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 By Mark Lovell

The true Klassiker: Bayern Munich's best battles with Monchengladbach

Jupp Heynckes says he told Arturo Vidal he needed to improve his physical shape if he wanted to keep his place at Bayern.

Forget Borussia Dortmund or upstarts RB Leipzig, the Bundesliga's original Klassiker is Bayern Munich vs. Borussia Monchengladbach. The two heavyweights dominated Germany from the end of the 1960s until 1981, with Bayern winning the league six times and Gladbach five.

Here are five memorable meetings to whet the appetite before Saturday's true Klassiker.

Bayern drunk with success

Back in May 1974, Bayern had just sealed their first hat trick of league titles, with Gladbach only a point behind in...

 By Mark Lovell

Jupp Heynckes has transformed atmosphere at Bayern Munich - Alonso

Jupp Heynckes says he told Arturo Vidal he needed to improve his physical shape if he wanted to keep his place at Bayern.
Jupp Heynckes reiterates he is only with Bayern temporarily, saying he has his own ideas about who should be manager.

Former Bayern Munich midfielders Xabi Alonso and Lothar Matthaus have hailed Jupp Heynckes' transformation of the team since taking over from Carlo Ancelotti.

Alonso, 35, who joined Bayern from Real Madrid in 2014 and retired at the end of last season, said Heynckes had brought "a new atmosphere."

The coach succeeded Carlo Ancelotti, who was dismissed after a 3-0 Champions League defeat at Paris Saint-Germain in September. 

And Alonso told Sport Bild: "Everything has radically changed within...

Barcelona wanted RB Leipzig's Naby Keita before Liverpool deal - Mintzlaff

Shaka Hislop and Alexis Nunes talk Barcelona's transfer strategy heading into the January window after president Josep Bartomeu mentioned the club might be looking to buy.

RB Leipzig CEO Oliver Mintzlaff has said Liverpool beat Barcelona to the signing of Naby Keita, adding that Barca "didn't try as hard" to get him.

Guinea international Keita, 22, will join Liverpool at the end of this season, with Leipzig having blocked an immediate move as they prepared for their first Champions League season.

Speaking to Sport Bild, Mintzlaff said the persistence of Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp had helped secure the deal.

Asked whether Klopp's determination had been key, he added:...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Bayern Munich's Manuel Neuer won't be rushed back - Jupp Heynckes

Jupp Heynckes says he told Arturo Vidal he needed to improve his physical shape if he wanted to keep his place at Bayern.
With Manuel Neuer still recovering from a fractured foot, Joachim Low sheds light on his outlook for the World Cup.

Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer will only return to action when he is 100 percent healthy, says manager Jupp Heynckes.

Neuer, 31, is recovering from a hairline fracture in his left foot suffered in training back in September, and is on track with his rehabilitation schedule.

However, Heynckes, who was speaking at a news conference ahead of Bayern's Champions League group stage match with Anderlecht on Wednesday, declared he would not rush the German international back into action.

"I think...

Hoffenheim hopeful of beating West Ham to Stepanenko signing - sources

Taras Stepanenko Shakhtar Donetsk
Taras Stepanenko has been attracting interest from the Premier League and Bundesliga.

Hoffenheim are attempting to take advantage of the managerial change at West Ham by securing an €8 million move for Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Taras Stepanenko in January, sources have told ESPN FC.

Prior to his dismissal as Hammers manager earlier this month, Slaven Bilic had been working on a deal to sign the defensive midfielder from the Ukrainian champions.

Stepanenko, capped 37 times by Ukraine, has been monitored during Shakhtar's Champions League campaign by several Premier League...