Meyer: I nearly left Schalke for Bayern

The Germany international was on the verge of joining the reigning Bundesliga champions at youth level, but has no regrets over his decision to reject a move

Schalke youngster Max Meyer has revealed he has twice come close to joining Bayern Munich.

The 19-year-old is one of Germany’s hottest prospects and has already become a first team regular in Gelsenkirchen, having made his debut for the club at the age of 17 in February 2013.

However, so evident was his talent as a youngster, Meyer was the subject of interest from a number of clubs as he progressed through the youth ranks, including Bayern, but opted to remain with Schalke.

“I trained at Bayern for one day when I was 12, but I never heard anything from Bayern after that,” Meyer told Sport Bild.

“But I nearly joined Bayern after all at a latter stage. Things were much more concrete then.

“Things weren’t going too well for me in my first year with Schalke Under-15. I then visited Bayern, but this time not to train, but to hold talks. I had an offer and came close to joining Bayern. Schalke eventually convinced me to stay, though.

“I have no regrets about my decision. I made the right call. I want to stay at Schalke for a long time and score a lot of goals here.”

Meyer – who has a contract with Schalke until June 2018 – has scored two goals in 14 Bundesliga appearances so far this term.

Bocchetti poised to join AC Milan on loan

The defender is on the verge of completing his transfer to San Siro after an unsuccessful spell in Russia

AC Milan have agreed a deal in principle to sign Spartak Moscow defender Salvatore Bocchetti on loan until the end of the 2014-15 season.

The Russian Premier League side have released a statement confirming that a deal has been agreed for the Italy international to return to his homeland pending a medical.

Milan head coach Filippo Inzagho was desperate to add some more depth to his defence this month and has now got his man in Bocchetti.

The 28-year-old had been reduced to just three league appearances for Spartak this term and was therefore keen to move on in order to relaunch his career.

Bocchetti started his professional career with Ascoli and also wore the jerseys of Lanciano, Frosinone, Genoa and Rubin Kazan before joining Spartak in January 2013.

The centre-back’s contract with the Moscow outfit runs until June 2017.

Big clubs will laugh at €25 million Reus fee – Kahn

The ex-Bayern goalkeeper believes a transfer is inevitable unless the Champions League hopefuls push their own financial limits

Former Germany international Oliver Kahn believes Borussia Dortmund will struggle to hold on to Marco Reus in the summer, after claiming “big clubs will laugh” at his €25 million release clause.

The 25-year-old had the stipulation inserted in his existing deal – which runs until June 2017 – upon signing for BVB from Borussia Monchengladbach in 2012.

Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Manchester City are all rumoured to be interested in the player, while Reus himself has shown little interest in extending his contract.

BVB have admitted they will be powerless in the event he decides to depart and ex-Bayern keeper Kahn expects him to do exactly that.

“It will be very difficult for Dortmund to hold on to Reus, especially if we take into account that they are unlikely to qualify for European football,” the ex-Bayern goalkeeper told Sport Bild.

“Dortmund will only be able to hold on to Reus if they push their own financial limits. If not, Reus will definitely walk out.

“The big clubs in Europe laugh about a €25m transfer fee these days…”

Reus has been struggling with injuries this term and has netted a mere three goals in seven Bundesliga appearances, while also hitting the headlines after being fined €540,000 for driving without a license.

Dortmund have suffered in their star attacker’s absence and currently sit 17th in the league table with 15 points from 17 games.

Bale: I can't imagine myself at Man Utd

The winger does not see his future at Old Trafford and hopes to make the most of Cristiano Ronaldo’s absence

Gareth Bale has insisted that he is happy with life at Real Madrid and “can’t imagine himself” playing for reported suitors Manchester United.

The Welshman has been linked with a return to the Premier League in recent months, with Old Trafford touted as a potential next destination for the attacker.

However, the 25-year-old has made it clear he is not considering a move to United and is aiming to win more silverware with Madrid instead.

“I can’t imagine myself at Manchester United,” Bale told Cadena Ser when questioned about a potential move to Old Trafford.

“In a recent interview they asked me if I was unhappy at Real Madrid and I told them I’m really happy here. I’ve got several years left on my contract and I’m enjoying myself.

“We’re winning trophies and I want to keep doing that here at Madrid.”

The former Spurs star then went on to reveal that he hopes to take advantage of Cristiano Ronaldo’s absence due to suspension in the weeks to come and get more chances to score from set-pieces.

“We have tactical meetings to work out who takes free kicks. Usually if it’s on the left, it’s Ronaldo’s, and if it’s on the right, it’s mine.

“With him out, I hope to take over free-kick duties and so have the chance to score more goals.”

Bale has netted 12 goals in 26 appearances in all competitions so far this term.

Yanga-Mbiwa completes permanent Roma move

The central defender has made 20 appearances for the Serie A side this season, which has activated an agreement to make his loan deal from Newcastle United permanent

Newcastle defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa has completed a permanent move to Roma, following a loan spell with the Serie A side.

The French defender initially moved to the Italian capital in September on a temporary deal but has now made the move permanent, with both clubs confirming the deal.

“Newcastle United defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa has completed a transfer to AS Roma after meeting a contractual condition contained in the loan agreement between the clubs,” a club statement read.

“The French defender joined Roma on a loan deal in September 2014 but it has now become a permanent move.”

Yanga-Mbiwa has made 20 appearances for Rudi Garcia’s side this season, and Roma currently sit second in Serie A, seven points behind leaders Juventus.

The Magpies signed Yanga-Mbiwa from Montpellier in January 2013 in a €10 million deal and he went on to make 17 appearances in his first season at St James’ Park.

However, the defender struggled to impress in his first full season at Newcastle and was eventually sent out on loan to Roma by Alan Pardew.

Roma have confirmed a fee of €7.35m will be paid for the 25-year-old.