayern Munich should not bring him to the Allianz Arena.

That is according to former Bayern player Thorsten Fink, who wants the Bundesliga champions to be a "great team" rather than a "team of greats".

Ronaldo has been linked with a move away from Manchester United after reportedly telling the Red Devils he wants to leave in search of Champions League football.

However, Bayern CEO Oliver Kahn appeared to dampen suggestions the club would look to bring in the 37-year-old, who scored 24 goals in 38 games in all competitions for United last season, saying recently a move for the Portugal star "does not necessarily fit with our ideas".

Fink concurred with Kahn's assertion, telling Stats Perform: "Cristiano was and still is a top player, [but] you have to look at how he fits your system and how he blends into the structure of the team.

"Does a player with his magnitude fit this club and this team? Would others suffer from that? This is what you have to think about. I am sure they talked about this at FC Bayern.

"It is about the system you play, the charisma and magnitude that Cristiano Ronaldo has.

"You either are a 'team of greats' or you are a 'great team', and I think for FC Bayern it is important to be a great team and not have great individual players who, in the end, don't have that character to win things."

Fink played for Bayern between 1997 and 2003, winning four Bundesliga titles, three DFB-Pokals and the Champions League in 2000-01, and he has been impressed by the business his former club has done in the transfer window.

Although Bayern sold Robert Lewandowski to Barcelona, they added Sadio Mane from Liverpool, as well as duo Ryan Gravenberch and Noussair Mazraoui from Ajax, while another former Ajax man Matthijs de Ligt is close to finalising a big money move from Juventus.

"I'm always surprised at what FC Bayern manages to achieve again and again," Fink said. 

"One year you think 'now everyone's saying Bayern will not win a title' or something. I've heard it from people again. But when you see who they've brought in, I have to say 'chapeau' to them for bringing players of such class over from England. 

"That actually shows how interesting our league is. And you have to say hats off to FC Bayern. Only Bayern can bring players like that to our country who enhance our league. And that's why I'm really happy that Mane has come and that De Ligt has also come.

"I can't wait to see what FC Bayern can achieve."

Oliver Kahn has revealed Matthijs de Ligt was quickly won over by the prospect of joining Bayern Munich from Juventus.

The defender has agreed to switch from Serie A to the Bundesliga and confirmation of his move on a five-year contract was widely expected to come on Tuesday.

Dutch centre-back De Ligt spent three seasons with Juventus, winning the Scudetto in the first of those campaigns before the Turin giants slipped to consecutive fourth-placed finishes.

He leaves to join a Bayern side who have won 10 consecutive domestic league titles, with Kahn confident the new acquisition will fortify coach Julian Nagelsmann's defence.

Former goalkeeper Kahn, who is now Bayern's CEO, said: "If you look at the last two or three years, we've been very successful, but we've conceded one or two too many goals."

The outlay on De Ligt, reported to be €70million plus €10m in potential add-ons, is targeted at ensuring Bayern are more secure at the back.

"De Ligt is big, strong in tackles, strong in the air, he has a good build-up game. He's someone who likes to lead and is loud," Kahn said, quoted widely by German media.

Kahn, speaking on Bayern's US tour, said talking De Ligt into joining was "very easy", just "like Sadio Mane".

Kahn revealed how Senegal forward Mane had "thought for two days" before deciding to leave Liverpool for Bayern in June.

"It was the same with Matthijs de Ligt," said Kahn.

Bayern have lost Niklas Sule on a free transfer to Borussia Dortmund, and Omar Richards left for Nottingham Forest.

It remains to be seen whether Nagelsmann and Bayern elect to move on other fringe defenders after landing their prime target in De Ligt, but no such outgoing move appears imminent.

"At the moment we're not thinking in those categories," Kahn said.

With the end of one transfer saga comes the start of another. 

Robert Lewandowski has secured a long-awaited move to Barcelona, fulfilling a "dream" in the process and leaving Bayern Munich in the market for a new striker to lead their line.

But just how do you go about finding a like-for-like replacement for the most prolific marksman anywhere in the world?

One suggestion is that Bayern will make do with what they have, with Sadio Mane – a wide forward rather than a striker – having already been recruited from Liverpool this window.

While that may work, there are other potential options out there for Bayern to consider ahead of their latest title defence as they aim to win the Bundesliga for an 11th time in a row.

Here, Stats Perform takes a closer look at exactly what the Bavarian giants are losing in Lewandowski, and where they could go next.


LEWY LEADS THE WAY

Labelling Lewandowski as the best striker in European football is not hyperbolic when assessing the cold hard facts. 

The Poland international is coming off the back of a campaign that saw him register 50 goals in 46 games in all competitions, which is six goals more than the next-best Karim Benzema among players from Europe's top five leagues.

 

It is not like Lewandowski's output levels were dropping, either. The 35 league goals he registered last season are second only to the record-breaking 41 netted in the 2020-21 campaign across his 12 seasons in the German top flight with Borussia Dortmund and then Bayern.

Indeed, he has finished as the league's top scorer in each of the past five seasons, scoring 161 goals across that period, with no other player managing such a long streak in the competition's history. 


BEST OF THE REST

Put simply, Bayern surely cannot match those numbers with one player alone. If it is a pure goalscorer the German champions are after to fill the void, the aforementioned Benzema would be their best bet, the Real Madrid striker having scored 44 goals in 46 games last time out.

Persuading Madrid to let go of their focal point in attack would be nigh-on impossible, of course, likewise with Kylian Mbappe – Europe's third most prolific player in the 2021-22 season (39 goals in 46 games) – at Paris Saint-Germain.

Next on that particular list is RB Leipzig's highly-rated talent Cristopher Nkunku, who scored 35 goals in 52 matches last season and also chipped in with 16 assists. When purely weighing up goal involvements, Nkunku was only five short of Lewandowski last season, in a team with far less quality.

 

Indeed, Nkunku's 35 strikes last season came from an expected goals (xG) value of 28.23, meaning that he found the net 6.77 times more than he should have judging by the quality of the chances. Only Benzema (9.9) can better than across Europe's top five leagues.

Nkunku is not strictly a number nine, though, and his arrival – even if Bayern could tempt Leipzig into selling – would mean Julian Nagelsmann having to adapt his system in the final third of the field.


FORGET KANE... GO FOR KALAJDZIC

The likes of Timo Werner, Patrick Schick and Harry Kane are other names to have been touted as possible replacements for Lewandowski. Kane in particular would suit Bayern's system, and Bayern CEO Oliver Kahn admitted last week it would be a "dream" signing – while at the same time completely dismissing a move for wantaway Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo.

With another couple of years to run on Kane's contract, however, and Tottenham demanding a nine-figure sum from Manchester City this time last year, the Bavarians would have to spend big to bring in the England international.

For a club that has only once spent in excess of €40m on an attacking player – Leroy Sane from Manchester City two years ago – and having already splashed the cash to bring in Mane from Liverpool, that seems unlikely to happen.

 

There is more than goals alone to judging just how good a striker is, of course, and some players are certainly more attainable than others. Look no further than Sasa Kalajdzic, who boasts a number of qualities suited to Nagelsmann, not least his presence in the box.

At six foot and seven inches, Kalajdzic is one of the tallest players around and knows how to put that to good use, with exactly half of his 22 Bundesliga goals coming via his head.

Despite playing just 22 top-flight matches since his Stuttgart debut at the end of the 2019-20 season, those 11 headed goals are bettered only by Andre Silva (12) and – him again – Lewandowski (13), who have played 45 and 83 games in that period respectively.

Kalajdzic may have missed most of last season through injury, but six goals in 15 games for a side involved in a relegation scrap suggests he is a player with plenty of potential and, just as importantly, likely to be gettable, as Stuttgart director Sven Mislintat recently admitted given the 25-year-old is out of contract next year.

 

MANE AND GNABRY TO STEP UP?

Away from the dream options and outside picks to take over from Lewandowski, Kahn himself said last week that in Mane his side already have a ready-made replacement.

Position wise that is not technically true, of course, but there is no doubt that Mane's goals return across his six seasons with Liverpool was mightily impressive.

With 120 goals in all competitions for Liverpool, he averaged a goal every 189 minutes – exactly one every two matches. Mane also assisted 37 goals, meaning he was directly involved in a goal every 137 minutes. 

In the Premier League, only 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.

 

Unlike with Liverpool's front three, Bayern have been used to having one focal point up top in Lewandowski.

Serge Gnabry, who recently signed a contract extension at the Allianz Arena, can also play through the middle if called upon, and has done so to good effect for the Germany national side.

If reports from the German media are to be believed, that is the route Nagelsmann will have to go down for the 2022-23 season until a big-name number nine can be recruited further down the line.

Whether it will work will be intriguing to see, with the only certainty in all this being that Bayern can no longer turn to go-to man Lewandowski in their time of need.

Leon Goretzka will miss Bayern Munich's pre-season tour of the United States after undergoing surgery on his troublesome knee injury.

The Germany international only managed 19 Bundesliga appearances in the 2021-22 season after battling an issue with his left knee.

Goretzka has subsequently gone under the knife on Monday, ruling him out of clashes with D.C. United and Manchester City before the DFL-Supercup final against RB Leipzig on July 30.

Reports suggest the 27-year-old could be out for up to two months, leaving Julian Nagelsmann short of midfield options for the early part of the 2022-23 Bundesliga season.

Goretzka would likely have partnered Joshua Kimmich in midfield, with Marcel Sabitzer or new arrival from Ajax Ryan Gravenberch among the potential replacements for the Bundesliga champions.

Bayern may look to push through on their reported interest for Leipzig's Konrad Laimer as another option in midfield, as they prepare for the campaign without Robert Lewandowski, who is set to join Barcelona.

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