Barcelona v Bayern, Arsenal v Real Madrid – Champions League last-16 draw could throw up some heavyweight clashes

The draw for the last-16 of Europe’s premier competition takes place in Nyon on Monday at 12.00CET and there’s potential for some truly mouth-watering ties

Arsenal’s reward for topping their Champions League group for the first time in five seasons could be a last-16 tie against holders Real Madrid when the draw is made on Monday.

The Gunners finished ahead of Paris Saint-Germain in Group A and could now face a nightmare match-up against either the 11-time European champions, who finished runners up behind Borussia Dortmund in Group F, or Bayern Munich, whom they’ve faced six times in the Champions League since 2014 and beaten only twice.

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Arsenal have been knocked out of the tournament at the last-16 stage in each of the past six seasons and manager Arsene Wenger will be hoping for a slightly easier passage to the quarter-final this time by being drawn against either Bayer Leverkusen, Benfica, Porto or Sevilla.

Traditionally, topping your group means you’re theoretically likely to be presented with a more comfortable challenge in the last-16 but Champions League newcomers Leicester City could also be in for a shock when the balls come out of the bag in Switzerland. After winning Group G, the Foxes will now face either Bayer Leverkusen, Bayern Munich, Benfica, Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid or Sevilla. Glamour ties galore!

Last season’s semi-finalists Manchester City may find that finishing runners up in Group C actually works to their advantage this year if they find themselves paired against Monaco or Napoli in the next round. However, Pep Guardiola’s side could also draw Borussia Dortmund, Juventus or last season’s finalists Atletico Madrid.

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Barcelona v Bayern Munich is arguably the last-16’s most enticing potential tie but Real Madrid v Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain v Borussia Dortmund are two other mouth-watering prospects.

Bookmakers have installed Luis Enrique’s Barcelona as 3-1 favourites to lift their sixth Champions League crown this season but an unkind last-16 draw could make things very difficult for them indeed. Seeded group winners will be away in the last-16 first legs on 14th/15th and 21st/22nd February and at home in the return matches on 7th/8th and 14th/15th March.

Bayern confident of Lewandowski and Robben renewals

The two stars are in fine form currently with the team top of the table and the German champions expect them both to extend their stays with the club

Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness is confident both Robert Lewandowski and Arjen Robben will remain at the club as contract talks progress.

Bayern president expects €200m transfer

The Bundesliga champions returned to the top of the table on Saturday with a 5-0 win over Wolfsburg as Lewandowski and Robben starred and scored.

Lewandowski’s deal with Bayern is due to expire in 2019, while Robben’s runs out at the end of the season, but Hoeness believes both will extend their stays.

“As far as I know, the talks [with Lewandowski] are far progressed,” he told Bild. “I don’t think it will be a big problem.

“I am pretty sure [Robben] will stay with us.”

Lewandowski has struck 11 times in the league this term, with Robben contributing five goals.

Bayern promise Ingolstadt sausages and beer after Leipzig win

Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side suffered their first defeat of the season on Saturday, going down 1-0 to the strugglers, which has delighted the reigning German champions

Bayern Munich chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has promised Ingolstadt “sausages and beer” after their win against RB Leipzig returned the Bundesliga champions to the top of the table.

Bayern president expects €200m transfer

Leipzig had previously been unbeaten in their maiden top-flight campaign, but fell to a 1-0 defeat at lowly Ingolstadt, whose Bavarian neighbours Bayern thrashed Wolfsburg 5-0 to take pole position on goal difference.

And Rummenigge now wants to reward Ingolstadt – who moved off the bottom with victory – for their efforts.

“Now they can have a cartload of sausages and beer from Munich, then they can support us at a distance,” he said.

“Anyone who has such neighbours cannot complain.”

Bayern will hope to return the favour at Darmstadt – who are a a point behind Ingolstadt at the bottom – next week, before facing Leipzig in their final match prior to the mid-season break.

Bayern president Hoeness expects €200m transfer

The Allianz Arena supremo thinks it is inevitable that fees will continue to rise and expects a move worth over £168 million in the near future

Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness believes it is a matter of time before a club breaks the transfer record and pays in excess of €200 million (£168m) for a player.

Manchester United made Paul Pogba the most expensive player in the world during the close-season when they paid €105m to lure the Frenchman away from Juventus, breaking the previous record held by Gareth Bale following his €100m move to Real Madrid.

Hoeness had felt the rise of transfer fees was bound to hit the ceiling sooner rather than later, but he now thinks new commercial opportunities make further inflation inevitable.

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“I said a number of years ago that we had reached the financial limits. I was wrong,” Hoeness told Bild.

“If Bayern take on Dortmund and both teams have a Chinese player in their team, about 300 million Chinese people are watching the game online and are paying €1 to do so, we get an entirely new situation… That would mean €300m on just one day.

“I am convinced that we will soon see a player change clubs for a transfer fee of €150 million or €200 million.”

Origi reveals Manchester United and Bayern snubs

The Belgium international forward claims he turned down both the Red Devils and the Bundesliga champions earlier in his career before arriving at Liverpool

Liverpool striker Divock Origi has revealed how he passed up opportunities to join both Manchester United and Bayern Munich before he made the switch to Anfield.

Origi claims he was wanted by United as a teenager, instead opting to move to Lille when he was 15.

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After impressing in Ligue 1, Origi was signed by Liverpool in 2014, the Belgian deciding on a move to the Premier League rather than joining Bundesliga giants Bayern.

“I started with the national team at Under-16s. It was a very good year for me, a lot of scouts were coming to my dad. I heard Manchester United wanted to sign me, some Italian clubs and German clubs,” Origi said.

“I visited Lille’s training centre. I was amazed how good it was. I saw how Eden Hazard had grown from young player to big player winning the league with them and that was something very nice. They have a very good reputation at developing young players.

“My heart said: ‘go to Lille’. I remember coming home from school, sitting in the kitchen and my dad said: ‘the choice is yours, what do you want to do?’ I decided to go to Lille.

“[In 2014] there were offers from everywhere. Bayern were interested, all these clubs. But I came to Liverpool, I saw the facilities, I took some time out of my vacation to visit Melwood and speak with [then manager] Brendan Rodgers.

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“When I came in, everyone knew my name, they knew who I was and they were looking at a video of me even from the Under-15s.

“They knew about my qualities and when I saw the values of the club – passing, pressing, fast players – I was like: ‘this is the place I want to go.'”