Bundesliga

  • Another star to have slipped Wenger's ne...

    Xabi Alonso can be added to the list of names Arsene Wenger came close to signing at Arsenal, but ultimately missed out on. The Gunners boss has often spoken down the years of how he was in the market for a number of top talents, only to see them head elsewhere or for interest t...

    Another star to have slipped Wenger's net at Arsenal - Alonso reveals Gunners interest while at Liverpool

    Xabi Alonso can be added to the list of names Arsene Wenger came close to signing at Arsenal, but ultimately missed out on. The Gunners boss has often spoken down the years of how he was in the market for a number of top talents, only to see them head elsewhere or for interest to be shelved. Wenger: Suarez wanted to join Arsenal It has now been revealed that the Frenchman was eager to add ball-playing midfielder Alonso to his ranks while the Spaniard was at Liverpool. With Reds looking to move out a man who would go on to win 2010 World Cup and 2012 European Championship honours with Spain, Arsenal joined the chase. They were, however, reluctant to meet the asking price of a Premier League rival and Alonso eventually ended up signing for La Liga giants Real Madrid in the summer of 2009. Speaking to the Liverpool Echo about his time at Anfield, Alonso said: “I was really close to Juventus and I was close to Arsenal. Arsenal and Bayern fined by UEFA “But, it was just £3m. Liverpool were asking £18m and both offered £15m – so that’s why it didn’t happen." Alonso formed part of Liverpool’s remarkable Champions League triumph in 2005 during his time in England, before going on to enjoy further domestic and European success in Madrid. League titles have also been snapped up in Germany with Bayern Munich, but the 35-year-old has announced that he is to slip into retirement at the end of the current campaign. Alonso added: “I have been lucky enough to be at great clubs from my hometown club to Liverpool to Real Madrid to Bayern Munich. Pep: Alonso one of the best ever “For me, I’ve played for the best team in England, the best team in Spain and the best team in Germany. That’s what I wanted to have - a nice career. I’ve played with great players and worked with great managers, I’ve learned a lot from all of them. “I’ve been lucky but I have earned that luck. I’ve been in the right place at the right moment a few times. I would never have dreamed to have had such a nice career as this. I like football and this is like a nice football journey.”

  • Arsenal midfielder Xhaka responds to Bay...

    Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka has sought to distance himself from reports suggesting that he could join Bayern Munich this summer. The Switzerland international only moved to England in 2016, with a big-money deal taking him to Emirates Stadium from Borussia Monchengladbach. ...

    Arsenal midfielder Xhaka responds to Bayern transfer talk

    Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka has sought to distance himself from reports suggesting that he could join Bayern Munich this summer. The Switzerland international only moved to England in 2016, with a big-money deal taking him to Emirates Stadium from Borussia Monchengladbach. Xhaka: Critics make me look stupid Xhaka has endured a testing time adjusting to the demands of life in the Premier League. Disciplinary issues that have plagued him throughout his career have followed the 24-year-old to north London, with two red cards and eight yellows picked up with the Gunners. Xhaka has also been sent off for his country this season, with his tenacious approach continuing to get him into trouble. In spite of that, he has offered enough in the past to keep Bayern interested in his services, although the £35 million man insists he is giving no thought to heading back to the Bundesliga at present. Xhaka told Blick on the transfer rumours: “I have read that too. But I have not heard anything. 'Wenger has final word on his future' “I am in an outstanding city, an outstanding club. The only thing that Arsenal has been missing is a league title.  “I believe that will change soon.” While happy to persevere at Arsenal for now, Xhaka admits he does miss German football and could return at some stage in the future. He told Tagesanzeiger: “Yeah, but it’s not like I want to go back tomorrow. Maybe the day after tomorrow.” Xhaka remains convinced that he joined a positive project at Arsenal, with it his belief that the Gunners remain on a par with the best sides in Europe despite suffering a humbling 10-2 aggregate defeat to Bayern in the last 16 of the Champions League. Lehmann slams 'sulking' Sanchez He added: “From my view they are [on the same level]. That’s how I feel. The defeats annoy me particularly because I have had good memories against Bayern.  “We were able to beat them three times with Gladbach. And I don’t think Gladbach are on the same level as Arsenal.”

  • Could RB Leipzig's massive debt see them...

    RB Leipzig's maiden season in the Bundesliga has exceeded all expectations, and should see them claim a place in the Champions League for 2017-18. But a massive debt on the books of the German club could potentially lead to sanctions under Financial Fair Play (FFP) legislation.  ...

    Could RB Leipzig's massive debt see them fall foul of FFP?

    RB Leipzig's maiden season in the Bundesliga has exceeded all expectations, and should see them claim a place in the Champions League for 2017-18. But a massive debt on the books of the German club could potentially lead to sanctions under Financial Fair Play (FFP) legislation.  Since its inception in 2009 the club has been heavily backed by energy drink giant Red Bull, who run the club through a subsidiary, Rasenball Sport Leipzig.  Meet Argentina's greatest-ever forward line That investment has allowed Leipzig to rocket up the German pyramid. Seven years ago they were in the fifth-tier Oberliga Sud, and since then have won four promotions to rub shoulders with the big boys. It has all come at a cost.  Even in Bundesliga 2, according to a report by MZ, Leipzig's spending dwarfed that of its rivals. Its annual revenues in 2016 totalled €81.7 million, almost three times the league average. But the most telling part of the balance sheet comes in the liabilities column.  In 2016, the report states, the club owed €58.92m to creditors. The vast majority of that figure, €52.38m, was due to none other than Red Bull. This money is not included as investment or sponsorship fees, as might be expected, but as a loan made by the parent company; which, logic states, must be paid back one day.  Current FFP regulations are clear on the matter of debt. Leipzig are spending far more on salaries than the law allows, and could face punishment under FFP if this is not rectified. "The proceeds of commercials, TV marketing, trade and ticketing have to raise greatly, if Leipzig doesn't want to get problems with the financial fair play," economist Henning Zulch told MZ.  With regards to the loan, Zulch pointed out that it was within Red Bull's own discretion to demand payment or not. If the soft drinks company wishes, it can renounce its claims on the money, reducing the red ink on Leipzig's balance sheet. This, however, had not occurred at the end of 2016. What's more, the club's newly found status as a large limited company under German law, based on revenue, means they will have to present detailed accounts to ensure nothing is out of line in the administration of the Bundesliga surprise package.  

  • Robben admits he considered Netherlands ...

    Arjen Robben has set his sights on the 2018 World Cup with Netherlands after putting thoughts of international retirement to one side. The Bayern Munich forward has struggled with injuries in recent seasons and that left him pondering whether he should focus on playing club foot...

    Robben admits he considered Netherlands retirement

    Arjen Robben has set his sights on the 2018 World Cup with Netherlands after putting thoughts of international retirement to one side. The Bayern Munich forward has struggled with injuries in recent seasons and that left him pondering whether he should focus on playing club football to prolong his career. Alexis escapes Arsenal troubles with Chile In the end the 33-year-old chose to continue with the national team and now hopes to be part of Danny Blind's squad for the next World Cup in Russia - providing Netherlands qualify. "I told myself to make a choice between focusing solely on Bayern or continuing with both Bayern and the national team," Robben told De Telegraaf. "I discussed it with my wife and family as well as with national team coach Danny Blind. "I have been match fit for quite some time now. That is why I made the decision to continue with both Bayern and Oranje [Netherlands]. "I want to go to the World Cup again with Netherlands." Netherlands - who missed out on Euro 2016 - sit second in Group A of World Cup qualification with seven points from four games, trailing leaders France by three. They meet fourth-placed Bulgaria on Saturday in Sofia.  

  • Dortmund outline conditions for Aubameya...

    Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke is adamant the club will only allow Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to leave if an outrageous offer comes in, and remains hopeful the Gabon international will stay at Signal Iduna Park. Donnarumma wins NxGn award Aubameyang has been in sublim...

    Dortmund outline conditions for Aubameyang sale

    Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke is adamant the club will only allow Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to leave if an outrageous offer comes in, and remains hopeful the Gabon international will stay at Signal Iduna Park. Donnarumma wins NxGn award Aubameyang has been in sublime form this campaign, scoring 23 goals in as many Bundesliga outings. His fine performances have seen him linked with the likes of Manchester City and Real Madrid, with the forward having previously spoken of his desire to one day play for the Bernabeu giants. Nevertheless, Watzke is not overly worried about a potential summer exit. "As of yet, I have no information that suggests Auba will leave Dortmund," he told Sport Bild. "If we were to reach that point, we will sit down and listen to each other, we have a lot of respect for Auba and he deserves that. NxGn: Best U-19 talents "But there are not an awful lot of clubs that would be a step forward for him in my opinion. Either way, he will only leave Dortmund for an outrageous transfer fee if he does move. "That being said, we hope that he will stay." The 27-year-old, who has scored nine goals in his last five matches for Dortmund, has a contract with the club until June 2020.

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