Costa: Robben row hasn't put me off showboating

The Dutchman reprimanded his Brazilian team-mate after an outrageous piece of skill, but the former Shakhtar Donetsk star insists that he has not been deterred


Douglas Costa has insisted that he would repeat the showboating skills he showed during Bayern Munich’s 3-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen if given the chance, despite an argument with winger Arjen Robben.

The Brazilian, who joined the club from Shakhtar Donetsk in the summer, produced an audacious trick in the closing stages of the club’s 3-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen, and was subsequently reprimanded by the Dutchman.

Costa, though, remains unruffled by the criticism and says it has not put him off such displays of skill.

“There is a lot of talk about what I discussed with Robben,” he said. “After the game he told me that he knows the quality of Brazilian footballers, but also advised me to be careful with such tricks in German football because the audience and the opposing players in the Bundesliga do not like it.

“I thanked him and told him that I will make it up to him when the chance to do such a thing comes around again.

“I think that’s part of the game and part of Brazilian football.”

Bayern pulled out of De Bruyne deal – agent

The midfielder left Wolfsburg for Manchester City shortly before the end of the transfer window, but came close to moving to the Allianz Arena

Kevin De Bruyne’s agent has revealed Bayern Munich were interested in signing his client before pulling out of a deal earlier this summer.

The midfielder left Wolfsburg for Manchester City in a €74 million transfer, but the Premier League club faced competition for his signature prior to sealing the move.

“We had heard that Bayern were interested so I phoned the club,” Patrick de Koster told Sporza.be. 

“Things then accelerated quickly over the next two days but then Bayern decided not to go ahead with the transfer.

“I didn’t use Bayern to drive up the price – I’m not a carpet salesman. PSG were also interested, but City won the race.”

De Koster also revealed how City rolled out the red carpet to ensure they got their star man.

“It was impressive, as in a movie,” he continued. “We flew there with private jets, were picked up in limousines…”

“We also thought we would have a lot of work to find a new home, open a bank account, arrange phone, a car … but in three hours it was all arranged. Unbelievable.”

Dante: Wolfsburg want to annoy Bayern

The centre-back swapped Bundesliga title chasers at the end of the summer transfer window and now he’s eyeing the Bavarians’ scalp

Dante has warned former club Bayern Munich that Wolfsburg are out to “annoy” the Bundesliga champions this season.

The Brazilian centre-back, 31, swapped the Allianz Arena for the Volkswagen Arena before the end of the German transfer window on Monday after three trophy-laden seasons in Munich.

Wolfsburg were Bayern’s closest challengers in the Bundesliga last season, and they followed up their DFB-Pokal win by beating the Bavarian giants in last month’s DFL-Supercup.

Dante thinks that his new club – who also signed Julian Draxler on Monday after the sale of Kevin De Bruyne to Manchester City – are ready to fight his former employers again this term.

“Wolfsburg are trying to improve and this is also my goal,” explained the 31-year-old. “We want to annoy Bayern Munich. We know it will be difficult but we will give everything we have got.

“I think it was a very good time at Bayern. It was a nice story, a very good three years. I won many titles there, but now it is over.

“I have to look forward. Now I will give everything I have got for Wolfsburg to help my team-mates.”

Wolfsburg are back in action following the completion of the international break fortnight, when they travel to Ingolstadt.

'Allegri needs time to transform Juventus' – Patience required after summer of sweeping changes in Turin

The Bianconeri are still coming to terms with the loss of several key men – as well as their disappointment at seeing their primary transfer target, Julian Draxler, join Wolfsburg


GOAL ANALYSIS   By Romeo Agresti

To describe the conclusion of Juventus’ transfer window as frenetic would not do it justice. The Bianconeri have earned a reputation for being shrewd operators because of the way in which they have worked the market in recent years. Paul Pogba, Andrea Pirlo, Carlos Tevez – the Bianconeri have re-established themselves as a major force in European football thanks to a succession of sensational signings. Moreover, they usually go about their business calmly and competently. It was the same this summer but then things descended into chaos in the final days of the window.

Juve were confident of addressing their long-standing need for a No.10 by signing Schalke starlet Julian Draxler. However, they failed to reach an agreement with the Bundesliga outfit and the Germany international instead joined Wolfsburg on deadline day, much to the Bianconeri’s annoyance and embarrassment. In their desperation to provide Allegri with the trequartista he has repeatedly and publicly requested, the Italian champions turned to Inter midfielder Hernanes. After previous links with attacking midfielders of the calibre of Isco and Oscar, it was hard for most Juve fans to react to the arrival of Hernanes with anything other than a sense of anti-climax.

And it’s not as if they were in a great mood anyway, with Allegri’s men having lost their first two Serie A games for the first time in history. Indeed, there was a fear that Juve had been weakened over the summer and the losses to Udinese and Roma appeared to confirm as much. However, a period of adjustment was likely, given the high turnover of players in Turin this summer. The departures of Pirlo, Tevez and Arturo Vidal were always going to be keenly felt. These were players that were as influential off the field as on it, thus making them difficult to replace.

Juve’s response was to undertake a complete renewal of Massimiliano Allegri’s squad, signing several quality youngsters – Paulo Dybala, Simone Zaza, Daniele Rugani, Alex Sandro and Mario Lemina – as well as a couple of experienced internationals in Mario Mandzukic and Sami Khedira. It may appear rash but a cycle was over and Juventus knew this. For this reason, the powers that be at Corso Galileo Ferraris decided to make several new signings, to renew the motivation of a group that has won so much, as it would have been foolish to move forward with the same panel.

Yes, the fans are understandably unhappy with and concerned by a historically poor start to Juve’s bid for a fifth successive Scudetto, but there was always an acceptance that there could be, and most likely would be, some teething problems.

Plus, there are some grounds for optimism. The earlly signs are that Dybala, signed from Palermo for a fee that could rise to €40 million, is the man to trust in both the short and long term. The Argentine has obvious natural ability but what has impressed most thus far is his personality, with the 21-year-old already looking like a character capable of taking on the responsibility of leading the club into a new era of success.

The onus is now on Allegri and his assistants, though, to get the best out a squad that has suffered so many painful departures. There is obvious room for improvement but making so many signings was an admirable admission that change was essential. Juve have been dominating domestically for four years now but new arrivals were required to take the Bianconeri to the next level in Europe. The hope is that reaching the final of the Champions League will come to be viewed as normal rather than an anomaly.

However, everything hinges on how quickly Allegri can successfully mesh the summer signings with the experienced core. Last season’s successes have bought the former AC Milan boss time, which is just as well, because on the evidence of the opening two rounds of the new season, he is going to need it.

‘Even Bayern Munich couldn’t match Manchester City’s offer for De Bruyne’

VW boss Martin Winterkorn, who has ties with both the Bundesliga champions and Wolfsburg, believes the Belgian’s move back to the Premier League was financially motivated


Manchester City’s signing of Kevin De Bruyne is the latest example of the Premier League’s unrivalled spending power, according to Volkswagen boss Martin Winterkorn.

VW-owned Wolfsburg spent the entire summer trying to resist offers for the Belgian playmaker, but, after a drawn out saga, eventually relented as City got their man in a £55 million deal.

And Winterkorn, who also sits on the supervisory board at Bayern Munich and is rumoured to have pushed for die Roten to sign De Bruyne, admits the spending power of English clubs is impossible to resist, with even the German champions playing catch up.

“Sometimes we are powerless against such sums,” the 68-year-old told Bild.

“Even Bayern Munich, who were interested [in De Bruyne], has said the same at the end of the day. Against such sums we cannot compete at the moment.”

He continued: “Whether [the £55m fee] is justified or not, we would have preferred that Kevin had stayed with us. But the conditions are as they are.

“When the English media pay these sums [record-breaking TV money deal], and with plenty of other donors, then you have to consider what to do to prevent the sell-off in Germany.”

Winterkorn believes De Bruyne would have been better placed staying at Wolfsburg, where he was the focal point of the team, to continue his development, suggesting the transfer was financially motivated.

“The fact that a player like Kevin De Bruyne will be leaving us, of course, is a great pity. We are sorry,” he added.

“For financial reasons, I can understand him, for sporting reasons I do not understand him. I am not convinced that he plays the role at Manchester City that he has played with us. One more year with us would have been good for him. That would have been the right thing for his sporting career.”

Coman: I've always wanted to play for a big club like Bayern

The 19-year-old emerged at PSG and won the Serie A title with Juventus, but feels his ambitions are now being fully met


Kingsley Coman has appeared to issue a stinging barb in the direction of Juventus after claiming he is delighted to have finally joined “a really big club” in Bayern Munich.

The France youth international completed a two-year loan switch from Juve to the Bundesliga champions on Sunday, following in the footsteps of Arturo Vidal, who left Turin for the Allianz Arena earlier this summer.

Despite having emerged through the youth ranks at Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain and winning Serie A during his year in Italy, Coman has suggested he only now believes his ambitions are being met.

“Obviously I’m very happy indeed. It’s a dream come true. I always wanted to play for a really big club like Bayern,” he told the club’s official television channel.

“The coach, the team, the way football’s played here – I think it’ll suit me.

“When you find out Bayern are interested, you don’t think about it for long. I also had very good talks with the club.

“My goal is to play and prove the club was right to put its faith in me. I spoke to Arturo. He told me Bayern are a very big club and I should definitely come here.”

Official: Bayern sign Coman from Juventus

The 19-year-old joins on a two year loan deal from the Serie A champions, with the Bundesliga side holding the option to buy him

Bayern Munich have confirmed that they have signed Kingsley Coman on loan from Juventus.

The 19-year-old joined the Serie A champions from Paris Saint-Germain in 2014 but failed to become a regular in the first team.

He has now opted to join the Bundesliga champions, initially on a two year lona deal but Bayern reserve the option to buy him at the end of the 2016-17 campaign.

The France Under-21 international had his medical on Sunday to complete the move and spoke of his delight to join Pep Guardiola’s side.

“I am very pleased to come to Munich and Bayern,” he said. “I want to take the next step in my career here and want to help ensure that Bayern are successful over the next two years.”

Bayern sporting director Matthias Sammer believes Coman can add a lot to the team and hailed him as a future star.

“Kingsley Coman is one of the great talents of European football,” he said. “So we are very happy that we were able to sign him for Bayern.

“Kingsley is fast, technically savvy and an attacking player and we hope to have a lot of joy with him.”

Bayern sign Coman from Juventus

The 19-year-old joins on a two year loan deal from the Serie A champions, with the Bundesliga side holding the option to buy him

Bayern Munich have confirmed that they have signed Kingsley Coman on loan from Juventus.

The 19-year-old joined the Serie A champions from Paris Saint-Germain in 2014 but failed to become a regular in the first team.

He has now opted to join the Bundesliga champions, initially on a two year lona deal but Bayern reserve the option to buy him at the end of the 2016-17 campaign.

The France Under-21 international had his medical on Sunday to complete the move and spoke of his delight to join Pep Guardiola’s side.

“I am very pleased to come to Munich and Bayern,” he said. “I want to take the next step in my career here and want to help ensure that Bayern are successful over the next two years.”

Bayern sporting director Matthias Sammer believes Coman can add a lot to the team and hailed him as a future star.

“Kingsley Coman is one of the great talents of European football,” he said. “So we are very happy that we were able to sign him for Bayern.

“Kingsley is fast, technically savvy and an attacking player and we hope to have a lot of joy with him.”

Bayern confirm Dante to Wolfsburg switch

The defender lost his place to Mehdi Benatia last season and has opted to move to the Bavarians’ Bundesliga rivals in search of regular football


Bayern Munich have confirmed Dante is set to leave the club and join Bundesliga rivals Wolfsburg.

There was speculation last week that the centre-back could depart after he missed a club photoshoot, only for his agent to deny the claims.

However, his situation has changed over the weekend, with Bayern confirming his departure in the coming days and CEO Karl-Heinz Rummennigge citing Dante’s desire for first team football as the reason for his exit.

Thank you for everything! @dante_bonfim will soon complete a transfer to Wolfsburg. #ThanksDante pic.twitter.com/eJOJOSgDhV

— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) August 30, 2015

Rummenigge said: “Dante wanted to have the chance to play on a regular basis. We would like to thank him. Bayern and Dante had a very successful time together with many titles. We wish him all the best for his future.”

Dante joined Bayern from Borussia Monchengldbach in 2012 and won the treble under former coach Jupp Heynckes in his first season at the club, before going on to win a further two Bundesliga titles in 2014 and 2015.

Robben: Vidal wanted to take my penalty

The Netherlands international says his new team-mate will have to get used to the spot-kick pecking order at Allianz Arena

Bayern Munich forward Arjen Robben says new signing Arturo Vidal wanted to take his penalty in the 3-0 victory over Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday.

Pep Guardiola’s side cruised to victory at the Allianz Arena thanks to two goals from Thomas Muller and a Robben penalty, which Muller allowed him to take despite being on a hat-trick.

Chile international Vidal was the designated penalty taker at his former club Juventus, but Robben says the Chile international will have to accept his place in the hierarchy at the Allianz-Arena.

“We have a clear pecking order for penalties,” Robeen said. 

“Thomas is taker number one, I’m number two. But it’s good that Arturo also wanted to take it. It’s better than everyone being scared.”

Muller himself had already scored from 12 yards to double Bayern’s lead and said Vidal had also asked to take the first spot-kick.

“Arturo was Juventus’ penalty-taker and he asked me if he could take it, but it’s all about being part of a team at Bayern Munich,” Muller said.

FCB are hoping to make it four consecutive Bundesliga titles this season and have opened the new campaign with three straight victories.

And Robben says Saturday’s win was a signal of their intentions to dominate Germany once again.

“A 3-0 win is a very good statement of intent,” he said. 

“We’ve played very, very well and deserved the win against top-class opponents. We have very quick wide players. We need to be moving the ball at speed and creating one-on-one situations.”

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