‘Bayern have it all to lose — we can only win’: Dortmund eye final day drama

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Fortuna Dusseldorf's Matthias Zimmermann in action with Borussia Dortmund's Christian Pulisic at the Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund, Germany, on May 11, 2019. (REUTERS/Leon Kuegeler)
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Dortmund's Mario Goetze, center right, celebrates after scoring his side's third goal during the German Bundesliga soccer match between Borussia Dortmund and Fortuna Duesseldorf in Dortmund, Germany, on May 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
Updated 12 May 2019

‘Bayern have it all to lose — we can only win’: Dortmund eye final day drama

  • Dortmund must now beat Favre’s former club Borussia Moenchengladbach next Saturday
  • Hopes that Bayern slip up at home to Eintracht Frankfurt next Saturday

BERLIN: Borussia Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke has said that the pressure is now on league leaders Bayern Munich after his side bounced back in the Bundesliga title race on Saturday.
Bayern missed the chance to wrap up a seventh successive title when they were held to a 0-0 draw at RB Leipzig, while Dortmund beat Fortuna Duesseldorf 3-2 to keep themselves in the running until the final round of games next weekend.
“We have given the Bundesliga a final on the last day,” said Watzke. “That is good for the league and we are proud of that.”
“We have been under brutal pressure, but now the pressure is heading south.”
“Bayern have it all to lose, we can only win.”
Having held a nine-point lead at the top of the table in December, Dortmund looked down and out after they slipped four points behind Bayern last weekend.
Yet they battled their way through a nervous game against Duesseldorf to haul themselves back into the race.
“We need to control the game better toward the end and stay calmer,” coach Lucien Favre told Sky, after his team survived a frantic last few minutes.
Dortmund must now beat Favre’s former club Borussia Moenchengladbach next Saturday, and hope that Bayern slip up at home to Eintracht Frankfurt.
“We have to give everything to win in Gladbach,” said Favre.
Bayern, meanwhile, were left to rue a missed opportunity after they were held in Leipzig.
They came within inches of securing the title on Saturday. Leon Goretzka’s second-half goal was ruled out after VAR ruled that Robert Lewandowski’s foot was in an offside position.
Bayern president Uli Hoeness called the offside decision “a joke,” but CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said that Bayern were happy with a point.
“We would rather have won the title today, but the result does not put us in a worse position,” he told Sky.
“In Frankfurt, we face a team who have had a very good season, but we have a good chance to win the championship.”
Bayern have home advantage against Frankfurt next Saturday, and the chance to be crowned champions in the Allianz Arena for the first time ever.
The Munich giants have not secured the title on home turf since 2000, despite having won 12 Bundesliga crowns since then.
Bayern coach Niko Kovac also faces his former club next Saturday, and told Sky that he still talks to his former Frankfurt colleagues.
“I still have contact to one or two players and a lot of contact to the officials there,” said Kovac.
“We will need passion and the will to win next week.”

Neymar future remains up in the air as PSG reject Madrid offer

Updated 23 August 2019

Neymar future remains up in the air as PSG reject Madrid offer

  • Paris club said to turn down an offer from Barcelona of €40 million plus Coutinho and Rakitic

PARIS: Neymar remains no closer to getting his desired move away from Paris Saint-Germain amid reports Thursday the French club have rejected an offer from Real Madrid of €100 million($111 million) plus players.

French sports daily L’Equipe said Real had offered cash plus Gareth Bale, James Rodriguez and goalkeeper Keylor Navas, but PSG turned it down because “the overall value of the offer did not match their expectations.” 

Paris paid €222 million to sign Neymar from Barcelona two years ago and their sporting director Leonardo is understood to be determined to only sell the forward for a deal considered to be of the same value.

Real have spent the summer trying to offload Bale, while James is unwanted after returning from a loan at Bayern Munich and Navas is no longer the club’s first-choice goalkeeper.

Meanwhile, Barcelona remain hopeful of bringing Neymar back to the Camp Nou, but Catalan daily Sport claims an attempt to sign the player on loan with an obligation to buy for €160 million at the end of the season has been firmly rejected in Paris.

Sport claims Barcelona feel “it is very clear that PSG are trying to prevent the Brazilian from returning to the Camp Nou in any scenario.” 

PSG had previously reportedly turned down an offer from Barcelona of €40 million  plus Philippe Coutinho and Ivan Rakitic. Coutinho has since joined Bayern on loan.

Juventus are also believed to have stated an interest in signing the 27-year-old, who has not featured in any of PSG’s matches so far this season having been frozen out amid the uncertainty over his future. The transfer window closes in France, Spain and Italy on Sept. 2, meaning time is fast running out for a deal to be done.

Watford loan Sweden winger Sema to Udinese

Watford winger Ken Sema has completed a season-long loan move to Udinese, the Serie A side confirmed on Thursday.

The six-times capped Sweden international only moved to Vicarage Road last summer from Ostersunds FK and made 22 appearances for the English club.

The 25-year-old's departure follows the arrival of Senegal international Ismaila Sarr to the Premier League outfit on a club record transfer of €35 million   ($38 million) from Rennes. The northeastern Italian club and Watford are both owned by the Pozzo family.

Udinese host AC Milan in their opening match of the Serie A season on Saturday.