Uli Hoeness

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Bayern confirms pursuit of Man City’s Sane

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Bayern Munich has admitted interest in Manchester City’s Leroy Sane in a move which almost certainly break the Premier League side’s outgoing transfer record.

Sane, 23, was arguably the most important tactical piece of City’s amazing run to the 2017-18 Premier League title, but was relegated to a lesser role this season.

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Barring a swap deal, Sane’s sale number would obliterate the approximately $30 million received by City for Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, 2017) and Alvaro Negredo (Valencia, 2015).

Given that Sane cost City around $47 million from Schalke before earning the PFA Young Player of the Season and two Premier League titles…yeah, this one will be costly. Reports say the starting bid will be over $80 million.

Bayern chairman Uli Hoeness confirmed the club’s interest in Sane, while Robert Lewandowski publicly urged the player to join the Bundesliga champions and German national team coach Joachim Loew called it a good fit for both parties.

The year was a tricky one for Sane, who was statistically more productive in fewer minutes. He still managed 16 goals and 18 assists in 47 appearances for City, playing 55 percent of PL minutes. Sane had 14 goals and 19 assists in about 500 more minutes the previous season.

Sane also got grief from Loew and his national teammates for body language amongst other things.

A sale of Sane would give City’s finances a different look. Liverpool’s sale of Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona helped offset the Reds’ big buys in terms of Financial Fair Play.

Man City seeking apology for Bayern president’s oil comments

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Manchester City will demand a public apology from Uli Hoeness for his recent comments about the Premier League club’s transfer dealings, lest the Bayern Munich president and/or his employers face legal action.

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Hoeness, who worked with Pep Guardiola during his trophy-filled stint in Germany, recently alleged that Man City owner Sheikh Mansour pays for the club’s transfers by ramping up oil prices. The allegation didn’t come without salacious detail, either.

“My friend Pep told me what happens when he signs a player costing ($110 million). He puts some videos together and goes to see the sheikh.

“There is an opulent feast put on, during which he teaches the video to him and the money is transferred. The next day, the sheikh raises the price of oil to recoup the money.”

According to the Daily Mirror, City officials were very upset over the comments. So much so that they are considering legal action if Hoeness, a convicted tax evader, is unwilling to make a public apology and/or retraction. One source had the following to say on the matter:

“It was the remark of a smug, arrogant egotist. We are also concerned that there may be a racist element to what Hoeness has claimed.”

Bayern Munich left bitter after Dortmund fans’ beer shower

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The beer showers usually mark the end of the season for Bayern Munich as players and coaching staff celebrate their latest Bundesliga title by dousing each other in beer.

Club president Uli Hoeness and chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge can’t have expected a beer shower after just 11 rounds of the league, but both were drenched by celebrating Borussia Dortmund fans after Paco Alcacer scored the winner in a 3-2 win over Bayern on Saturday.

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Bayern fell seven points behind Dortmund, which remains the only unbeaten team in the Bundesliga.

It had been an engrossing game, with Robert Lewandowski twice giving Bayern the lead against his former team only for Marco Reus to twice drag Dortmund level. After Alcacer put Dortmund ahead, Lewandowski thought he snatched a draw in injury time with his third, but home fans’ dismay turned to joy again when the linesman raised his flag for offside.

On Sunday, Hoeness promised changes to the squad to revitalize the side for next season, through he ruled out any January transfers to bolster the team during the season.

The Bayern president defended the current squad and said suggestions that it was too old were nonsense. He pointed to the injured Corentin Tolisso, 24, and Kingsley Coman, 22, as “the two most important young players that we signed in the past years.”

Hoeness highlighted what was arguably Bayern’s best performance of the season in Dortmund.

[ USMNT: Nagbe, Steffen out ]

“Anyone who saw our team in the first hour could see that we can play outstanding football,” Hoeness told Sky TV.

“The Bundesliga is fun again. One thing we can promise you – we will keep the title fight exciting to the last weekend.”

FRANKFURT’S NEW STAR

Luka Jovic continues to shine for Eintracht Frankfurt. The Serbian striker, 20, scored twice and set up the other goal as Frankfurt went fourth with a 3-0 win over Schalke on Sunday.

With nine goals so far, Jovic is the league’s top scorer, although five of those goals came in one game against Fortuna Duesseldorf. He scored eight goals last season after he joined on loan from Benfica.

“His development is absolutely sensational,” Frankfurt chairman Fredi Bobic said. “He had fallen off at Benfica, was in the second team and it felt like the third. But we remembered his youth in Belgrade, where he was outstanding.”

Frankfurt has the option of making Jovic’s loan deal from Benfica permanent for a fee of 10 million to 12 million euros ($11.5 million to $13.8 million) and Bobic expects the forward to get even better.

“If he understands that he sometimes needs to go another couple of meters, then he’s going toward world-class,” Bobic said.

More AP Bundesliga coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/Bundesliga and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Bayern unhappy with opponents’ rough style in Bundesliga

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BERLIN (AP) Bayern Munich wants more protection from referees.

The defending champions lost French midfielder Corentin Tolisso and Brazilian defender Rafinha to injuries sustained in last weekend’s win over Bayer Leverkusen. Both club president Uli Hoeness and chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge have called for a reaction from the German soccer federation.

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“It can’t go on like this. Otherwise we won’t have any players after the 10th round or we won’t be able to get 11 players together,” Rummenigge said ahead of Saturday’s Bundesliga match against Schalke in Gelsenkirchen.

Tolisso was ruled out for several months after rupturing a cruciate ligament and the medial meniscus in his right knee, while Rafinha is out for several weeks with a partial tear of ligaments in his left ankle after a bad challenge from Karim Bellarabi, who was sent off.

Bellarabi, who apologized after the match, was subsequently banned for four games and fined 10,000 euros ($11,750).

After the game, Hoeness had called for Bellarabi to be banned for “three months – for stupidity.”

Bayern already lost French winger Kingsley Coman to injury in its first home game of the season, after which Rummenigge accused Hoffenheim of playing “football in a wild-west manner.”

Bayern coach Niko Kovac said his side was “fair game” for others to target with hard challenges.

It was different when Kovac was in charge of Eintracht Frankfurt from March 8, 2016, to June 30, 2018. No side committed more fouls per game (15.4) than Frankfurt in that time.

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Contrary to Bayern’s claims, both Kicker magazine and the Bild tabloid reported that promoted teams Nuremberg and Fortuna Duesseldorf, and Wolfsburg, all were fouled more the defending champions in the opening three games of the season.

Bayern’s 36 fouls is the same as Leipzig and Stuttgart, and its average of 12 per game is marginally below the average for last season.

Bayern’s players are more relaxed about the issue after winning their opening three league games and making winning starts in the German Cup and Champions League.

“I don’t think it’s so extreme,” Bayern midfielder Joshua Kimmich said.

On Saturday, the team can expect committed opponents again. Schalke, which finished runner-up last season, is looking for its first win after starting with three losses.

More AP Bundesliga coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/Bundesliga and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Uli Hoeness seeks to return as Bayern Munich president

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MUNICH (AP) — Uli Hoeness has decided to run for Bayern Munich’s presidency, seeking to return to a job that he gave up in 2014 after being given a prison sentence for tax evasion, the Bundesliga champion said Monday.

Hoeness, 64, will be a candidate for the job when club members elect the president at their annual general meeting in November, Bayern said. It added that current president Karl Hopfner agreed not to seek re-election in what it termed “very pleasant talks” with Hoeness.

Bayern’s announcement followed weeks of speculation that Hoeness, one of the most prominent figures in German soccer, would return to the helm at the club.

As a player, Hoeness was a Bayern star who won the 1972 European Championship and the 1974 World Cup with West Germany and three straight European Cups – the predecessor of the Champions League – before retiring in 1979 with chronic knee problems.

Under his guidance as general manager, Bayern built financial reserves rarely seen in debt-ridden European soccer.

Hoeness quit as Bayern president in March 2014 after he was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison for evading millions of euros in taxes via an undeclared Swiss bank account. He was released in February after serving half of the sentence.

Hoeness has remained close to the club. While in custody, he benefited from a work-release program under which he worked in Bayern’s youth department during the day before returning to prison overnight.