Borussia Dortmund

Saint-Maximin to PSG
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Transfer news: Saint-Maximin in demand, Norwich back to German giants

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The Sunday morning papers are helping the transfer rumor mill buzz after a weekend of matches in Europe.

[ MORE: Pulisic reacts to Hazard comparisons ]

Newcastle is mentioned as a home for several players but the biggest Magpies name is one linked with a departure to big, big clubs.

Saint-Maximin to PSG, PL big boys

Newcastle supporters, avert your eyes and trust Steve Bruce (What a sentence and maybe a mantra).

Magpies talisman Allan Saint-Maximin has caught the eye of everyone on Tyneside and most of the Premier League but is being linked with a big money move back home.

Steve Bruce is flat-out denying there’s any chance of selling the Frenchman, 23, who is being linked with Paris Saint-Germain and “all of England’s current top six sides.”

“ASM” has four goals and seven assists in 25 appearances entering Sunday morning’s match versus West Ham and is one of just three players to average more than four dribbles per game, his 4.7 sandwiched between Adama Traore (5) and Wilfried Zaha (4.5).

It’s not just about the numbers with Saint-Maximin, though, whose magnetic dribbling and personality keep both a defense off-balance and a team hopeful and happy. Newcastle is 1W-3D-7L in the Premier League when Saint-Maximin plays, 10-6-5 when he’s out there.

Any sale, especially with Newcastle’s takeover looming, would have to be well over the approximately $20 million paid by the Magpies last summer.

Schick to Newcastle (amongst others)

The same report lays out a more realistic shopping list for the Magpies than many of the rumors since reports emerged of a big money takeover at St. James’ Park.

Newcastle is being linked with Roma’s Patrik Schick, Nice’s Arnaud Lusamba, Benfica’s Florentino Luis, Penarol’s Facundo Pellistri, and Norwich City’s Ben Godfrey.

Let’s focus on Schick and Lusamba.

Patrick Schick Leipzig Bundesliga
DORTMUND, GERMANY – DECEMBER 17: Patrik Schick (Photo by Jörg Schüler/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Schick was once among the most sought-after names in the game. The 24-year-old Czech striker has nine goals in 22 caps for his country.

Three seasons removed from his breakout season at Sampdoria, Schick has profound his footing on loan to RB Leipzig from Roma. The center forward has 10 goals in 22 matches despite Timo Werner carrying the water in fine fashion for Julian Nagelsmann’s Leipzig.

Like Saint-Maximin last season, Lusamba has been in- and out-of-favor with Nice boss Patrick Vieira. But it’s worth noting that the manager has tried to find a place on the pitch for the 23-year-old center midfielder, deploying him at center forward and right mid at times.

Lusamba averaged 1.2 key passes and 1.3 dribbles per Ligue 1 appearances this season.

Godfrey to Borussia Dortmund

Speaking of Godfrey, could he be going from the bottom of the Premier League table to the upper reaches of Germany? For close to $30 million, to boot?

Two of the Bundesliga’s top clubs continue to monitor top young Premier League talent including the aforementioned Godfrey, with Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig eyeing the 22-year-old.

A center back in Norwich’s maligned and injury-battered defense, England youth international Godfrey has played the seventh-most minutes for Daniel Farke’s Canaries.

Relegation victims have often yielded incredible value for bigger clubs, two great cases in point being ex-Hull City man Andrew Robertson and former Aston Villa force Idrissa Gana Gueye. We don’t need to tell you where they wound up.

Transfer news: Bellingham to Dortmund, Messi will have out-clause(s)

Messi new contract
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Monday’s transfer rumor mill involves a one-club Ballon d’Or winner likely not going anywhere, as well as a few players possible finding new homes.

[ RECAP: Man City 5-0 Burnley ]

We’ll start with the former, as Lionel Messi’s new Barcelona deal looks close to being inked for three years, with a hitch.


Messi (back) to Barcelona

Lionel Messi’s new contract with Barcelona could keep him with the La Liga side through the 2022-23 season.

The world’s best player is reportedly close to signing a new three-year deal with Barcelona that will give him the chance to exit the deal after every season.

So, yeah, that doesn’t exactly feel like a multi-year deal inasmuch as the privilege given to one of the greatest to ever strap on a pair of boots in any uniform.

From Marca:

This term is non-negotiable for Messi as he doesn’t want to be tied down to a contract, and wants to be able to decide at the end of every season whether or not he is physically fit to continue competing at the top level, and for this reason there will always be a clause allowing him to leave if he sees it appropriate.

Messi has discussed playing for boyhood club Newell’s Old Boys and Americans fans have dreamed of a possible MLS move.

Those would be options if Messi opted to leave Barcelona, because he doesn’t seem the type to skitter away to another European address. And there’s precedence within Barca’s quasi- one club set of his generation, as players like Andres Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez have left for lesser leagues and Carles Puyol retired as a one-club man.

The 32-year-old Messi is having another sensational year and is one goal away from 700 for his career between Barcelona and Argentina.

Meunier to Dortmund
Bellingham to Dortmund

Borussia Dortmund have won the race to add one of the world’s premier free agents, according to Sky Sports Germany. They’ll also scoop up a sought-after British talent, too, says the BBC.

Thomas Meunier will leave Paris Saint-Germain for the club it knocked out of the Champions League, agreeing to a four-year deal with BVB.

Meunier had been linked with Tottenham amongst other destinations but has found favor with the Bundesliga runners-up.

The 28-year-old Belgian right back has been with PSG since 2016 when he came from Club Brugge. Meunier has been capped 40 times by Belgium, scoring seven goals.

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As for the young Belgian, the BBC says BVB has won the race to sign Jude Bellingham of Birmingham City.

Still 16 for one more week, Bellingham is said to cost approximately $25 million and has been chased by Manchester United and others for some time.

But it’s BVB’s track record with young players including fellow English youngster Jadon Sancho that may win the day with Bellingham.

The center midfielder has played 36 times for the Blues, scoring four times with three assists.

Gio Reyna dubbed ‘The American Dream’ after dazzling display

Reyna
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Gio Reyna has been dubbed ‘The American Dream’ after a dazzling display on his full Bundesliga debut for Borussia Dortmund.

Reyna, 17, set up Erling Haaland for the first goal in Borussia Dortmund’s 2-0 win at RB Leipzig on Saturday and his assist was a thing of beauty.

The way he delicately flicked the ball to Haaland was instinctive and the feeling at Dortmund is that Gio Reyna can become an even better talent than Christian Pulisic.

That sound you can hear is USMNT fans screaming in delight, while these words for Haaland will only further add to the hype around Claudio Reyna’s son.

“I called him ‘The American Dream’ before and it’s true. He’s 17, what he’s doing on the pitch is amazing,” Haaland said. “He has a huge future in front of him.”

As for Reyna, the teenager was full of smiles after his first start in the Bundesliga and his partnership with fellow teenager Haaland is one which has Dortmund’s fans salivating.

“I could have got a few more (assists) maybe a goal or another assist,” Reyna said. “I am happy to help the team and give Erling the pass and it was a good finish… It is pretty easy, you just pass it to him and he scores! That’s what I did today. It is easy to play with him and it is fun.”

The victory secured second place for Dortmund in the Bundesliga and even though Bayern Munich kicked on and have been unstoppable since the restart, Dortmund’s young team have had plenty of impressive displays.

‘The American Dream’ is alive and well with Gio Reyna in Dortmund.

Bundesliga wrap: Reyna assists as Dortmund clinches 2nd; Richards debuts

Reyna assist video
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The Bundesliga’s top four picture is a lot clearer on a day that Americans danced through many of the matches on the penultimate match day of the season.

[ MORE: Brighton-Arsenal recapSpurs-Man Utd recap ]

USMNT teen prospect Giovanni Reyna made his first start and got his first assist, 20-year-old Chris Richards saw his first Bayern Munich league minutes, and several other American mainstays logged minutes across Germany.

RB Leipzig 0-2 Borussia Dortmund

Giovanni Reyna’s first Bundesliga start was a good one, the 17-year-old American setting up Erling Haaland for the first of 2 goals that sealed BVB’s second-place standing this season.

Haaland’s second goal came off a Julian Brandt feed, as Dortmund’s team is loaded with youth even with Jadon Sancho seemingly set for a summer sale. Haaland had no mercy on his former Red Bull family and now has 13 Bundesliga goals in 14 appearances since arriving from Salzburg in January.

Leipzig will finish top four with a point at Augsburg next week or dropped points from Borussia Monchengladbach or Bayer Leverkusen.

Reyna went 81 minutes, completing 86 percent of his passes including his only long ball. He converted four of five dribbles, won 10 of 17 duels, drew three fouls, and was credited with three tackles (SofaScore).

American midfielder Tyler Adams was a halftime sub for Leipzig, entering with the score 1-0. He won 2-of-3 duels, connected on 3-of-4 distance passes, made two interceptions and two tackles.

Supreme calmness and smarts on the assist, as Reyna darts into the box and knows where to find Haaland with his first touch.

Paderborn 1-3 Borussia Monchengladbach

Gladbach continues to control its top four destiny following a straight-forward win over already-relegated Paderborn, who took a red card with less than a half hour to play.

The visitors led 2-1 at that point on goals from Patrick Herrmann and Lars Stindl, the latter adding another on a Ramy Bensebaini assist with 17 minutes remaining on the clock.

Hertha Berlin 2-0 Bayer Leverkusen

Dodi Lukebakio had a goal and an assist as Bruno Labbadia’s Hertha continued its fine post-pause play and limited Bayer’s top four hopes to just that with one week to play.

Bayern Munich 3-1 Freiburg

The champions indoctrinated some new blood after building a 3-1 halftime lead on two goals and an assist from Robert Lewandowski.

American center back Chris Richards, 20, made his Bundesliga debut in the 84th minute of the win, completing all four of his passes and losing his only duel. Ex-Southampton and Chelsea man Jamal Musiala, 17, also made his Bundesliga debut.

Joshua Kimmich scored Bayern’s other goal.

Here’s what Richards told CBS’ Roger Gonzalez after the game:

“I was very excited when I heard my name to come over to the bench. Once I got the instructions from the coach then the nerves started to kick in, but after my first action I felt right at home.”

 

Hoffenheim 4-0 Union Berlin

Four different players scored as Hoffenheim clinched a place in the Europa League. Union is guaranteed a bottom-half finish but won’t care: There will be a second season in the top flight.

Mainz 3-1 Werder Bremen

Bremen now needs help from Union Berlin to avoid its first season in the second tier since 1980 after three different Mainz players scored to key a 3-1 win.

In-form Davy Klaassen set up Bremen’s lone goal from Yuya Osako, and American forward Josh Sargent’s good day up top wasn’t enough to produce a result. Sargent took two shots, completed two of three dribbles, and won five of nine duels as center forward.

Fortuna Dusseldorf 1-1 Augsburg

Fortuna’s point coupled with Werder Bremen’s loss means the hosts need to match or better Bremen’s final week result to avoid automatic relegation and contest the playoff against 2.Bundesliga’s third-place finisher. USMNT midfielder Alfredo Morales was an unused sub in the draw, and Rouwen Hennings was again Fortuna’s scorer.

Schalke 1-4 Wolfsburg

Wolfsburg is headed back to the Europa League after clobbering woeful Schalke. Wout Weghorst scored two more goals to pace the visitors.

USMNT center back John Brooks made his 12th-straight start in the win, helping to limit Schalke to zero big chances (SofaScore). International teammate Weston McKennie went 90 minutes in the loss, picking up a yellow card, a blocked shot, an interception, and two tackles. He won 10 of 20 duels, drew two fouls, and fouled three times himself.

Koln 1-1 Eintracht Frankfurt

Eintracht had the better of play but needed a 72nd-minute Bas Dost goal to take a point after Florina Kainz gave the hosts a lead before halftime. Neither team is going to Europe nor the second tier.

STANDINGS

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Bayern Munich 33 25 4 4 96 32 64 13-2-2 12-2-2 79
 Borussia Dortmund 33 21 6 6 84 37 47 11-3-2 10-3-4 69
 RB Leipzig 33 17 12 4 79 36 43 7-8-2 10-4-2 63
 Mönchengladbach 33 19 5 9 64 39 25 11-2-3 8-3-6 62
 Bayer Leverkusen 33 18 6 9 60 44 16 8-4-4 10-2-5 60
 VfL Wolfsburg 33 13 10 10 48 42 6 4-7-5 9-3-5 49
 1899 Hoffenheim 33 14 7 12 49 53 -4 7-1-9 7-6-3 49
 SC Freiburg 33 12 9 12 44 47 -3 8-2-6 4-7-6 45
 Eintracht Frankfurt 33 12 6 15 56 58 -2 7-4-5 5-2-10 42
 Hertha BSC Berlin 33 11 8 14 47 57 -10 6-3-8 5-5-6 41
 FC Schalke 04 33 9 12 12 38 54 -16 5-7-5 4-5-7 39
 1. FC Union Berlin 33 11 5 17 38 58 -20 7-3-6 4-2-11 38
 FSV Mainz 05 33 11 4 18 44 64 -20 5-2-10 6-2-8 37
 1. FC Köln 33 10 6 17 50 63 -13 6-4-7 4-2-10 36
 FC Augsburg 33 9 9 15 44 61 -17 5-5-6 4-4-9 36
 Fortuna Düsseldorf 33 6 12 15 36 64 -28 4-6-7 2-6-8 30
 Werder Bremen 33 7 7 19 36 68 -32 1-3-12 6-4-7 28
 SC Paderborn 33 4 8 21 35 71 -36 2-2-13 2-6-8 20

Bundesliga wrap: Dortmund, Leipzig both drop points as Bayer wins

Bundesliga recaps
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Bayern Munich’s Bundesliga-clinching Tuesday might’ve cast a pall over its two closest competitors.

Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig dropped points on Wednesday, the former in shocking fashion days before a meeting with the latter.

[ MORE: Man City drops Arsenal | Pep reacts ]

Bayer Leverkusen has renewed hope of finishing in the top three after becoming the lone top-four contender to win on Wednesday.

The early match saw USMNT midfielder Weston McKennie bag another goal in another loss, as Schalke fell 2-1 to Eintracht Frankfurt.

Borussia Dortmund 0-2 Mainz

Jonathan Burkardt and Jean-Philippe Mateta scored as Mainz stunned second-place BVB at the Westalenstadion on Wednesday.

The visitors now are incredibly unlikely to finish in an automatic relegation place and the playoff spot isn’t looking probable either. Mainz is five points clear of 16th-place Fortuna and six ahead of Werder Bremen.

Dortmund had 70 percent of the ball and took 16 of the match’s 25 shots.

Americans Abroad: Giovanni Reyna missed out on the lineup card for the first time in a long time with a bacterial infection. Bild reported that the American 17-year-old tested negative for COVID-19.

Bayer Leverkusen 3-1 Koln

Kai Havertz had a goal and an assist as Bayer Leverkusen moved fourth with a nice home win.

Sven Bender and Moussa Diaby scored the other goals for Bayer, who is back ahead of Borussia Monchengladbach and three back of third-place Leipzig.

Koln remains 13th with 35 points.

RB Leipzig 2-2 Fortuna Dusseldorf

Leipzig has renewed hope of second place but did not take complete advantage of Dortmund’s stumble.

The hosts struck twice after the hour mark including a terrific Kevin Kampl goal and yet another marker from Timo Werner.

But Fortuna kept fighting and found a point thanks to an 87th-minute goal from Steven Skrzybski and a stoppage-time equalizer from Andre Hoffman.

Fortuna’s 29 points are one better than 17th-place Werder Bremen but Mainz is now five points clear of the visitors with only six points left for Fortuna to win.

Americans Abroad: Tyler Adams went 90 minutes for RBL, completing 91 percent of his 67 passes and winning five of six duels. He had two tackles, an interception, and a clearance. On the other side was Alfredo Morales, who departed in the 82d minute with Fortuna down 2-0. He had a rough day passing but did register one key pass and a completed cross. Morales won seven of 15 duels and registered one tackle.

Augsburg 1-3 Hoffenheim

Hoffenheim is back in seventh ahead of what will be a frantic finish in the race for sixth and seventh.

Munas Dabbur scored twice and Ihlas Bebou also found the net against Ruben Vargas’ lone goal for the hosts.

Hoffenheim’s 46 points are level with Wolfsburg and one better than Freiburg. Eintracht Frankfurt is not totally out of the picture with 41, but those odds are long.

Augsburg’s still safe barring calamity, six points ahead of the playoff spot.

STANDINGS

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Bayern Munich 32 24 4 4 93 31 62 12-2-2 12-2-2 76
 Borussia Dortmund 32 20 6 6 82 37 45 11-3-2 9-3-4 66
 RB Leipzig 32 17 12 3 79 34 45 7-8-1 10-4-2 63
 Bayer Leverkusen 32 18 6 8 60 42 18 8-4-4 10-2-4 60
 Mönchengladbach 32 18 5 9 61 38 23 11-2-3 7-3-6 59
 VfL Wolfsburg 32 12 10 10 44 41 3 4-7-5 8-3-5 46
 1899 Hoffenheim 32 13 7 12 45 53 -8 6-1-9 7-6-3 46
 SC Freiburg 32 12 9 11 43 44 -1 8-2-6 4-7-5 45
 Eintracht Frankfurt 32 12 5 15 55 57 -2 7-4-5 5-1-10 41
 FC Schalke 04 32 9 12 11 37 50 -13 5-7-4 4-5-7 39
 Hertha BSC Berlin 32 10 8 14 45 57 -12 5-3-8 5-5-6 38
 1. FC Union Berlin 32 11 5 16 38 54 -16 7-3-6 4-2-10 38
 1. FC Köln 32 10 5 17 49 62 -13 6-3-7 4-2-10 35
 FC Augsburg 32 9 8 15 43 60 -17 5-5-6 4-3-9 35
 FSV Mainz 05 32 10 4 18 41 63 -22 4-2-10 6-2-8 34
 Fortuna Düsseldorf 32 6 11 15 35 63 -28 4-5-7 2-6-8 29
 Werder Bremen 32 7 7 18 35 65 -30 1-3-12 6-4-6 28
 SC Paderborn 32 4 8 20 34 68 -34 2-2-12 2-6-8 20