Borussia Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp has revealed he is monitoring the progress of highly-rated Germany Under-21 international midfielder Leonardo Bittencourt at Hannover 96.
Bittencourt, 20, left Signal Iduna Park for the HDI–Arena last summer but a clause in his contract, which expires in June 2017, allows Dortmund to re-sign him at any time.
The Germany youth international has become a first-team regular at Hannover after struggling to compete with the likes of İlkay Gündoğan and Nuri Şahin for a place in the starting XI at Dortmund.
“Leonardo Bittencourt is a player we are keeping tabs on,” Klopp told Deutsche Presseagentur.
“He has become very good in front of goal and played a lot of decisive passes at the same time.
“He definitely is now the starlet we recognised when we signed him for Borussia Dortmund from Energie Cottbus. He is a great talent.”
With several reports linking Gündoğan with a summer move abroad, Klopp could decide to bring back Bittencourt, who has bagged four goals and four assists in 24 Bundesliga matches this term, for a bargain fee instead of splashing the cash elsewhere.
Bittencourt is priced at 16/1 to score first when Hannover visit Hoffenheim in midweek.
Sagna staying in England
FC Internazionale Milano president Erick Thohir has revealed Arsenal right-back Bacary Sagna will stay in England this summer.
Earlier this week, Thohir confirmed Internazionale had held contract talks with Sagna, whose current deal at the Emirates Stadium is due to expire at the end of the season.
However, the Nerazzurri supremo has come to believe the France international will remain in the English Premier League, most likely with Arsenal.
“I think [Bacary] Sagna won’t arrive because he has decided to stay in the Premier League,” Thohir said, as per Sky Sports.
“Right now we only have [Yuto]Nagatomo and Jonathan. If one of them gets injured you need somebody else to come in.
“But we have to accept the fact he [Sagna]wants to stay in England. We understand and in that case we might bring in a young player from our academy.”
Sagna, who has also been linked with Chelsea and Manchester City in recent weeks, has made 38 appearances in all competitions for the Gunners this term, tallying one goal and four assists.
In other news, Manchester United have been made the odds-on favourites at 5/4 to sign Southampton left-back Luke Shaw in the summer, while Chelsea and Liverpool are backed at 5/2 and 10/1 respectively.