Rumoured Spurs target Meyer settled at Schalke

The 20-year-old, who represented Germany in their march to an Olympic silver medal, has insisted he is not interested in a switch to White Hart Lane

Max Meyer has reaffirmed his commitment to Schalke after being heavily linked with Tottenham late in the transfer window.

Spurs were rumoured to be chasing the signature of the 20-year-old attacking midfielder, but a switch failed to materialise, Mauricio Pochettino’s men instead bringing Moussa Sissoko from Newcastle United to White Hart Lane on deadline day.

Meyer, who progressed from Schalke’s youth set-up to the first team and has been capped three times by Germany, is content – for now at least – to continue demonstrating his quality at Veltins-Arena.

“I’ve got two years left on my contract here,” he was quoted as saying by Sport1.

“And if you are referring to what happened during those final two transfer days – I will not leave the club through the back door,” Meyer added of the Spurs rumours.

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“I’ve said that I won’t leave this summer, and that stands. I know that we have a lot of potential here, we’ve added good players, and a good coach. We can achieve a lot and play a good role in the Bundesliga.”

Schalke opened the Bundesliga season with a 1-0 loss away to Eintracht Frankfurt prior to the international break.

And there is no easy return to domestic action on Friday, when champions Bayern Munich will be the visitors to Gelsenkirchen.

“I think everyone’s looking forward to playing Bayern, and it might even be an advantage to play them already on the second matchday,” Meyer said. 

“We want to give it our all in front of our own fans and beat them or get a point.

“Sure, Bayern are clearly the favourites. They are the best team in Germany, and maybe even in the world.”

Sanches in line for Bayern bow but Vidal a doubt

Carlo Ancelotti expects the Portuguese midfielder to make his Roten debut against Schalke on Friday due to a number of injuries in the squad

Renato Sanches is in line to make his Bayern Munich debut against Schalke on Friday but Arturo Vidal is a concern, head coach Carlo Ancelotti confirmed.

Portugal midfielder Sanches has yet to play for Bayern since joining in a big-money move from Benfica, having been granted additional rest after helping his country to Euro 2016 glory.

Much is expected of the 19-year-old and Ancelotti is ready to throw the dynamic midfielder into action at the Veltins Arena on Friday.

“He [Sanches] can start tomorrow,” he told a pre-match news conference. “He is at 100 per cent.”

Ancelotti also confirmed that Vidal is likely to travel with the team, but a late decision will be made on his availability after he travelled to South America to represent Chile over the international break.

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“Arturo Vidal has joined us again today,” he added. “I think he flies with us tomorrow to Schalke. I do not know if he is too tired, if he can play.”

Douglas Costa (muscle) is also back in training, while Arjen Robben (muscle) and Jerome Boateng (calf) are on the comeback trail as Bayern near a return to full strength.

Last time out in the Bundesliga Bayern thumped Werder Bremen 6-0, but Ancelotti is expecting a tough outing for the champions.

“Tomorrow is another game,” he said. “But my team is ready. We are in good shape. From tomorrow we have seven games in 20 days.”

Guardiola made Bayern boring and got lucky at Barcelona, says Schmeichel

The former Manchester United goalkeeper believes the Catalan will find it more difficult to deploy his style at Manchester City than he did at his two previous clubs

Pep Guardiola made an exciting Bayern Munich team boring to watch and was lucky he had the players at his disposal to implement his famed possession philosophy at Barcelona, according to Peter Schmeichel.

Manchester City boss Guardiola enjoyed a trophy-laden four-year spell in charge at Camp Nou, winning three La Liga titles as well as the Copa del Rey and Champions League twice apiece.

The Catalan then continued his success in the Bundesliga with Bayern, winning the league three seasons running between 2014 and 2016, while also lifting the DFB-Pokal twice.

However, Guardiola took over a team that had won a Bundesliga, Pokal and Champions League treble under Jupp Heynckes, and Schmeichel feels Bayern’s direct style under the German was more exciting than Guardiola’s methods.

“He was okay at Bayern Munich. I have to say he was okay,” he told Omnisport. “For me, personally, he changed a really good, entertaining team to be become more boring to watch.

“Whereas Bayern before were very direct, they won the treble, had quick players and were exciting to watch, he [Guardiola] made them play more square. He changed the players, but you can’t argue with his results.”

Schmeichel, who made 398 appearances for Manchester United, also believes that Guardiola’s success at Barcelona was in part down to luck given the talent he had at his disposal such as Lionel Messi, Xavi and Andres Iniesta.

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And the former Denmark goalkeeper claims that it will be more difficult to achieve success at City – who travel to face United at Old Trafford this weekend – using similar tactics given the demanding nature of the Premier League.

“With Pep, he comes in with an incredible reputation. What he did with Barcelona was fantastic, his work was fantastic, but he was also very lucky he had the players to bring in the philosophy that he has in football,” he added.

“So whereas [former United manager] Alex Ferguson’s first priority was ‘we have to be able to score goals’ – for most coaches that’s the priority – with Pep it’s possession, I want to have as much possession as possible.

“So the philosophy goes to ‘I want to have so much possession that at some point we’ll score a goal from that, the goals will come from possession’ and that’s his philosophy.

“That’s what we’ll see at Manchester City or he’s going to introduce that. He was very lucky he had the players at Barcelona but he was clever in what he did. 

“The Premier League is a completely different animal to any other in the world. It just goes on and on and on, you feel it never stops, even in March you have 12 games to go, you think will this ever stop?” 

Peter Schmeichel was speaking on behalf of Nabufit. Available on Google Play and the App Store.

Xabi Alonso: Mourinho & Guardiola are very similar

The Bayern Munich midfielder has played under both coaches and, despite their fierce rivalry, he insists they share many traits in personality and coaching style

Xabi Alonso believes Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho have many similarities as coaches as they prepare to go head-to-head in Saturday’s Manchester derby.

Once friends when they worked together at Barcelona, the pair now have a tense relationship which started during Mourinho’s time at Inter and intensified when he took charge of Real Madrid while Guardiola was at the Catalan side.

The rivalry is set to be reignited this weekend when Manchester United welcome Guardiola’s Manchester City at Old Trafford for the first derby of the season.

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Alonso, who worked with Mourinho at Madrid and Guardiola at Bayern Munich, says the two are very similar and believes working with either of them is a massive boost to any player.

“It is a very big game in England,” he told reporters. “I think it will be a tactical match. Both coaches are methodic – they want to analyse everything. We’ll see what will happen. I hope I can watch the game.”

​”​I think they share many things in terms of their personality and the leaders they are. In terms of football, they have their own idea how to approach the game, the ambition they have, in an attacking sense and defensively. In those terms they are different. But for sure they are very competitive and they get the best from each player.

“For a player it is like a motivation to have a trainer that gets the best out of you. They are always demanding, that’s the best thing.”

'I do not fear Muller,' says Howedes

The Bayern Munich forward was at his best for Germany against Norway and will pose a threat in his club’s Bundesliga meeting with Schalke on Friday but the defender is not afraid

Schalke defender Benedikt Howedes is adamant that he does not fear Thomas Muller ahead of Friday’s Bundesliga encounter with Bayern Munich.

Muller endured a difficult Euro 2016 campaign as he failed to find the net but he demonstrated his ability in his country’s 3-0 win over Norway, scoring twice and setting up his side’s other goal.

Nevertheless, Howedes says that his Germany team-mate’s return to form does not give him sleepless nights.

“I do not fear Muller,” Howedes told Bild. “It’s not like I am playing against him by myself.

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“But we all know Bayern are the best team in Germany. We have to put in a much better performance than against Eintracht Frankfurt.”

Muller, meanwhile, has promised that Howedes he is in for a difficult game on Friday.

“Benedikt and I have been exchanging plenty of words over the past few days,” the forward added. “I can only say that we have big plans for Friday. It will not be easy for him.

“I never doubted my finishing skills. There are always moments where things don’t work out but I am calm and confident again.”