Bayer Leverkusen

Sane Pereira transfer news
Photo by Plumb Images/Leicester City FC via Getty Images

Transfer rumor roundup: Sane, Havertz moving; Foxes’ Pereira to Spurs

Leave a comment

Leroy Sane has returned to the soccer pitch in his bid to recover from an injury suffered in August.

Whether the Manchester City star’s next game is for the Premier League outfit is another story.

German outlet Bild says Sane has already decided that he wants to go back to Germany, where he’ll join summer courters Bayern Munich.

[ MORE: Zlatan to Everton? ]

The 23-year-old was arguably City’s best player in their record run to the title in 2017/18, but last season was a step back for him.

Bild also says that Manchester City and Manchester United have engaged in “concrete talks” with representatives for Bayer Leverkusen playmaker Kai Havertz.

He’s likely wanted by every team on the planet and has also been linked to Liverpool, but it’s notable that the Mancunian rivals are in the news.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Meanwhile, Tottenham Hotspur may be entering the transfer market in January despite Daniel Levy’s claims that he doesn’t expect much.

Reports out of Belgium say Spurs will chase Leicester City full back Ricardo Pereira, with the trickle down forcing the Foxes to turn southeast.

Twenty-year old Aurelio Buta would make the move from Royal Antwerp to Leicester. Buta has a goal and five assists in 18 league outings this season.

The move, of course, could still wait for the summer.

Report: Chelsea has $200 million transfer budget for January

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Chelsea won’t have to worry about financial constraints this January as it looks to improve its squad.

According to the Telegraph, Chelsea will have as much as $200 million to spend, after the team saved on not spending last summer during its 2019 summer transfer ban. The report states Chelsea has its sights on a number of players, including Borussia Dortmund’s Jaden Sancho and RB Leipzig’s Timo Werner, though it’s doubtful that both teams, also competing in the UEFA Champions League, will let them leave in January.

[READ: Chelsea has transfer ban reduced]

However, the report states that Chelsea believes Bayer Leverkusen’s Leon Bailey and Villarreal’s Samuel Chukwueze could be available to sign. Bailey has four goals and three assists with Leverkusen this year, and Chukwueze has six goals and two assists for Villarreal, all in multiple competitions.

Both players are wingers, which would put pressure on Christian Pulisic, along with Callum Hudson-Odoi, Mason Mount, Pedro, and Willian. Ultimately, Chelsea’s attack needs to do better at breaking down defenses, something that manager Frank Lampard has lamented, with the team having lost four of its last five matches.

Interestingly, about Pedro, the report states he could be off to MLS this offseason, though the rumor is so vague that it remains to be seen.

Champions League Weds. preview: Two spots remain

Photo by Jose Breton/Pics Action/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Leave a comment

Only two spots remain in the UEFA Champions League knockout rounds, and those will be settled Wednesday afternoon.

In Group C, hosts Shakhtar Donetsk need to beat Atalanta to go through, while the visitors can also go through with a win if Dinamo Zagreb fails to defeat Man City.

[ MORE: Ancelotti reportedly speaking w/ Everton ]

In Group D, Atletico Madrid is through with a win over Lokomotiv Moscow, though Bayer Leverkusen can complete a remarkable comeback from an 0-3 start to the group stage if they beat already-qualified Juve and Atleti loses to their Russian visitors.

You certainly wouldn’t be against Diego Simeone there, though.

“Tomorrow is a great opportunity, every day that you wear the Atletico shirt is,” Simeone said, via Marca. “I believe in my team, in the humility that they have at the moment. The results will come based on what they are demonstrating on the field.”

Premier League sides Man City and Tottenham Hotspur both have their fortunes settled, with City having won Group C and Spurs settled into Group B’s second spot, but they still have plenty to figure out on Tuesday.

Jose Mourinho’s Spurs are going up against a Bayern team that walloped them at home, while City is living an unusual 2W-3D-2L lull in form.

Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League action

12:55 p.m. ET
Shakhtar Donetsk v. Atalanta
Dinamo Zagreb v. Man City

3 p.m. ET
Club Brugge v. Real Madrid
Atletico Madrid v. Lokomotiv Moscow
Bayer Leverkusen v. Juventus
Paris Saint-Germain v. Galatasaray
Olympiacos v. Red Star Belgrade
Bayern Munich v. Tottenham Hotspur

Jamaica’s Bailey says Bayer Leverkusen aiming high

Photo by Matthias Balk/picture alliance via Getty Images)
Leave a comment

Bayer Leverkusen got its young speedster back at the right time.

Leon Bailey’s cut through Bayern Munich on Saturday, scoring twice in 63 minutes for a picture perfect return from a two-match red card suspension.

Both goals showed his knack for using the right angles to execute runs with his blazing speed, as the 22-year-old Jamaican scored his 20th and 21st career Bundesliga goals to lift Bayer to within six points of first place Borussia Monchengladbach via a 2-1 win at the Allianz Arena.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

It looks like an open league. And Bailey wants to see his team finish higher than its fourth place standing of the 2018/19 season.

“I see our team being at the highest level,” Bailey tells ProSoccerTalk three days after his big performance in Munich. “We have, of all the teams right now, the best chance to be in the Top Three this year.

“The Bundesliga level is high right now and the points are very close, and even the teams that are behind are doing their best to beat teams ahead of them which makes it more complicated but it’s a very intense league and I’m happy to be a part of it.”

Bayer hasn’t had Bailey for much of the season, the Bayern match his sixth league appearance in 13 opportunities thanks to the aforementioned red card suspension and a muscle injury.

He’s also managed just two 45-minute appearances in Bayer’s UEFA Champions League run, which is still alive against the odds.

Bayer lost its first three matches of the group stage and had most leaving it for dead, but beat Atletico Madrid and Lokomotiv Moscow to set up a final match day visit from Juventus.

And Cristiano Ronaldo and Co. aren’t scaring Bailey’s teammates, who need to beat already-qualified Juve and see Atleti drop points at home to Lokomotiv.

“We enter with the same approach toward every game, go into it with 100 percent focus and hopefully we can beat them here at home,” Bailey said.

It’s been a wild ride for Bailey, who started his career with Genk in Belgium, amassing 15 goals and 21 assists in 77 matches.

He’s continued to deliver following a move to Germany, posting 21 and 12 in 92 appearances. That’s seen him linked with a lot of big clubs, including Bayern Munich and Manchester City.

And at long last he’s debuted for Jamaica, earning six caps since the start of the Gold Cup in June.

Bailey assisted against the USMNT in the Reggae Boyz’s 3-1 semifinal loss, and got his first goal in a September win over Antigua and Barbuda in the CONCACAF Nations League.

“It made me learn a lot and I’m grateful that I can actually help my country, be there for them right now, and hopefully we can make it to a World Cup,” he said.

Jamaica’s the fourth ranked team in CONCACAF and will be contesting the Hex in a bid to land its first World Cup bid since 1998, its only appearance in the tournament.

“It would mean everything to me, of course for the country,” Bailey said. “Right now we have a good team, Since I joined the team a lot of English players came and I think we have a good possibility to make it.”

That, most likely, would mean getting the best of Gregg Berhalter’s USMNT.

Bailey says he sees some comparisons between what Bayer did against Bayern and what the Reggae Boyz will need to do to the Yanks.

“They have a lot of quality players and they have a system that reminds me a little bit of how Bayern Munich plays, but we can defeat them if we put our minds to it like we did against Bayern Munich.”

(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Bundesliga wrap: Leipzig goes top as Bayern stumbles

Photo by Friso Gentsch/picture alliance via Getty Images
Leave a comment

RB Leipzig has seized first place on the table ahead of Sunday’s match between Gladbach and Freiburg, but Bayern Munich failed to take advantage of its chance with a home loss courtesy of a Leon Bailey double.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

That’s par for the course of this woolly Bundesliga season. Here’s what you missed.


Paderborn 2-3 RB Leipzig

The new table leaders — at least for a day — scored twice in the first four minutes and added a third in the 26th to account for a 3-0 advantage that was soured a bit in the second half. Timo Werner had a goal and an assist for Leipzig, with Patrik Schick and Marcel Sabitzer also finding the back of the net.

Bayern Munich 1-2 Bayer Leverkusen

A share of first place eluded the Allianz Arena set, as Jamaican striker Leon Bailey sandwiched a pair of goals around Thomas Muller’s 34th minute marker for the hosts. An 81st minute red card to Jonathan Tah opened the door to no avail despite nearly 75 percent of the ball and 21 shots. Bayern will finish the weekend at least three points back of the throne room.

Hertha Berlin 1-2 Borussia Dortmund

Jurgen Klinsmann’s home debut came close to a stirring result. BVB had taken a 2-0 lead after 17 minutes through goals from Jadon Sancho and Thorgan Hazard, but Vladimir Danda scored in the 34th for the hosts and Mats Hummels’ poor week continued with a 45th minute yellow card. But a 13-7 shot advantage could not produce a second goal as Hertha fell into 16th.

Hoffenheim 1-1 Fortuna Dusseldorf

The visitors came back for a point thanks in part to their American duo, as Alfredo Morales assisted on captain Rouwen Hennings‘ 87th minute equalizer and Zach Steffen made five saves and was a tidy 88 percent passer to move Fortuna a point clear of the Bottom Three.

Elsewhere
Schalke 2-1 Union Berlin — Friday
Koln 1-1 Augsburg
Borussia Monchengladbach v. Freiburg — 9:30 a.m. ET Sunday
Wolfsburg v. Werder Bremen — Noon ET Sunday
Mainz v. Eintracht Frankfurt — 2:30 p.m. ET Sunday

STANDINGS

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 RB Leipzig 13 8 3 2 36 15 21 3-2-1 5-1-1 27
 Mönchengladbach 12 8 1 3 24 13 11 4-1-1 4-0-2 25
 FC Schalke 04 13 7 4 2 24 16 8 3-3-1 4-1-1 25
 Bayern Munich 13 7 3 3 34 18 16 4-1-2 3-2-1 24
 Borussia Dortmund 13 6 5 2 28 19 9 4-2-0 2-3-2 23
 SC Freiburg 12 6 4 2 21 13 8 3-2-1 3-2-1 22
 Bayer Leverkusen 13 6 4 3 20 17 3 2-4-1 4-0-2 22
 1899 Hoffenheim 13 6 3 4 18 20 -2 3-1-3 3-2-1 21
 VfL Wolfsburg 12 5 5 2 13 10 3 2-3-1 3-2-1 20
 Eintracht Frankfurt 12 5 2 5 21 18 3 4-2-1 1-0-4 17
 1. FC Union Berlin 13 5 1 7 16 19 -3 4-0-3 1-1-4 16
 FC Augsburg 13 3 5 5 18 25 -7 2-2-2 1-3-3 14
 Fortuna Düsseldorf 13 3 3 7 16 24 -8 2-1-3 1-2-4 12
 FSV Mainz 05 12 4 0 8 17 31 -14 2-0-3 2-0-5 12
 Werder Bremen 12 2 5 5 19 26 -7 1-2-3 1-3-2 11
 Hertha BSC Berlin 13 3 2 8 18 27 -9 2-0-4 1-2-4 11
 1. FC Köln 13 2 2 9 12 28 -16 1-1-4 1-1-5 8
 SC Paderborn 13 1 2 10 16 32 -16 1-0-6 0-2-4 5