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Germany’s UCL clubs pledge support for cash-strapped clubs

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DUSSELDORF, Germany — Four German soccer clubs have pledged a combined $21.9 million to support other teams struggling to stay afloat after games in the country were suspended because of the coronavirus outbreak.

[ MORE: Monday’s transfer rumor roundup | Friday | Thursday ]

Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Leipzig and Bayer Leverkusen will forgo $13.7 million in as-yet undistributed TV money and add another $8.2 million from their own funds. All four clubs played in the Champions League this season, giving them extra income.

The German Football League, which oversees the top two divisions, will decide how the money is distributed. The league has previously said it fears many clubs could face financial collapse if games can’t resume.

“In these difficult times, it’s important that the stronger shoulders support the weaker shoulders,” Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said on Thursday.

It’s the latest in a string of gestures to help those in need in German soccer. Players at clubs including Bayern, Borussia Monchengladbach and second-tier Karlsruhe have agreed to voluntary pay cuts to help other staff.

[ MORE: Tottenham offer stadium to help with coronavirus effort ]

Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke said clubs had a responsibility to keep other teams running in what could be a long period without income from ticket sales and sponsors.

“We have always said that we would show solidarity if clubs, through no fault of their own, should run into difficulties that they can no longer overcome themselves,” Watzke said in a statement.

“BVB is currently having a major impact on society through a wide range of initiatives. And naturally we are prepared to help out other professional football clubs if it is ultimately a matter of cushioning the financial effects of the pandemic.”

Transfer rumor roundup: Sancho to Man Utd; Madrid’s Haaland backup plan

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A roundup of all of Monday’s biggest transfer rumors, including those involving Premier League clubs…

[ MORE: Tottenham offer stadium to help with coronavirus effort ]

Jadon Sancho is a virtual lock to leave Borussia Dortmund and return to the PL this summer, and the 20-year-old winger will almost certainly command a transfer fee of more than $150 million just three years after signing from Manchester City for just $10 million. Today, it’s Manchester United who are rumored as frontrunners for Sancho’s services, based upon reports that Sancho has “unofficially confirmed” he will choose to join Man United when the transfer window opens.


Updating a transfer rumor from last week, Real Madrid are still very much in on another Dortmund starlet, Erling Haaland, but that doesn’t mean they’re putting all of their eggs in one basket. Los Blancos are reportedly eyeing Arsenal forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, a former Dortmund man himself, as a backup option should Haaland remain at Dortmund or land elsewhere this summer. Aubameyang, who’ll turn 31 this summer, isn’t likely to move for less than $60 million, which could prove a stumbling block.


If the rumors are to be believed, this summer will be a costly one for Man United, who are also interested in Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez. The price tag on the 25-year-old? Close to $170 million. It would seem unlikely that United could afford Niguez (at that price) without getting $100 million (at least) for Paul Pogba.


Another current Arsenal (and former Dortmund) player, midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan, hopes to turn his loan to Roma into a permanent move this summer. Arsenal are expected to ask $22 for the 31-year-old, but the Serie A side is hoping to pay closer to $12 million instead.

Borussia Dortmund CEO: We will respect what Sancho wants

Jadon Sancho
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Borussia Dortmund’s combustible CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke says it will act in the best and desired interests of Jadon Sancho when it comes to his seemingly likely transfer.

The ex-Man City prospect and current world superstar has been one of the most productive players in the world for several seasons.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

As an Englishman abroad, he’s lighting up the scoreboard for BVB with 30 goals and 38 assists in 78 matches over the last two seasons.

Given his tender age — Sancho just turned 20 on Wednesday — the cost to lure him home or abroad will be astronomical. And Watzke

From Bild:

“We always have to respect what the player wants. … We said before Corona that our favorite idea is that Jadon will stay with us. I can clearly say that even the very rich clubs, despite the existential crisis, do not have to believe that they can go on a bargain tour with us. We don’t have to sell anyone below value.”

Manchester United has been named as the likeliest destination for Sancho, though Liverpool was the favorites according to a December report. He was a childhood Chelsea supporter and the club wants more wingers.

Barcelona has been linked with Sancho, and angling Xavi name-dropped the player in discussing his desire to take the job.

He also got a rich new contract in August — a reported $230,000 per week — and may not be rushing to go anywhere.

Transfer rumor roundup: Real Madrid to snatch up Haaland, Pogba

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A roundup of all of Friday’s biggest transfer rumors, including a few involving Premier League clubs…

[ MORE: Thursday’s transfer rumor roundup | Wednesday | Tuesday ]

When a player possessed world-class talent or potential, it feels like all roads eventually lead to Madrid — or, at least a chance to move to the Spanish capital. Sure, Erling Haaland is only 19 years old, but he’s already been earmarked as Real Madrid’s star striker for the next 10 or 15 years with Zinedine Zidane reportedly very keen on bringing the Norwegian to the Santiago Bernabeu this summer. It was inevitable from the moment he started scoring goals for Borussia Dortmund.


Speaking of Madrid restocking the pond full of world-class stars, Zidane also hopes to have Paul Pogba in his team when the 2020-21 season kicks off. With his current contract with Manchester United set to expire in just over 12 months, it’s now or never for Pogba to move elsewhere or re-up for another few years. Given the up-and-down nature (it’s mostly been down, if we’re honest) of his second stint at Old Trafford, Pogba seems a safe bet to make another big-money move this summer.


Wolverhampton Wanderers forward midfielder Raul Jimenez on speculation that he’ll leave the club this summer if they don’t qualify for the Champions League, via Facebook Live: “I have a contract [with Wolves] until 2023. It’s not that we have to qualify for the Champions League in order to stay. I’m good [here], happy with Wolves, doing important things — me as well as the whole team.”


Don’t be surprised if Arsenal make a decidedly Spanish turn in the coming transfer windows with Mikel Arteta at the helm. The former Gunners midfielder was a crafty technician himself and has a preference for similarly skilled players, based on reports of his interest in Valencia midfielder Carlos Soler. The 23-year-old has been a revelation for Valencia as they made their way into the Champions League knockout rounds for the first time since 2013, and clubs the size of Arsenal have certainly taken notice.


Pedro will leave Chelsea when his contract expires this summer, according to the player himself. The 32-year-old World Cup winner will almost certainly have a number of suitors at mid-tier European clubs as well as the Middle East and China.

Bundesliga giants donate funds to struggling clubs

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The four Bundesliga clubs who qualified for the UEFA Champions League this season have donated over $22 million to help clubs struggling across Germany’s top two divisions due to the coronavirus pandemic.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Bayer Leverkusen and RB Leipzig have each donated $5.5 million to help clubs in the Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga impacted by the league suspension in response to the outbreak of COVID-19 in Germany and across Europe.

How the ‘solidarity payment’ — which consists of the four wealthiest clubs in Germany foregoing their combined share of undistributed broadcast revenue of $13.6 million plus $8.2 million of their own cash — will be distributed will be decided by the DFL Presidium.

“The aim of the campaign is to provide financial support for hardship cases triggered by the corona crisis. We have always said that we will show solidarity if clubs are at fault because of this exceptional situation, which they can no longer manage alone.”

Christian Seifert, spokesman of the DFL Presidium, added: “This campaign underlines that solidarity in the Bundesliga and 2nd Bundesliga is not a lip service. The DFL Presidium is very grateful to the four Champions League participants in terms of the community of all clubs.”

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