Bayern Munich sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic has spoken out in response to claims that summer signing Sadio Mane is unhappy, saying he is holding talks with the Senegal international.
Mane, 30, joined the German champions this summer for £27m after a trophy-laden six years at Liverpool but has so far struggled to find his feet at the Allianz Arena.
The winger has now gone five games without scoring and was substituted by manager Julian Nagelsmann in recent fixtures against Barcelona and Augsburg.
However, Salihamidzic has thrown his support behind Mane in the wake of recent criticism, saying the club will do whatever it can to help their new signing adapt to life in Germany.
“Sadio still needs a little time, he has to get used to the Bundesliga too, but he will. I speak regularly with him” the sporting director told Bild. “I know what it’s like to arrive as a newcomer to a team, in a different country, in a different city, in a slightly different football culture.
“Sadio is in this process, everything will soon be more familiar to him and we will soon see that on the pitch too. He is one of the best players in the world, we will still have a lot of joy with him.”
Nagelsmann has also been quick to play down suggestions of Mane’s unhappiness, insisting the Champions League winner’s patchy form is nothing out of the ordinary.
“He’s a new signing. He just needs to adapt. He was trying. I’m certain he will succeed for us,” he explained. Everything I need to say about Sadio, I’ll say to him and not in the media.
“It’s quite normal as a newcomer who of course still has to adapt to certain procedures that are a bit different to those at Liverpool.
“I already said during the week that I would like him to do certain things more. Maybe less looking for the ball or team-mates and trying to be a bit more self-confident, but we are very happy that we have him and he will put his stamp on our game.”
Bayern face Bayer Leverkusen in their next Bundesliga fixture as they look to improve on a mediocre start to the season. Nagelsmann’s side slipped to fifth in the table after the defeat against Augsburg and are already five points behind surprise leaders Union Berlin.
Bayern Munich confident over deal to sign midfield target
Bayern Munich believe they have finalised an agreement to take Konrad Laimer to the Allianz Arena, sources have told 90min.
Bayern made a summer bid for RB Leipzig’s star midfielder, who is in the final year of his contract, but could not agree terms and they instead landed Ajax’s Ryan Gravenberch.
Laimer has since emerged as a target for Liverpool who were considering a move for him in the New Year, but the Premier League side have now learned from representatives around the deal that the player does indeed want to move to Munich.
The 25-year-old Austrian, who has just recovered from a knee injury, was annoyed at the summer move to Bayern collapsing, but he knew the issue was on both sides and did not hold that against the Bundesliga champions.
90min has been told that the interest from England over the past 12 months, firstly from Manchester United and then Liverpool, had turned his head but his heart was always set on a move to Bayern.
Now Bayern believe terms are agreed and they will seal his signature on a pre-contract, which would in theory see him moving to Munich on a five-year deal in the summer.
However, Bayern do have an interest in taking Laimer in January, but that would need Leipzig’s agreement.
Borussia Dortmund facing battle to keep hold of Youssoufa Moukoko
A growing number of clubs believe that Borussia Dortmund striker Youssoufa Moukoko is ready to leave the club at the end of the season, sources have confirmed to 90min.
The 18-year-old, who is at the World Cup finals with Germany, is not yet a first-team regular for Dortmund but has emerged as one of the most feared young strikers in Europe.
Moukoko. who is out of contract at the end of the season, has publicly stated that a decision will be made about his future soon, but sources close to the club and player have told 90min that he’s yet to finalise his plans.
Dortmund remain hopeful that Moukoko will commit to the club long-term deal – even though talks over a new contract have been going on for the best part of a year – but a host of top teams from around Europe are keeping an eye on his situation, hopeful that they can lure him away.
Cameroon-born Moukoko has scored six goals and contributed three assists in eight Bundesliga starts this season – comfortably his best return since breaking into the Dortmund team. The club believe he is enjoying working for head coach Eden Terzic, and hope his presence can be the deciding factor in whether he signs a new contract.
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But Dortmund are acutely aware of the growing interest from elsewhere, most notably from bitter rivals Bayern Munich. The Bavarian giants have made it clear to Moukoko that he’d be welcome at the Allianz Arena, potentially following in the footsteps of a host of big-name stars – most notably Robert Lewandowski.
For the first time, though, other rivals from around Europe believe there’s a genuine chance Moukoko could leave. Manchester United and Liverpool have both been watching him closely, but sources close to Dortmund have told 90min that Barcelona could be the club that pose the biggest threat.
Moukoko is understood to have grown up as a Barcelona fan, and the Catalan giants are aware of his dream to one day play at the Camp Nou.
Ronaldo’s two suitors; Bayern lead Thuram race
Cristiano Ronaldo is on the hunt for a new club after agreeing to part ways with Manchester United immediately, and is currently weighing up two options – remaining in the Premier League with Newcastle United or heading to Saudi Arabia with Al-Nassr. (Marca)
However, other reports claim that Newcastle are not interested in signing Ronaldo, while the likes of Chelsea and Inter Miami are also backing away from a potential deal. (Telegraph)
One option Ronaldo does have on the table is with non-league side AFC Crewe, who are willing to pay him a club-record £35-a-week deal. (Daily Star)
While Ronaldo is not currently under consideration, Chelsea are close to completing a deal to sign Christopher Nkunku next summer. The RB Leipzig star was recently ruled out of France’s World Cup campaign through injury. (Telegraph)
Bayern Munich are ready to offer Marcus Thuram a €7m-a-season deal to sign for them, with the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham all considering a move. His contract with Borussia Monchengladbach expires at the end of the season. (Calcio Mercato)
England midfield duo Declan Rice and Jude Bellingham will be subjected to a transfer war between Real Madrid, Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City. (Telegraph)
Arsenal are considering whether to make a fresh move for Palmeiras midfielder Danilo in the January window. (The Sun)
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Aurelien Tchouameni has admitted that Liverpool made contact with him over the summer about a transfer, but once Real Madrid made an offer, his heart was set on moving to the Santiago Bernabeu. (Le Parisien)
Borussia Dortmund starlet Youssoufa Moukoko remains in talks to stay at the club beyond this season despite heavy links to Real Madrid, Barcelona and Liverpool. (Fabrizio Romano)
Moise Kean‘s loan at Juventus could be cut short with Newcastle ready to take him off of Everton’s hands on a permanent deal. (Calcio Mercato)
Memphis Depay has admitted he is uncertain about his Barcelona future. Manchester United and Tottenham have been linked with January moves for the out-of-favour Blaugrana forward. (Daily Mirror)
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