Mats Hummels has missed out on a swift reunion with Bayern Munich after an injury ruled him out of Borussia Dortmund's starting line-up for the DFL-Supercup.

Hummels returned to Dortmund in a €38million deal after three consecutive Bundesliga-winning seasons at the Allianz Arena.

But a muscular problem sustained during BVB's final training session for the game at Signal Iduna Park means the former Germany centre-back is sidelined alongside fellow new recruits Thorgan Hazard (ankle), Julian Brandt (adductor) and Mateu Morey (shoulder), while Marwin Hitz starts in goal because Roman Burki has a leg problem.

"Sadly, I can't play today. I felt problems in training last-minute and we thought it would be reasonable to sit this one out despite the game's meaningfulness - especially for me," Hummels tweeted. 

"I'm looking forward to my 'debut' hopefully in the next weeks."

Kingsley Coman lines up for Bayern having made a full recovery from the bruised knee he suffered during the Audi Cup clash against Tottenham earlier this week.

Ross Barkley scored an 86th-minute penalty as Chelsea came from two goals down to draw 2-2 in a friendly against Borussia Monchengladbach on Saturday.

Alassane Plea swept home after an error from Kepa Arrizabalaga before Jonas Hofmann made the most of some disorganised defending to give Gladbach a two-goal advantage at half-time.

Yann Sommer made a string of excellent stops to keep Chelsea at bay but his goal was eventually breached by Tammy Abraham, who coolly slotted home from the penalty spot in the 59th minute.

The Blues were boosted ahead of their opening Premier League match against Manchester United next weekend by N'Golo Kante's return from a knee injury and Barkley ensured they did not sign off their pre-season campaign with a loss when he converted a late spot-kick.

Abraham was unable to finish when Oscar Wendt inadvertently put him one on one with Sommer and Gladbach moved ahead when Kepa sent a pass straight to Hofmann and the midfielder found Plea, who swept a fine finish into the bottom-left corner in the 13th minute.

Plea returned the favour six minutes before the break, the Frenchman's throughball poked between Kepa's legs by Hofmann after Andreas Christensen played him onside.

Chelsea came out firing in the second half but Sommer kept out Mateo Kovacic, Mason Mount and Abraham twice, but the striker got on the scoreboard following Matthias Ginter's foul on Kovacic in the box.

Barkley replaced Abraham in the 66th minute and, after missing a glorious chance to restore parity when he shot wide in a one on one, he converted from the spot following Keanan Bennetts' late challenge on Mount to make it four goals in as many pre-season matches for the England international.

Kepa stopped Bennetts making amends with a smart save before the final whistle, with a draw proving a fair result in an entertaining encounter.

Wolfsburg have signed Manchester City striker Lukas Nmecha on a season-long loan.

The 20-year-old was born in Hamburg and has represented both England and Germany at Under-21 level, featuring as part of Stefan Kuntz's squad when they finished as runners-up in this year's European Championship.

Nmecha made three senior appearances for City in 2017-18 – all as a substitute – before spending 2018-19 with Preston North End in the Championship.

He only scored four times in 44 appearances for Preston but was on target twice for City during their pre-season tour of Asia last month.

"It had been my aim to play in the Bundesliga and in my home country for some time now," Nmecha told Wolfsburg's official website.

"I’m particularly pleased that this move to VfL Wolfsburg has come off because everything is in place for me here to further my development at the highest level and to realise my full potential."

Wolfsburg finished sixth in the Bundesliga last season, meaning newly installed head coach Oliver Glasner will lead them in the Europa League this time around.

Renato Sanches has expressed his delight at learning Bayern Munich wanted to keep him for the upcoming season.

Portugal international Sanches endured a dismal loan spell at Swansea City in 2017-18 and spent last term on the fringes under Niko Kovac.

The 21-year-old started just six games and did not hide his frustration at a lack of playing time, with Fenerbahce reportedly interested in his signature over previous months.

But Bayern were unwilling to part with the Euro 2016 winner and he is looking forward to a more important role at the Allianz Arena in 2019-20.

"When the bosses told me I was staying it felt good, even though I wanted to move. I felt their appreciation," Sanches told Bild.

"But I also need enough playing time. I want to play. That's what matters to me.

"The coach and I have spoken at length once or twice. I know exactly what he wants from me. Our relationship is normal. We shake hands and talk normally."

David Wagner has named Alexander Nubel as Schalke's new captain as the goalkeeper continues to follow in Manuel Neuer's footsteps.

Nubel made 18 Bundesliga starts last season and enters the new campaign as the undisputed number one following Ralf Fahrmann's move to Norwich City on a season-long loan.

The 22-year-old will also don the armband, which Neuer did for Schalke before moving to Bayern Munich eight years ago.

Comparisons have been drawn between the pair and Bayern are said to have a high opinion of Germany Under-21 international Nubel.

Head coach Wagner also confirmed defender Benjamin Stambouli and midfielder Omar Mascarell as joint vice-captains.

"I'm very excited that these three will lead our team during the new season," the former Huddersfield Town boss said.

West Ham have allowed young defender Reece Oxford to leave for Bundesliga side Augsburg on a permanent deal.

Oxford, 20, became the youngest ever player to feature for West Ham in 2015, when Slaven Bilic handed him his first-team debut in a Europa League qualifier aged 16 years and 198 days.

The centre-back had been considered a major prospect for the Hammers and England at the time, making seven Premier League appearances in the 2015-16 campaign and reportedly snubbing Arsenal, Manchester United and Manchester City to sign a new deal.

However, he subsequently struggled to hold down a spot in the first-team squad and was underwhelming during loan spells with Reading and Borussia Monchengladbach.

Oxford made eight Bundesliga appearances for Augsburg last season after joining in January, helping them narrowly avoid relegation.

Although a permanent move reportedly fell through initially due to disagreements over a relegation release clause, talks resumed and have been concluded with Oxford signing a four-year deal.

Manchester City's attempts to extend Leroy Sane's contract have run in to trouble amid persistent speculation the player will join Bayern Munich in a mega-money move.

Sane has been linked with a switch to Bayern throughout the close season with the Bundesliga champions taking the unusual step of explicitly rejecting reports by Kicker and Bild on Thursday that the Germany winger was close to joining them.

That followed a climbdown in some public courting of the 23-year-old, who Bayern head coach Niko Kovac described as a "dream signing" his club were "working very hard" to secure.

Chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic expressed disappointment with those words and no questions regarding the matter were permitted at Kovac's news conference ahead of Saturday's DFL-Supercup meeting with Borussia Dortmund.

Sane was also predictably on the agenda at Pep Guardiola's briefing to preview Sunday's Community Shield clash with Liverpool at Wembley and the City manager said moves to keep the ex-Schalke man at the Etihad Stadium beyond June 2021 had taken a backwards step.

"I said many times I want players that want to stay. It is impossible for me as a manager to convince a player whose head is away from here," Guardiola said.

"But the player [Sane] didn't tell me anything. If they go to the door and tell me I want to leave then I say okay. Nobody tells me that so that is why he is our player.

"We want him to stay, we try to extend the contract for more than one year. We were quite close some months ago and now it is a little bit different. That is the reality I cannot say anything more."

Asked further about Sane's contract situation, Guardiola said City's director of football Txiki Begiristain had reported a setback over recent weeks.

"What I said two or three weeks ago, in relation with Txiki, was 'Wow, it is quite close'. Now, it is not," he explained.

Following Bayern's recent moves to seemingly keep relations between themselves and City cordial, Guardiola insisted he harboured no ill will towards his former employers.

"No I am not disappointed," he added. "First because I know them and I know how it works in this world, everybody talks.

"Sometimes I talk too much. I'm pretty sure they don't do it most of the time.

"It is important we have our player. Leroy is here and we try to be ready to play the season."

New signing Sarpreet Singh could be a surprise starter for Bayern Munich in the DFL-Supercup after catching Niko Kovac's eye in pre-season.

Serge Gnabry will miss Saturday's match against Borussia Dortmund because of a muscle issue, leaving a place free on the flank opposite to Kingsley Coman.

Thomas Muller and Alphonso Davies are among the alternatives but New Zealand international Singh, a midfielder by trade, is in contention to continue his rapid rise.

The 20-year-old joined from A-League outfit Wellington Phoenix a month ago and appeared comfortable in friendly appearances against Real Madrid, Arsenal and AC Milan.

"He's a good catch," Kovac said.

"He was planned for the second team but he's shown that he's already a long way ahead of many others.

"I'm very pleased for him and pleasantly surprised.

"With him and Alphonso Davies, you can see they are much further ahead of the others in the second team."

Singh's road to first-team minutes will become tougher if Bayern succeed in their attempts to sign Leroy Sane from Manchester City.

Where the winger will play next season has become a source of angst for both clubs, with Kovac compelled to apologise to opposite number Pep Guardiola after publicly confirming his interest in the 23-year-old.

Bayern chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge rebuked Kovac over the comments and the Croatian took no questions on the subject at his news conference on Friday.

"Everything has been said," he explained.

"Now is the present. We have an important match tomorrow and it's all about that. Dortmund have strengthened, they have been in training longer than us.

"It will be an intense game. Dortmund will be our biggest challenger. We need to be red alert tomorrow."

Manchester United could end up with not one but two Juventus attackers by the end of the transfer window.

Heavily linked to Paulo Dybala as they look to sell Romelu Lukaku, Mario Mandzukic has emerged as another target for the Red Devils.

It is going to be a busy couple of days, with the Premier League window set to slam shut on August 8.

 

TOP STORY – MANDUZKIC TO FOLLOW DYBALA TO OLD TRAFFORD?

Growing reports suggest Juventus pair Mandzukic and Dybala are being pushed to join Manchester United.

United striker Lukaku has agreed a €9million salary with Juventus, according to Goal, as the Red Devils look to sign Dybala in exchange.

Dybala is reportedly demanding €12m to make the move to Manchester, with the deal hinging on the Argentina international swapping Turin for Old Trafford.

Tuttosport, Goal and other outlets are also claiming Mandzukic has been discussed with United, in what would be a separate transfer.

 

ROUND-UP

- According to The Sun, Manchester City have set Leroy Sane's asking price at €158m (£145m) as Bayern Munich look to sign the Germany international.

Real Madrid are seriously considering a move for Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek, Marca reports. Manchester United star Paul Pogba has emerged as a key target for Madrid. However, Zinedine Zidane's side are eyeing a €60m bid for Van de Beek.

- Champions League holders Liverpool are pondering a bid for Bordeaux forward Francois Kamano as Jurgen Klopp looks to add depth to his attacking options, according to The Sun.

- The Sun also reports that Arsenal have been put off by West Ham's £60m valuation of defender Issa Diop, who has also been linked to Manchester United. Arsenal have already signed William Saliba but the teenage defender has been loaned back to Saint-Etienne for the 2019-20 campaign.

Radamel Falcao will not be leaving Monaco for Turkish side Galatasaray, according to Fabrizio Romano. The 33-year-old has been hampered by injuries since moving to Monaco in 2013.

- ESPN FC says Manchester United and Leicester City are £15m apart in their valuation of centre-back Harry Maguire. In one of the most drawn-out transfer sagas this off-season, United have been tipped to sign Maguire in a world-record transfer for a defender, however, the England international is yet to arrive at Old Trafford. The Red Devils are reportedly offering £70m plus add-ons, while Leicester want £85m plus add-ons.

Juventus and Marseille have made offers for Barcelona left-back Juan Miranda, claims Sport. Juve reportedly want the 19-year-old on a permanent deal, while Marseille are open to bringing him to Ligue 1 on loan.

- As Lukaku nears a switch to Juventus, FCInterNews says Inter have turned to Atalanta's Duvan Zapata. The Colombia forward, who scored 28 goals in all competitions last season, is valued at €60m and Inter are willing to include Matteo Politano in exchange.

Bayern Munich manager Niko Kovac has flatly dismissed rumours linking Jamaica international Leon Bailey with a move to the German champions.

Rumours linking the 21-year-old Bailey with a move from current club Bayer Leverkusen have gathered pace in recent weeks.  Some even went as far as to suggest that the player had agreed to personal terms ahead of the news.

Despite possibly being on the looking out for quality in the wide areas following the departure of veterans Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben last season, Kovac strongly denied the reports.

"I am not responsible for transfers, but I have to say something regarding this. I find it extraordinarily strange that you can blurt something out and nothing happens. You can just say something but it's not true,” Kovac told Goal.

"If you communicate something like this, there must be undeniable proof. Otherwise, you cannot spread it as news. I would ask you to check it. It's not true, it's not verified. It's false."

The Jamaican experienced somewhat of a dip in form last season, managing just five goals and one assist in 29 Bundesliga appearances.  His performance palled in comparison to the previous season where he was a breakthrough star, scoring 9 goals and grabbing six assists.

Bayern Munich have distanced themselves from reports Manchester City winger Leroy Sane is on the verge of joining the Bundesliga champions.

Sane has been linked with a move to Bayern throughout the close season, having lost his starting place at City during the closing months of their domestic treble-winning season.

Bayern have made no secret of their desire to sign the Germany international, with boss Niko Kovac talking up the possibility of a deal going through earlier this week before later apologising for his comments.

Kovac was criticised by chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and director Hasan Salihamidzic for publicly discussing a move for Sane, who he described as a "dream" player for the club.

The transfer saga appeared to take another twist on Thursday as German outlets Kicker and Bild reported Sane had decided to join Bayern in a move worth in excess of €100million.

But the Bavarian giants moved quickly to shut down the rumours in a short message posted on their official Twitter account.

"News reports made today stating that Leroy Sane has decided to join FC Bayern do not correspond to the facts," the tweet read.

Bayern are in the market for a new wide player after losing Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery at the end of last season, while Serge Gnabry and Kingsley Coman suffered injury scares during this week's Audi Cup fixtures.

Sane has scored 10 goals in each of the past two title-winning Premier League seasons at City but is yet to accede to Pep Guardiola's wish for him to sign a contract extension

Borussia Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke has thanked Bayern Munich counterpart Karl-Heinz Rummenigge for letting Mats Hummels return to Signal Iduna Park.

The Germany international is back at Dortmund for a second spell after a €38million agreement was reached between the Bundesliga rivals in June.

Hummels won three successive top-flight crowns with Bayern, including last season's when finishing two points in front of BVB, but Rummenigge was still willing to sanction the experienced centre-back's exit when a big bid came in.

"I am very grateful to Karl-Heinz Rummenigge for having respected the player's will," Watzke told DPA. "I thought that was extraordinary. 

"The way in which these negotiations ended was an indication to me how respectfully we are working together at the highest levels."

Hummels is not the first player to return to Dortmund in recent years, with Nuri Sahin, Shinji Kagawa and Mario Gotze also being brought back.

Sahin and Kagawa struggled to make much of an impact on their second coming, while Gotze has had a mixed spell since rejoining from Bayern in 2016, but Watzke insisted that this latest case is different to the others.

"Nuri, Shinji and Mario struggled at their new clubs," he said.

"Mats was an absolute star player at Bayern, who won three championships there in three years and was recently voted the strongest centre-back in the league."

Hertha Berlin have announced the signing of forward Dodi Lukebakio from Watford in a reported club-record deal.

Lukebakio is said to have cost the Bundesliga side €20million (£18.3m), surpassing the fee of €8.5m spent on Davie Selke two years ago.

The Belgium Under-21 star, capable of playing anywhere across the front line, returns to Germany on a "long-term" contract after impressing on loan at Fortuna Dusseldorf last season.

Upon joining Hertha, Lukebakio said: "Hertha are a big club in Germany and showed a lot of interest in me. I knew very quickly that I wanted to join the club.

"I want to play a lot of football here and score loads of goals."

Lukebakio played just 15 minutes for Watford after joining from Anderlecht in January 2018, but his form with Fortuna attracted interest this close season.

The 21-year-old scored 14 goals in all competitions last term, including a hat-trick against champions Bayern Munich to snatch a dramatic 3-3 draw.

Kingsley Coman has sustained only bruising to his knee and could be available for Bayern Munich's DFL-Supercup clash with Borussia Dortmund on Saturday.

The France winger had to go off after managing just five minutes as a substitute in the Audi Cup match against Tottenham on Wednesday.

Head coach Niko Kovac said after the match: "We hope that it's not too bad and that he'll be back in the next few days."

Bayern confirmed on Thursday that Coman "only suffered a badly bruised knee" and is expected to return to training on Friday.

Bayern were beaten on penalties after a 2-2 draw with Spurs in their final pre-season fixture.

They face Dortmund at Signal Iduna Park in the traditional season curtain-raiser before a DFB-Pokal trip to Energie Cottbus on August 12.

Their Bundesliga title defence begins on August 16 at home to Hertha Berlin.

Manchester United's Romelu Lukaku to Juventus in a straight swap for Paulo Dybala? It appears simple, however, it is not.

United and Juventus are reportedly ready to exchange players, but Dybala is not entirely convinced about leaving Turin.

Now Inter could be set to pounce as the transfer window takes another turn…

 

TOP STORY – DYBALA HAS UNITED DOUBTS AS INTER CIRCLE

According to multiple reports in Italy, Juventus attacker Dybala has no intention of joining Manchester United in a swap deal involving Lukaku.

Inter had been favourites to sign Lukaku, however, Serie A champions Juve have emerged as frontrunners to prise the Belgium striker at the expense of Dybala.

United and Juve have reportedly agreed on an exchange but Calciomercato, Rai Sport and Tuttomercatoweb claim Dybala is not convinced about a move to Old Trafford due to a lack of Champions League and his style of football in the Premier League.

Dybala – who is apparently demanding a higher salary than Paul Pogba and is set to meet Juve head coach Maurizio Sarri – could end up at Inter, with Corriere dello Sport's front page dominated by a shock move.

 

ROUND-UP

- According to Bild+, Bayern Munich have made their first offer for Manchester City winger Leroy Sane. The report comes after Niko Kovac apologised for saying he was confident of signing Sane before the transfer window shuts.

- Paris Saint-Germain have named their price for wantaway star Neymar. L'Equipe says the Ligue 1 champions are demanding €300million for the Brazilian, who is wanted by former club Barcelona.

- Calciomercato says Manchester City are close to signing Juventus full-back Joao Cancelo. The Premier League champions have been linked with Cancelo throughout the window and they are now poised to complete a deal for the Portugal international, who could cost £45.6-50.1m (€50-55m).

Napoli want to sign Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha, according to Sky Sports News. Napoli, who have been linked to James Rodriguez, Hirving Lozano and Nicolas Pepe, are willing to pay Palace €59.9m (£54.6m) for the Ivory Coast international.

- According to Sky Sports News, Manchester United are prepared to pay up to £80m for Leicester City centre-back Harry Maguire. The Red Devils have been pursuing Maguire throughout the window, but a deal is yet to be reached. However, United are willing to eclipse the world-record fee for a defender.

- Tuttosport claims Edinson Cavani has taken another step towards signing for Inter. Amid Inter's ongoing and so far fruitless pursuit of Lukaku, Paris Saint-Germain forward Cavani has emerged as a target, with a financial proposal agreed by the Uruguay international.

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