Agent for Marcel Sabitzer confirms he will stay with Bayern Munich for 2022/23 – Sport Media News

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Update: Agent for Marcel Sabitzer confirms he will stay with Bayern Munich for 2022/23

Update — 11:05AM EST
According to Roger Wittmann, agent for Bayern Munich midfielder Marcel Sabitzer, the player intends to stay at Bayern Munich next season. In fact, that was the impetus for Wittmann’s meeting with the Bayern Munich brass this morning.

“Of course it was about Marcel. We want a new start at FC Bayern and that has also been decided. He’s staying, he wants to really put his foot down in preseason and show that he can do better. Marcel has made it clear that he is not satisfied with his performances this season, but several factors also played a role. For Marcel, it was the worst year in his career. But Bayern also had a very difficult season,” Wittmann told Bild (as captured by @iMiaSanMia). “That makes the integration for a new player not easy. Everyone who knows Marcel knows how ambitious he is. He came as a leader from Leipzig and is now, of course, unhappy about the whole situation.”

One of the season’s big disappointments for Bayern Munich was how poorly former RB Leipzig star Marcel Sabitzer integrated into the squad.

Sabitzer seemed to struggle with accepting a role as a back-up and never really got on track during his first season with Bayern Munich, despite his previous experience in playing for manager Julian Nagelsmann.

There have been recently been whispers that Sabitzer wanted to move on and today’s events will certainly add some fuel to that fire as the player’s agent, Roger Wittmann, was at Bayern Munich’s campus to hold talks with the club.

Daily Schmankerl: The aftermath of Bayern Munich vs. VfB Stuttgart; James Rodriguez to Inter Miami?; Florian Grillitsch has options for new club; Karim Adeyemi to BVB on five-year deal?; and MORE

Die Folgen: Bayern’s 2-2 draw with Stuttgart (Bavarian Football Works)
Bayern Munich and VfB Stuttgart fought to a 2-2 draw for a point that the visitors badly needed. The Bavarians, meanwhile, continued their late season string of iffy performances. Here are some quick hitters on the match:

The presentation to Niklas Süle was tough. It still feels like this was a totally preventable exit that will hurt the team. Anyone who thinks otherwise is fooling themselves.
Dayot Upamecano and Tanguy Nianzou would go on to show that a bit in this one.
Off topic for the match, but the Alps and Oktoberfest kits did not get enough run this season. We needed to see much more of them.
The new jerseys are okay. I don’t have a really strong feeling one way or the other yet.
Borna Sosa is a nice player and he always impresses. Serge Gnabry gave him some trouble at times, but Sosa is good. If Bayern Munich did not have Alphonso Davies slotted to man that left wing-back slot for next season, I’d probably be pushing hard for the Bavarians to get Sosa.
Bayern Munich had a lot of good looks early, but was not all that opportunistic.
Nianzou is sloppy and not ready for prime time. While I still think a loan would benefit him greatly, it appears that Bayern Munich is going to keep him on the roster for next season. Buying another center-back will be key given the roller coaster form of Upamecano and Nianzou’s unsteady play.
VfB Stuttgart’s first goal by Tiago Tomas was simply a product of Die Schwaben taking advantage of Bayern Munich’s lackadaisical backline.
Bayern Munich should have had two goals in the first 13 minutes. Thomas Müller and Leon Goretzka each should have had one.
Serge Gnabry put forth a nice effort on the team’s first goal.
Müller’s turn on his goal was exquisite. What a move!
Saša Kalajdžic’s goal was a direct product of an Upamecano gaffe.
This performance for Bayern Munich was not quite uninspired, they just were not sharp as a team.
The post game celebration was pretty cool and the moment between Süle and the ultras was awesome.
Overall, this just seemed like another match where it meant more to the opposition and where the opponents just wanted it more. In some ways, it doesn’t matter, but it is still a bit disconcerting. Bayern Munich will certainly be a good team next season, but there are some reasons for concern. How the front office and coaching staff deal with addressing the squad’s weaknesses will be key.
Mannschaft Planen: Heir to the number nine at Bayern Munich

Well then. Here we are. One of the greatest players in the history of FC Bayern Munich is set to leave the club by 2023. Why am I so sure? Well, it’s obvious. The Bayern Munich board will simply not give Robert Lewandowski a pay-rise in any capacity. Meanwhile Lewandowski — or rather, his agent Pini Zahavi — is pushing for a pay-rise that would make him the most well-paid player in the history of the Bundesliga by a country mile, a figure in the ball-park of €600k/week. I see no future in which Lewandowski extends his contract in Munich, unless it involves the sacking of Zahavi, which is about as likely as Tommy Adams wearing a half-and-half scarf at a Manchester derby. For the purposes of this article, I will be assuming that the Bayern board hasn’t gone completely off the deep end and have at least managed to retain the services of Serge Gnabry on a new contract even without Lewandowski.

For those who need a refresher, the Mannschaft Planen series goes over holes — or potential holes — in the squad and looks at potential players who could fill that hole. The series does not look at rumours and specifically avoids players who have already been linked to the club (do not expect Sébastien Haller, Darwin Núñez, or the like here).

Alright, let’s dig into this one now. Just like the Gnabry replacement article, as there is still a chance these deals may never need to happen, likelihood will not be a factor that is taken into account.

How is no one talking about Martin Terrier?

The guy is cracked. One of the most exciting players in Europe this season regardless of position or age. Every time he gets the ball you can smell the blood in the water. He scores from every half-chance he can snatch, with his insane shooting being the key factor. He has the instincts, aerial ability and hold-up play of a striker but he is just as capable of spectacular long shots and linking up play across sides with smart lay-offs and diagonal runs. A truly unique player who would be perfectly comfortable in all three of our attacking positions. He has an astonishing 21 goals in 34 appearances in the league, and this is from an extremely efficient 2.3 shots per game, a truly efficient scorer. At 25 he still has many years to go, and will likely reach his prime alongside players like Gnabry, Leroy Sané and Kingsley Coman making for a formidable offensive unit.

Finances may not pose a major issue. While he is valued at €16m by Transfermarkt, his contract runs until 2025 and Rennes would not let a player in such form go for anything less than €20m. I’d say the price lies around €20-25m, but the wage package need not be anything extravagant or even above average in this squad.

Likelihood: –
Player Quality: 9/10
Potential Price: 8/10
TOTAL: 17/20 (85%)

Bayern Munich vs Stuttgart: Lineups, team news, rotation is dead and Magath killed it, and more!

It’s time for the victory lap! With Bayern Munich set to play their final home game of the season, the Meisterschale will officially be presented to the team this Sunday.

The result of this game against Stuttgart is basically meaningless at this point, but Julian Nagelsmann doesn’t want a repeat of the limp performance we saw against Mainz. His solution? Play ALL the first teamers.

Team news
Bouna Sarr is the only Bayern player guaranteed to be out for this game, which doesn’t matter because Lothar Matthaus and Felix Magath have somehow bullied Nagelsmann into thinking that he NEEDS to show a reaction for the 3-1 loss to Mainz. Most Bayern fans would probably prefer to see some youngsters get a shot, but us plebs don’t get to have our opinions amplified by the German media.

So, the lineup. Don’t expect anything complicated. We should see Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller up top, flanked by Kingsley Coman and either one of Serge Gnabry or Leroy Sane. Based on recent form, Gnabry is ahead of Sane at the moment, so let’s assume he’ll be the one to start. Musiala? Never heard of him. Let’s move on.

The midfield is interesting because it’s going to be absolutely unchanged from one we saw in the last game. And the game before that. And the one before that. And so on. The last time Bayern Munich started a midfield pairing that WASN’T Kimmich-Goretzka was all the way back in the 1st leg vs Villarreal, a game most folks will want to forget.

Don’t get me wrong, Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka are great players, but they have ZERO competition on this squad which is clearly a selection headache for the coach. Hopefully if the Ryan Gravenberch deal goes through, he can challenge the two incumbents for a starting spot next season.

In defense, Julian Nagelsmann at least confirmed that Niklas Sule will not play anymore given his impending move to Borussia Dortmund. Expect Dayot Upamecano to take his place in the backline, forming a back four consisting of Alphonso Davies, Lucas Hernandez, Upamecano, and Benjamin Pavard. Manuel Neuer will be between the sticks, supplied with a handy copy of “How to speak French”.

Daily Schmankerl: FC Barcelona worried it has missed on Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski; Bayern eyeing VfB Stuttgart prospect; Barca passing on Erling Haaland over “lifestyle” issues?; Bayern misses on PSG wunderkind; and MORE!

Barca fretting over Lewandowski (AS)
AS journalist Javi Miguel captured a bit of “Fear and Loathing in La Liga”, as FC Barcelona is coming to grips with the fact that it will not be getting Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski this summer:

“Right now only a conjunction of stars would bring Lewandowski to Barcelona”. This is how graphic and emphatic they are when talking about the status of the signing of the Polish striker. The main obstacle is Bayern Munich, who are willing to lose money and let the player leave for free next season, rather than let him leave this summer. From Barcelona it is assumed that this intransigence of the Bavarian entity is being an almost insurmountable obstacle, since all interlocutors who have been contacted within the German club maintain the same unequivocal mantra: “Robert Lewandowski is not for sale”.

While Bayern Munich has made its intentions quite clear, Barca just will not give up hope just yet:

In any case, neither Barça nor the player have said the last word yet. The Blaugrana club, which hopes to soon activate one of the economic levers that would alleviate the treasury, would be willing to raise its offer to 40 million euros, while the international has already made it clear to Bayern that he will not renew and wants to leave this summer. So right now the ball is in Bayern’s court. Although knowing the idiosyncrasy and pride of the Bavarian leaders, it seems very difficult to give their arm to twist.

Given how strong Bayern Munich has been on this topic, it remains extremely that even a large financial offer will make the Bavarians budge.

A financial gap still remains between Bayern Munich and Ajax on Ryan Gravenberch

During an appearance on Christian Falk’s Bayern Insider podcast, Dutch journalist Mike Verweij gave an update on where things stand between Bayern Munich and Ajax midfielder Ryan Gravenberch.

“Bayern are still not willing to pay what Ajax are demanding. Bayern offered €17 million plus €6 million in add-ons, while Ajax want €30 million. I think if Bayern improve their offer a little bit, an agreement will be reached,” said Verweij (as captured by Twitter account @iMiaSanMia). “A personal agreement with Gravenberch will not be a problem. The player very much wants to play in the Bundesliga. I think in the end, Gravenberch will end up joining FC Bayern.”

For those hoping to see Gravenberch in Bavaria, that should serve as good news. It will definitely be interesting to fans to see just how far the Bavarians will go to bring in Gravenberch. The midfielder does not figure to be a starter in Munich any time soon, so spending a chunk of the team’s transfer budget on a non-starter could be considered curious.

Thomas Müller extends Bayern Munich contract through to 2024

Thomas Müller is aiming to continue his “fantastic success story” with Bayern Munich after signing a contract extension with the Bundesliga champions through to 2024.

The 32-year-old joined the club aged 10 and has made over 600 competitive appearances since making his first-team debut in 2008.

“I’m delighted to have extended my contact with FC Bayern Munich until 2024 today. The journey we’ve been on since I joined the FCB academy in 2000 has been a fantastic success story up to now,” said the Germany international forward, who has just picked up an unprecedented 11th Bundesliga winner’s medal, on the club’s official website.

Daily Schmankerl: Could Bayern Munich be plotting to steal Erling Haaland?; Manchester United made a late run for Karim Adeyemi?; Christian Pulisic to move on from Chelsea?; Bayern seeking leader at center-back; and MORE!

Could Haaland stay at BVB one more year to succeed Lewy in 2023? (Bavarian Football Works)
This a pipedream…but here me out: I have long said that I believe that Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland wants to play for Bayern Munich.

I might be alone in feeling that way, but it is just a (probably wrong) hunch.

With the news breaking that Bayern Munich will keep Robert Lewandowski for next season, event though he wants to leave, we can start to at least look at the possibility that RL9 Era in Bavaria could be coming to an end.

Given that situation potentially having an end date in sight and the recent passing of his agent Mino Raiola, it might (this is admittedly a stretch) be a possibility that Haaland takes one more year to get healthy, let his situation settle, and then go to the club that he really wants to join…Bayern Munich.

Could it happen? Sure.

Will it happen? Probably not (there is an awful lot of money at stake for Haaland).

If by some chance things do go down this way…you can just refer to me as the Oracle (or at least “not as dumb as we all originally thought.”)


Report: Bayern Munich will not be letting Robert Lewandowski leave this summer
Report: Robert Lewandowski wants to move on from Bayern Munich
United tried to swoop in on Adeyemi? (@berger_pj)
Manchester United reportedly tried to get Red Bull Salzburg star and Germany international Karim Adeyemi to change his mind and head to the Premier League:
Bayern Munich Alumni: Catching up with Venezia’s Michael Cuisance

At one point, Michael Cuisance was one of the most promising, young midfielders in the Bundesliga.

After moving from Borussia Mönchengladbach to Bayern Munich, the Frenchman suffered one misstep after another — and each issue was usually self-induced.

Skilled, talented, and emotionally volatile, Cuisance never got going in Bavaria and now appears to scuffling his way through Serie A with Venezia.

In an interview with Sport1, Venezia sporting director Alex Mentatalked through his team’s collapse into a relegation battle and the disappointing performance from Cuisance.

“The first half of the season went almost perfectly for us, but the second half of the season is a real disappointment,” menta said. “We no longer reach the performance limit, but we also have extreme bad luck in the crucial moments. A lot is possible in football. We still have five final games to go thanks to a catch-up game, three of them against teams from the bottom half of the table.”

As for Cuisance, it has been an adjustment.

“We expect more from him, but also from all the other players,” says Menta. “You also have to understand that he has never been in such an uncomfortable situation in his career. Add to that the new country, the new language, and the new culture. He also has to get used to the style of play, it’s a completely different world for him.”

Menta did not that Cuisance has been “very good” with his attitude and behavior.

“All I’ve heard and read about him is nothing to see here. I can’t say a bad word about his attitude, really. He’s also a father now, has a child, something like that makes you mature,” Menta said.

The sporting director did acknowledge that Cuisance was frustrated with the club’s standing in the table.

“If you as a journalist, write ten articles a day and none of them are well received, you wouldn’t be happy either. It’s the same with Michael. He works very hard in training but the results are disappointing. But we also can’t expect a player to come here and have ten goals and ten assists after ten games,” Menta said.

If Venezia is relegated, is Menta worried that Cuisance will leave?

“We haven’t talked about that yet,” says Menta. “Basically, the contracts of all our players are still valid if they are relegated to Serie B. But, of course, we will sit down with the players, including Michael, after the season and discuss what we are doing.”

Cuisance has not registered a goal, nor an assist for Venezia as of yet this season.

Report: Julian Nagelsmann wants to force a “generational shift” at Bayern Munich

It’s rare to get insight into the dressing room dynamics at Bayern Munich, so this is a treat. According to a report by Kerry Hau of Sport1, Julian Nagelsmann has started a generational shift away from the traditionally leaders in the Bayern dressing room. The player at the root of this change? Joshua Kimmich.

Per the report, Joshua Kimmich — and not Thomas Muller, Robert Lewandowski, or Manuel Neuer — is the coach’s first point of contact within the squad. The midfielder is Nagelsmann’s extended arm on the pitch, and the two appreciate each other’s input. He likes the fact that Kimmich pays attention to the team’s structure and wants to learn, even after playing under greats such as Jupp Heynckes, Pep Guardiola, and Joshua Kimmich.

Josh, for his part, likes the fact that Nagelsmann is always looking for new solutions to improve the team’s game. The switch from the established 4-2-3-1 to a hybrid system with three wingers was met with approval from the midfielder.

However, as we all know, the hybrid system was not very successful, and certain players (such as Robert Lewandowski) are said to have complained about the overloading of the final third with attackers. However, Nagelsmann reportedly has Kimmich’s blessing to implement more tactical innovations in the future.

This is, of course, good news for the coach. Kimmich is reportedly taking a major leadership role in the dressing room, encouraging exchanges with the French contingent and helping out the young players from the campus. He apparently took care of Paul Wanner and Gabriel Vidovic from the start and gave them tips. Reading the report, it seems that Kimmich is fully committed to making Bayern as successful as possible.

What about the coach, though? Nagelsmann clearly has a vision for his team, but has so far failed to make it a reality. As a young coach (only 34 years old), he is in a unique situation at Bayern, where the senior-most players (Neuer, Muller, and Lewandowski) are essentially his peers in terms of age and have far more experience at this level. Maybe, dismissing their concerns would not be the wisest move. It’s good that Julian Nagelsmann has a great working relationship with Kimmich, but extending an olive branch to the veterans couldn’t hurt.
Bayern Munich Alumni: Toni Kroos talks Thomas Müller, Bundesliga competitiveness, and more

Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos has watched Bayern Munich’s dominance of the Bundesliga from afar after leaving the club back in 2014 and thinks that part of the reason the Bavarians have done so well is because the other top clubs are too inconsistent.

“The competition has to become more consistent. Teams like Dortmund or Leipzig are definitely able to keep up in certain phases, but not in consistency. It’s not just about money,” Kroos said on the Einfach mal Luppen Podcast (as captured by @iMiaSanMia). “Dortmund drop points against teams that have less money. In the last two or three years, Bayern has always offered opportunities, but nobody has taken advantage of it. So it doesn’t always just have something to do with Bayern.”

Kroos also thinks that Bayern Munich has earned each of its titles, mostly because of the mentality of players like Thomas Müller.

“Bayern have once again shown an outstanding performance, especially mentally. It’s no surprise they are the best team in Germany in terms of quality. But wanting it year after year and giving importance to the league title is something special,” Kroos said. “Thomas Müller, in particular, he won it 11 times. He could have said after the eighth, ninth or tenth title that it doesn’t matter if he doesn’t win it. But I have the feeling he’s enjoying defending the title year after year.”

As for how Bayern Munich looked in its first season under Julian Nagelsmann, Kroos said he thinks things are headed in the right direction.

“I believe the cooperation between Nagelsmann and FC Bayern will work better and better,” Kroos remarked.

Bild breaks down the latest: Robert Lewandowski wants to leave Bayern Munich, the club wants Romelu Lukaku, fans could hit beer early on a Friday

Bild’s Christian Falk and Heiko Niedderer tackled the ongoing Robert Lewandowski drama at Bayern Munich and captured what can be considered the latest news on Falk’s Bayern Insider podcast

If true, this would certainly be enough to drive many fans to hit the bottle early on a Friday.

“We’ve heard that Lewandowski definitely wants to leave, but Bayern don’t want to let him go. Barcelona are offering Lewandowski over €30 million gross per year, which is making Bayern nervous,” Falk said per @iMiaSanMia.

So, if Lewandowski leaves (still highly doubtful), who would Bayern Munich seek to replace him? According to the Bild duo, Chelsea FC striker (and potential outcast) Romelu Lukaku is the top choice.

Per Falk and Niedderer, Lukaku has been a subject of interest at the club since his days at Everton. The roadblock for Bayern Munich in procuring Lukaku is that Chelsea would probably like a big transfer fee for him and that Lukaku’s wages are ridiculous (€12 million net).

Benfica’s Darwin Nunez is another top selection, but is just too expensive (€75 million to €80 million).


Daily Schmankerl: The four reasons Robert Lewandowski is considering leaving Bayern Munich; Manchester United chasing Sebastien Haller?; Real Madrid’s Luka Jovic has options in Germany; Mo Salah leaving Liverpool?; and MORE!

The four reasons Lewy wants to leave Bayern (The Express)
For anyone wondering why Robert Lewandowski might want to leave Bayern Munich, The Express was there to compile the top four reasons. The big debate here was to list them as The Express did — or do a David Letterman style rundown.

With only four, however, we just listed them as presented by the English outlet, especially because these have all been bandied about at one time or another:

The first, is that he feels Bayern haven’t made a big push to keep him.

Secondly, Lewandowski supposedly doesn’t feel ‘comfortable’ playing under Julian Nagelsmann.

Thirdly, Lewandowski knows Bayern are eyeing an ambitious deal for Erling Haaland.

The fourth reason the 33-year-old wants to depart is because of Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema. Benzema has been in unnerving form this term and Los Blancos have no intention of replacing their skipper. Lewandowski has taken note of Madrid’s stance and wants similar treatment as he enters the twilight years of his career.

As stated, we kind of knew a lot of this already, but it does seem as if Lewandowski has a few bones to pick with Bayern Munich. Surely, each reason has at least a modicum of merit, but it is unclear what issues are most important to the striker.

Lewandowski asks Bayern Munich for two-year contract and salary increase

Poland striker Robert Lewandowiski has made two demands for his contract renewal with Bayern Munich: A new two-year contract until 2025 and an increase to his current salary, which according to unofficial figures amounts to 24 million euros a year.

Bayern traditionally only give players over the age of 30 a one-year contract – the same is on the table for Manuel Neuer and Thomas Muller – but it appears that they would be willing to make an exception at this point.

On the other hand, his salary is a potentially more contentious area. Lewandowski, who is 33, is already Bayern’s highest paid player and a significant increase in his salary could have an impact on other players’ demands.

Bayern are in the habit of not overstepping certain limits in salary negotiations even if it means letting a player go, as was the case with David Alaba.

Lewandowski’s contract runs until the summer of 2023 and Bayern’s official position is that the player will remain at the club until the end of next season at least.
Lewandowski will reportedly ask to depart Bayern Munich

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Transfers. Bayern Munich say they will not sell Lewandowski
Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski will reportedly hand in a transfer request in his bid to part ways with the Bavarians in the summer.

The Poland international has just one year left in his contract and the two parties have yet to strike a deal on a potential renewal.

According to Bild, Lewandowski’s agent Pini Zahavi will meet with Bayern Munich in the next few hours, with the German newspaper suggesting that the meeting could even take place on Wednesday.

The two parties will discuss the player’s future, with Lewandowski willing to express an intention to leave the club in the summer.

It is believed that Zahavi will bring in an official offer, but Bayern Munich have no intention to allow their star to depart.

“Lewandowski leaving this summer is not an option,” Bayern Munich’s sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic said last Sunday.

“He has a contract until 2023. We will have some talks soon and we will see how they develop and how to act later. We want him to stay.”

Salihamidzic also stressed that the club wouldn’t consider a potential 50 million euro offer from Barcelona.
Did Bayern Munich set a new record for most consecutive league titles?

Did Bayern Munich set a new record for most consecutive league titles?
Plus: balls and multiple hat-tricks; teams first meeting late in the season; and a goalkeeper being sent off in a shootout

Mail us your questions or tweet @TheKnowledge_GU
Joshua Kimmich and Robert Lewandowski lead the celebrations after Bayern secured their 10th Bundesliga title on the bounce.
Joshua Kimmich and Robert Lewandowski lead the celebrations after Bayern secured their 10th Bundesliga title on the bounce. Photograph: Matthias Hangst/Getty Images
Guardian sport
Wed 27 Apr 2022 08.00 BST
“Bayern Munich have just won their 10th successive Bundesliga,” writes Maggie Phillips. “Is this a European or even a world record?”

Bayern’s 3-1 win over Borussia Dortmund on Saturday sealed their 10th consecutive German title. It was the first time that a team in one of Europe’s big leagues has won 10 in a row – the closest before that was Juventus, who won nine on the bounce before walking into Antonio Conte last season.

We think the world record belongs to Talea FC of the Oceanic island Vanuatu, who won the Port Vila Premier League for 15 consecutive seasons from 1994 to 2008-09. Amicale FC rose to the not inconsiderable challenge and won the title in each of the next six seasons, though Tafea FC eventually clambered back atop their perch in 2018-19.

Middlesbrough’s Fabrizio Ravanelli celebrates a goal against Villa in May 1997
Has any club ever played every game in every competition in a season?
Read more
The European record is shared by Skonto FC of Latvia and Lincoln Red Imps of Gibraltar. Both won 14 titles in a row, Skonto FC between 1991 and 2004 and Lincoln Red Imps from 2003 to 2016.

What happened next? Skonto’s coach Aleksandrs Starkovs, who was in charge for the last 12 of those 14 titles, left for Spartak Moscow and took Skonto’s aura with him. FK Ventspils won the league in each of the next three seasons, and though Skonto were champions again in 2010, the club went bankrupt and was dissolved in 2016. Lincoln Red Imps, meanwhile, finished a point behind Europa FC in a relentless 2016-17 title race. They dropped only nine points all season, and scored 100 goals in 27 games, but it wasn’t enough. They’ve won the title in four of the five subsequent seasons, though.
Plus: balls and multiple hat-tricks; teams first meeting late in the season; and a goalkeeper being sent off in a shootout

Mail us your questions or tweet @TheKnowledge_GU
Daily Schmankerl: Is FC Barcelona prepping to finance deal for Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski?; Bayern linked to another Ajax player; Brazzo laments losing Niklas Süle; Manchester United scoping Pau Torres; and MORE!

Barca’s finance deal could pave way for Lewy transfer (
FC Barcelona could be engaging a private equity firm to organize the finances needed to acquire Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski:

Barcelona are believed to be close to securing a lucrative financial agreement with private equity firm CVC that will give the club the finances to pursue Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski. The Catalans had been eyeing an ambitious move for Borussia Dortmund talent Erling Haaland. But the figures involved in such a deal – potentially a €250m investment over the next five years – made it challenging for a club still recovering from near financial implosion.

With Haaland now increasingly expected to join Manchester City instead, Barça have repeatedly been linked with Lewandowski as an alternative. Soon to be 34, the Pole would be more affordable than Haaland because he only offers a more short-term solution, yet there is still the need for a financial boost to Barça’s revenue to make it within their reach.

Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano chimed in and said that while there has not been any contact between Barca and the player just yet, a meeting between the parties could be in the works:
Bayern Munich and PSG interested in signing frustrated Barcelona midfielder

Barcelona could have growing concerns over the future of midfield mainstay, Frenkie de Jong, amid growing claims of the Dutchman’s frustrations.

De Jong, who has been at the club for almost three years now, has had his share of ups and downs at Camp Nou. After some early stutters this season, he had looked fairly well-settled in Xavi’s team and has grown into a key operator.

But, recent performances have not been up to the mark, with his display against Rayo Vallecano, in particular, drawing ire.

During the same game, de Jong was the first to be subbed off by the manager, to which he reacted poorly and headed straight to the locker room.

Now, journalist Santi Ovalle is claiming that the Netherlands international was unhappy with Xavi’s decision to take him off first. De Jong is believed to be frustrated as he does not understand why he is always the first player to be subbed off.
Daily Schmankerl: FC Barcelona’s offer to Bayern Munich and Robert Lewandowski is lacking; Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, and Real Madrid want Serge Gnabry; Manchester United plotting Frenkie de Jong move; Leicester City wants Gleison Bremer; and MORE!

Barca’s paltry offer for — and to — Lewy (Daily Express)
FC Barcelona’s offer to Bayern Munich — and its salary proposal to Robert Lewandowski — are likely not enough to please anyone.

The Catalans are prepare to offer a grand total of just about €50 million for a transfer fee and salary. Considering Lewandowski is seeking a salary of €30 million, that offer likely won’t move anyone’s needle:

Barcelona want to spend a maximum of £42million on a transfer fee and wages for a new striker this summer amid interest in Robert Lewandowski, according to reports. The Poland international is being viewed as the ideal replacement for Lionel Messi, who departed for Paris Saint-Germain last year. And with the veteran yet to pen a new deal with Bayern Munich, a possible move to the Nou Camp is on the cards.

It’s previously been reported that Barcelona would want to spend a maximum fee of around £35m on the 33-year-old, who continues to deliver as he approaches the twilight years of his career. And Sport now say that, when wages are factored in, they’d want a maximum outlay of close to £42m overall.
Bayern Munich clinch Bundesliga, Liverpool add to Everton’s doom, Gabriel Jesus MVP: Weekend Review

The European weekend was again filled with adventure and excitement as two title races (German Bundesliga, French Ligue 1) ended with champions being crowned (Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain, respectively), while the Premier League hotted up thanks to wins for Manchester City and Liverpool. Elsewhere, Real Betis clinched a historic Copa del Rey, Arsenal applied more pressure and misery on Manchester United’s plate and Gabriel Jesus had another brilliant game.

Here are Rob Dawson, Julien Laurens, Sam Marsden and Derek Rae with what you need to know from around Europe.

Go to: Talking points | Top goals | Troubled teams | Weekend MVP

Bayern Munich make it a remarkable 10 in a row

Having been in Munich to commentate on Bayern’s 10th successful title triumph for ESPN, it’s important to recognise the scale of their achievement.

Other clubs in other top leagues with similar resource advantages have tried and failed; not Bayern. The Allianz Arena was bouncing all evening during a 3-1 win over Dortmund that was by no means a cakewalk, either. For many in the 75,000-strong crowd, it was a return to “football as it’s meant to be” after months of crowd restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic. The outpouring of joy was real and palpable, with beer showers galore on the pitch after the final whistle.
Bayern Munich’s interest in Ajax’s Gravenberch confirmed by Salihamidzic

The teenage midfielder has been tipped to swap Johan Cruyff ArenA for Allianz Arena in the summer transfer window

Bayern Munich sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic has confirmed the club’s interest in Ajax star Ryan Gravenberch.

Gravenberch burst onto the scene at Ajax as a 16-year-old, becoming the youngest player to appear in the Eredivisie when making his debut against PSV in September 2018.

The midfielder has since established himself as a key member of Erik ten Hag’s senior squad, attracting admirers from across Europe in the process, including Bayern.
Bayern Munich 3-1 Borussia Dortmund: Initial reactions and observations

Initial reactions and observations
Jamal Musiala scoring the winning goal for Bayern was the icing on the cake for this game. What a moment for the young man.
Dortmund put up a fight in the second half, but in the end it wasn’t enough. They need to rebuild now with the money they get from selling Haaland.
Full time: Bayern win 3-1!

84’ — GOAL! Musiala makes it 3-1! That’s the title!

83’ — Subs: Sabitzer and Sane on for Muller and Coman.

51’ — Goal. Emre Can converts his penalty. Ugh. 2-1 now.

45’ — Second half kicks off!

Halftime observations and analysis
Bayern Munich have been dominating this game pretty much since the 10th minute, Dortmund basically surrendered after Gnabry’s goal. Not a very competitive game so far.
The goal scored by Robert Lewandowski was almost a carbon copy of the one we saw against Villarreal — a winger wins the ball in midfield passing it to Muller, who lays it off to Lewandowski for a finish.
Serge Gnabry has been good this game — wish he would play like this more often.
Lothar Matthäus unhappy with Bayern Munich’s handling of Robert Lewandowski contract situation

Robert Lewandowski’s future still very much hangs in the balance. Bayern Munich still has not put in motion negotiations for a contract extension and there has been a lot of external noise linking him with a move to Barcelona this summer. At this point, with how much time has past for such an important player having his contract expire next summer, the tension is incredibly palpable around the club as the pressure on the front office to get a deal done mounts. Oliver Kahn, Hasan Salihamidzic, and Herbert Hainer remain confident that an agreement will be reached for a contract extension, but leaving it this close to the end of the season has been too close for comfort for the large majority of Bayern fans, Lothar Matthäus included.

“I would have extended Lewandowski’s contract much earlier. Lewandowski has twice become world footballer, and if you have the chance to tie such a player to you, then you should do everything for it,” Matthäus recently said of Lewandowski’s contract situation at Bayern (Abendzeitung). He has not shied away from making his opinions heard on the matter his sentiment is, without a doubt, one that is shared by anyone who knows just how important of a player the Polish international is for FC Bayern.

Bayern Munich & PSG can win their respective leagues this weekend

Bayern Munich and Paris St-Germain might have missed out on the Champions League for another season, but both could celebrate winning their respective leagues this weekend.

Over in Spain, Real Madrid can all but seal La Liga without kicking a ball while it is all still to play for in Italy.

BBC Sport looks at what could happen in Europe’s big four leagues this weekend.

Bayern win to close in on title
Pochettino hints at new PSG deal
How Benzema has become one of the world’s top strikers
Will Bayern win Der Klassiker and Bundesliga at the same time?
The biggest game in Europe this weekend? Look no further than Germany and Der Klassiker.

Bayern Munich against Borussia Dortmund is a huge fixture on any occasion. But Saturday’s meeting in Munich (17:30 BST) is colossal in terms of the Bundesliga title.

Bayern are on the brink of a 10th straight title after establishing a nine-point lead over nearest rivals Dortmund with four games left.

Dortmund would love nothing better than to delay Bayern’s title celebrations by winning at the Allianz Arena.

Julian Nagelsmann wants new options at right-back, defensive midfielder, and in the attack for Bayern Munich

According to a report from Sport Bild (as captured by Twitter account @iMiaSanMia), Bayern Munich manager Julian Nagelsmann has submitted a summer transfer window request to the club’s front office for three position profiles:

Defensive midfielder
The right-back request might already be complete as Bayern Munich is rumored to have already reach an accord with Ajax defender Noussair Mazraoui, who will be a free transfer in the summer.

In addition, the Bavarians have been linked to Mazraoui’s teammate Ryan Gravenberch, who likely identifies as more of an 8 than a 6, but has the potential and physical toolset to play a more defensive and physical role. Ajax and Bayern Munich, however, have not been able to sync up on a transfer fee, which leaves the move in jeopardy. RB Leipzig’s Konrad Laimer has been mentioned as another option, but Die Roten Bullen likely won’t sell the Austrian to Bayern Munich this summer, which means the Rekordmeister would have to wait until the summer of 2023 when Laimer can make a free move.

As for Nagelsmann’s request for an attacker…that is interesting. The respective futures of Robert Lewandowski and Serge Gnabry are both at least somewhat in doubt in Bavaria as both players have contracts expiring in 2023 — and both are embroiled in at least somewhat tricky contract negotiations.

Regardless of what happens with those two players, Bayern Munich will still have the following options in the attack (at least as of now): Thomas Müller, Kingsley Coman, Leroy Sane, Jamal Musiala, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, Paul Wanner, Gabriel Vidovic, and Malik Tillman.

As for why Nagelsmann wants another attacker, the report states that the manager wants to put pressure on the existing personnel.

Bayern Munich has been loosely linked with players like Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland, RB Leipzig’s Christopher Nkunku, Ajax’s Antony, Leeds United’s Raphinha, Red Bull Salzburg’s Benjamin Sesko, VfB Stuttgart’s Sasa Kalajdzic, Bayer Leverkusen’s Patrik Schick, and Benfica’s Darwin Nunez among others.

None of the aforementioned players would be easily affordable.

Arminia Bielefeld vs. Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga: Lineups, team news, injuries; and MORE!

For Bayern Munich manager Julian Nagelsmann, the big question entering this weekend’s Bundesliga match against Arminia Bielefeld is exactly who he should rest — if anyone.

The Bavarians are coming off of a shocking elimination from the Champions League at the hands of Villarreal and will be looking to get back on the winning track.

What we know — as of now — is that both Lucas Hernandez and Kingsley Coman did not train with the team today and will not travel to the away match. In addition, Niklas Süle and Corentin Tolisso are out and Bouna Sarr will return!

(Hold your applause)

Based on all of that, this is how we think Nagelsmann will set up his boys. We are predicting a veteran-heavy, back four-based formation for Bayern Munich against Arminia Bielefeld:

Arminia Bielefeld vs Bayern Munich: TV channel, live stream, team news & prediction

Bayern Munich host Arminia Bielefeld on Sunday afternoon in a meeting between two Bundesliga sides operating in vastly contrasting realms of the table.

The Bavarian behemoths lead the league by nine points going into the final five games of the campaign. Arminia, conversely, start the weekend in the relegation play-off position, above Hertha Berlin by goal difference alone before the capital side’s Saturday meeting with fellow strugglers Augsburg.

Here’s all you need two know about this weekend’s meeting between the pair.

Rumor Mongering: Bayern Munich Enter Race for Liverpool Target

Bayern Munich, fresh off of a shock Champions League quarterfinal exit to Villareal, are set to rebuild in the transfer market, with their recruitment priorities now putting them on a collision course with Liverpool over a shared target.

Rocked by the loss in midweek, and with talk heating up of a summer move away for long-time goal machine, Robert Lewandowski, the German giants are desperate to restock their attack.

The Kicker via…Forbes (?) has revealed that RB Salzburg’s Karim Adeyemi has subsequently made his way onto Bayern’s summer transfer wish list following a break out campaign that has seen the striker score 20 goals and provide five assists in all competitions.

While the 20-year-old had once been mooted for a move to Borussia Dortmund, discussions stalled, leading to speculation that Liverpool had managed to insert themselves into the picture. Avid collectors of products off the Red Bull talent production line, Liverpool will have fancied their chances of winning the race for the young German’s signature to join former RB stars Sadio Mane, Naby Keita, Takumi Minamino and Ibrahima Konate on Merseyside.

German outlet, Bild has previously reported that Salzburg have slapped a €45m (£38m) fee on their young striker, a bargain price considering the talent and potential at Adeyemi’s disposal.

While both Bayern and Liverpool are certainly not lacking for talent, protracted contract negotiations for their respective talismans in Lewandowski and Mohamed Salah could lend urgency to the battle for Adeyemi.
Dietmar Hamann worried about Robert Lewandowski’s age amid contract talks with Bayern Munich

At this current juncture, it still remains unclear what the future holds for Robert Lewandowski and whether it will be with Bayern Munich, or another club. Reports broke earlier this week suggesting that FC Barcelona was close to agreeing on a deal to sign Bayern’s number 9, but they all proved to be speculative at best. Prior to those rumors circulating, it had come out that Lewandowski was peeved at the fact that Bayern’s front office had not yet initiated discussions to negotiate a contract extension despite their affirmation that they definitely wanted to keep hold of the Polish ace.

Recently speaking to Goal, former Bayern and Liverpool midfielder Dietmar Hamann weighed in on Lewandowski’s contract situation in Munich. For him, it all comes down to just how many years Bayern would be willing to extend Lewandowski’s contract by. At 33 years of age, Lewandowski shows absolutely no signs of slowing down, but age is a concern for Hamann.

The player turned pundit is worried that Bayern could potentially be dealing with a waning Lewandowski if they were to go ahead and offer him an extension for more than two years, citing Cristiano Ronaldo’s patchy return to Manchester United as an example of what’s to be concerned about. “There is no reason not to extend with (Manuel) Neuer or (Thomas) Muller. With Lewandowski you have to see whether he wants more than two years. Then of course you have to think about it. At the end of the contract he would be nearly 37. You can see with Ronaldo that it gets more difficult with age,” he explained.

With the bigger picture in play, it hasn’t made Hasan Salihamidzic, Oliver Kahn, or Herbert Hainer’s jobs an easier with the fact that so many players on Bayern’s squad were, or still are, up for a contract extension. Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka, and Kingsley Coman have all already signed new deals and Neuer and Muller are expected to soon follow suit. For Serge Gnabry and Lewandowski, both situations remain open at this point.

“With Muller and Neuer I say, yes, extend them. But of course they can’t earn more. You have to make sure that the contracts are made even more performance-related,” Hamann rationalized with the financial situation at Bayern. “If you have five to six players who earn 20 million euros, you have to claim that you get to the semi-finals in the Champions League. Of course you can be eliminated, but it’s always about the process,” he added.
Daily Schmankerl: Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski to leave for free in 2023?; Bayern scoping Turkish talent; FC Barcelona wants VfB Stuttgart’s Borna Sosa; RB Leipzig tracking Real Madrid youngster; Antony to Juventus?; and MORE!

Could Lewy leave for free in 2023? (@JanAageFjortoft)
The state of contract negotiations between Bayern Munich and star striker Robert Lewandowski is in flux.

FC Barcelona has been lurking around Lewandowski and is probably in communication with Lewandowski’s agent, Pini Zahavi. Rather than a move this summer, however, pundit Jan Aage Fjortoft says that Lewandowski could fulfill his contract and then leave on a free transfer in 2023:

Bayern Munich: Robert Lewandowski will not be sold to Barcelona this summer

With rumors swirling this week that Robert Lewandowski wanted to trade his Bayern Munich shirt in for a Barcelona shirt, that was bound to come up when Bayern CEO Oliver Kahn spoke to Amazon Prime (per SportBild) prior to his club’s UEFA Champions League game against Villarreal on Tuesday.

And, boy, Der Titan was ready for it.

“It’s good that you’re addressing him. Apparently there’s a competition out there: who will come up with the bigger nonsense story about Robert Lewandowski?”

Kahn continued: “First of all, it is very important that we have a contract with Robert Lewandowski that lasts another season. We have always said that we will start the talks and we started them a long time ago. As soon as there is something to report, then we will do it too.”

What’s wrong with Bayern Munich star Leroy Sane? Will he start against Villarreal?

Bayern Munich star Leroy Sane has been spectacular for most of the season, but things have unraveled a bit lately for the Germany international.

A dip in form has coincided with being admonished by manager Julian Nagelsmann during a training session last month (probably an issue) and a somehow public late night at a wine bar (probably not an issue).

Most recently, Sane hit Nagelsmann with a “dead fish” handshake after being subbed out early against FC Augsburg. The manager commented on it to Abendzeitung.

“I noticed that his handshake was different before (Sane was subbed out) — less frustrated,” said Nagelsmann, who said he was not mad at Sane and did not think the episode was worthy of a headline. “(Sane) is an ambitious person, very self-critical, and everyone deals with frustration situations a little differently.”

After the reluctant handshake with Nagelsmann, Sane opted to go back to the locker room immediately rather than sit with his teammates — a move that raised some eyebrows. Again, Nagelsmann dismissed any deep meaning behind Sane’s decision.

“Some can immediately sit on the bench and cheer for the boys. Of course, that’s always the best case. But there are also characters who aren’t so good at it. That’s okay, too. Leroy got pissed off at himself and didn’t want anyone see or be seen more,” Nagelsmann remarked.

More important than any of that, however, is that Sane just has not looked like himself on the pitch — but that could be about to change. The German forward could be looking for a “slump buster” today against Villarreal in an effort to get his season back on track.

But will Sane get that opportunity?

The latest reports indicate that Sane has possibly edged out Serge Gnabry for a spot in today’s starting XI. If so, that could be enough of a boost to help the talented forward to get back on track.

It would not shock many Bayern Munich fans if Sane out his name on the scoresheet later today to officially break out of his funk.

Daily Schmankerl: Is Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski headed to FC Barcelona or is Barca eyeing Joao Felix?; Mesut Özil and Axel Witsel to MLS?; Chelsea’s Romelu Lukaku to PSG?; and MORE!

Report: Two stories out of Poland say Lewy has reached deal with Barca (TVP Sport)
By now, you’ve seen the headlines blasted, “Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski agrees to terms with FC Barcelona” and you — rightfully — took everything with a grain of salt.

So, let’s break down how this all went down on Monday. First, there was a report out of Poland breaking the story:

As TVPSPORT.PL learned, Robert Lewandowski is to sign a contract with Barcelona . According to our source, the captain of the Polish national team informed the Bayern Munich authorities about his decision.

In recent weeks, a lot has been said about the future of Robert Lewandowski. The striker’s contract expires on June 30, 2023. Bayern’s authorities are reluctant to start talks on a new contract. The Polish representative is disappointed with this attitude. So far “Lewy” has played 369 matches for the 31-time German champion. He scored … 340 goals in them . He is one of the best footballers in the history of the German tycoon.

As we have established, Lewandowski will not sign a new contract with Bayern. We learned from the close circle of the player that the striker had already communicated with Barcelona. The best striker in the world is to come after a teleconference with the Blaugrana authorities. The information provided to us shows that all the terms of the contract have been agreed.

The Pole informed Oliver Kahn about his decision. Bayern authorities already know that “Lewy” will start a relationship with a new employer. It is supposed to be FC Barcelona.

Then, another Polish journalist ran with it further:

Training Update: Who’s in and who’s out for Bayern Munich against Villarreal — absentees confirmed!

Julian Nagelsmann confirmed that Niklas Süle, Corentin Tolisso, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Bouna Sarr would all miss the Villarreal match during his press conference earlier today:

Bayern Munich will square off against Villarreal in the Champions League on Tuesday and will be missing a few players. Here is the latest information on where some Bavarians stand ahead of the UCL clash:

Lucas Hernandez: The defender missed Saturday’s match against FC Augsburg with a bruised thigh, but will be ready to go against Villarreal.
Niklas Süle: The Germany international has the flu and is likely going to miss the contest. Hernandez is expected to start next to Dayot Upamecano at center-back, where Süle’s presence will be missed.
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting: The back-up striker has kicked COVID-19, but is battling a knee injury.
Bouna Sarr: The defender is suffering from patella issue and will miss the match.
Corentin Tolisso: With a four-week estimate on his recovery time from his latest injury (hamstring), Tolisso may have already suited up for the final time in Munich.
Niklas Süle, Corentin Tolisso, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Bouna Sarr did not train with the team today. There could be further updates after Julian Nagelsmann’s press conference later today.

FC Barcelona can’t pay hefty salary to Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski, worried about damaging relationship further

ESPN journalist Moisés Llorens dished on FC Barcelona’s rumored interest in Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski and confirmed reports that we had previously seen in today’s Daily Schmankerl.

“Barcelona’s offer to Robert Lewandowski would likely be less than what he earns at Bayern. If Lewandowski is looking for money and a last big contract, then Barça is not the right solution for him. If he’s looking for a new challenge and playing in a league he’s been trying to move to for many years, then yes. Barça do not want trouble with Bayern. They are interested in Lewandowski, but would only intensify their efforts if Bayern give him permission to leave,” said Llorens (as captured by @iMiaSanMia).

In addition, Llorens says that the relationship between Bayern Munich and FC Barcelona become a bit fractured over the Super League debacle and that the Catalans would rather not risk damaging it further by trying to swipe the Polish star.

“The relationship between Barcelona & Bayern is not at its best – Barça don’t want to make it worse. There was a minor ‘dispute’ between the clubs about the Super League project. Bayern are against the project, while Barça support it. They don’t want more conflict,” said Llorens. “In addition, there’s the wage mass. Barcelona cannot spend more on salaries at the moment. In order to free up a place for Lewandowski’s salary, they would have to sell a few players or simply get rid of their wages.”

In the end, Llorens just does not think a move to FC Barcelona will be doable for Lewandowski, based on the Catalan club’s finances.

“As of today, I think Lewandowski’s transfer to Barcelona will be very difficult to achieve. It’s not impossible, but still difficult to carry out. That’s how I see,” Llorens remarked.
Daily Schmankerl: The aftermath of Bayern Munich vs. FC Augsburg; FC Barcelona balking on Robert Lewandowski pursuit?; Pep Guardiola says there is no “better place” than Manchester City; and MORE!

Die Folgen: Bayern’s rugged 1-0 victory over Augsburg (Bavarian Football Works)
Bayern Munich bounced back form its Villarreal loss with a tough 1-0 victory over FC Augsburg using a lineup that was filled with subs. Here are some quick hitters on the match:

I was hoping Bayern Munich was going to be able to avoid looking ahead to Tuesday against Villarreal, but it felt like that is exactly what happened early on.
Niklas Süle getting scratched with a slight fever before the game was a blow as he could have used the field time.
If it has been widely established that Leroy Sane is far less effective as a right-wing, why was he used out there? I’m a big proponent of using inverted wingers, but Sane definitely looks and feels more comfortable on the left side.
The Dayot Upamecano-Tanguy Nianzou partnership had some shaky moments early on, but held it together for the clean sheet. Nianzou makes too many mistakes, though. He needs more seasoning. I still say a loan where he can play freely and consistently would do him well, but it seems like he will be back with the Bayern Munich first team next season.
Serge Gnabry flashed some impressive footwork and vision a few times in the first half, but could not create much offense.
Niklas Dorsch is the exact kind of high energy midfielder that would be a great fit at Bayern Munich these days behind Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka. He plays with an immense amount of passion, but that ship has sailed. Arne Maier did a pretty solid job as well for FC Augsburg.
Neither Joshua Kimmich, nor Leon Goretzka were great. Goretzka was, in fact, not good. Kimmich did get better as the game went on, but he does not look like himself. Hopefully, he can get some rest and be ready for Tuesday.
Dorsch really plays with no fear. He just brings energy and tenacity to pitch. He was fantastic on the day. What a performance for the midfielder.
Bayern Munich’s first half offensive effort was extremely choppy again and lacked creativity. It was better in the second half, but only marginally.
Omar Richards wasn’t bad, but he wasn’t great either.
Benjamin Pavard had a few boneheaded plays in an uneven effort for the Frenchman as well. He has to be better.
Alphonso Davies and Marcel Sabitzer each made an instant impact upon entering the match. They brought some life on to the pitch, as did Kingsley Coman and Jamal Musiala.
There are like six guys on FC Augsburg that would look totally at home working in an artisan, farm-to-table bagel shop in Brooklyn.
The handball on Reece Oxford was very obvious. It wasn’t intentional, but had to be called. Robert Lewandowski, who got no decent service all day, buried the penalty kick. That was an extremely unfortunate play for FC Augsburg, which played an incredibly tough match.
FC Augsburg goalkeeper Rafal Gikiewicz was outstanding on the day.
Overall, it was an ugly first half, complimented by a re-energized second half. Bringing in Musiala, Coman, Sabitzer, and Davies helped change things. Both teams battled very hard on the day. FC Augsburg deserved a ton of credit for going toe-to-toe with Bayern Munich. In the end, it was a gutty, hard-fought Bundesliga victory for Die Roten. Though the victory might not make fans feel too much better about the state of the squad, it sure was better than the alternative.

Bavarian Podcast Works: Weekend Warm-up Podcast Season 1, Episode 44 —Unpacking Bayern Munich’s loss to Villarreal; Why Bayern might not have needed both Ajax players; The latest on Serge Gnabry’s future; and MORE!

The week was sort of normal until Wednesday initiated a run of craziness.

Bayern Munich’s loss to Villarreal in the Champions League, followed the transfer craziness involving Robert Lewandowski and the Ajax duo of Noussair Mazraoui and Ryan Gravenberch really threw the latter part of the week for a loop.

We hit on all of that and more, so check out what we have on tap:

Where Bayern Munich went wrong against Villarreal and how things could get better on Tuesday.
The potential acquisitions of Mazraoui and Gravenberch and why I don’t get one of the moves.
Serge Gnabry’s negotiations and who has interest in the Germany international.
The phenom who just won’t commit to Julian Nagelsmann.
A couple of other items just for good measure.

Bayern Munich draw a blank against Villarreal to end historic Champions League scoring run

More than three years had passed since the last time the Bavarians failed to net in the competition

Bayern Munich drew a rare blank against Villarreal to end the club’s incredible run of scoring in the Champions League.

The Bundesliga giants were upset by Unai Emery’s team, who prevailed 1-0 in Wednesday’s quarter-final first leg thanks to Arnaut Danjuma’s early goal.

Perhaps even more impressive than Villarreal’s victory was the clean sheet that accompanied it, against a team that almost always manages to find the target.

BFW Commentary: It can’t get any worse for Bayern Munich…right?

When the final whistle sounded, Bayern Munich walked off the pitch at Estadio de la Cerámica with the weight of a 1-0 Champions League loss on its shoulders.

It might only have been one defeat, but it must have felt like 1,000 after how Villarreal imposed its will on the match. Even the most optimistic Bayern Munich fans could not muster much positivity from the effort. The coaches and players were equally inept and Villarreal played with an intensity and spirit that the Bavarians were unable to match.

Villarreal v Bayern Munich – UEFA Champions League
Bayern Munich was outclassed and outworked against Villarreal. Photo by Stringer/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
In a lot of ways, that was the most disappointing aspect of the match. Villarreal played with a fire inside of it and an urgency that Bayern Munich could not match on any level. Sometimes football is an easy game to assess: Villarreal was better prepared than Bayern Munich and just wanted it more.

That said, the return leg could become quite uncomfortable for the Spaniards.

The Bavarians played about as poorly as they possible could in every aspect of the match from the coaching to the performance on the pitch. It was ugly and extremely difficult to watch, but there is still a return leg and Bayern Munich has the ability to turn this tie on its head.

Nothing will be easy, but there should be more focus, attention to detail, and urgency.

There is that word again — one that has often come up in Bayern Munich’s defeats this season. Too often, the squad has looked complacent on the pitch during its losses and not realizing that its opposition is bringing its best effort. Tactics aside, Villarreal manager Unai Emery had his boys ready for a fight and that is exactly how the Yellow Submarine played.

Barcelona losing race for Noussair Mazraoui to Bayern Munich – report

FC Barcelona could be losing ground in their pursuit of Ajax’s right-back, Noussair Mazraoui.

Bayern Munich have always been the main competitors for the signing, and it seems the Bavarians are making good progress. According to the latest rumors, Bayern’s negotiations with the player are very advanced, although not finalized.

Barcelona are still in the race but things are looking less likely.

Mazraoui himself reportedly had Barcelona as a first choice at first, but Bayern’s sporting project could end up being the winner.

Barcelona’s other target for right-back, César Azpilicueta, is said to be staying with his current club, Chelsea.

This could lead to talks of a transfer out for Sergiño Dest to cool down. Dest has improved after a rocky start under Xavi, and with replacement deals looking less likely, it may be better for both parties if he stays. Rumors of an exit either circled this past winter, but nothing came of it. Speculation that he would leave next summer has slowed down.

Report: Massive* fight breaks out in Bayern Munich training
*It was a snowball fight. No one was hurt (that we know of).

It’s April in Bavaria but apparently there’s enough snow on the ground for carnage to ensue at the Sabener Strasse. Per Bild, a massive snowball fight broke out between substitutes at Bayern Munich training on Sunday, resulting in, well … nothing. It was a snowball fight, what did you expect?

Alphonso Davies, being Canadian and therefore in his natural element, instigated hostilities by throwing the first volley. This brought Niklas Sule, Serge Gnabry, Marc Roca, and Omar Richards into the conflict leading to complete and utter chaos. Click on the Bild link to see Davies get pelted in the back of the head with a snowball. Gnabry, Richards, and Sule are said to have “laughed manically”. By the process of elimination, we can assume that Marc Roca is the one who threw the offending projectile.

No reports of who won the fight. As a Canadian, Davies had the clear advantage over his teammates, so if they were savvy they would’ve ganged up on him to take him down early. Or maybe it was a complete battle royale scenario. Who knows? All I can envision is this clip from an episode of Spongebob:

Five observations from Bayern Munich’s dominant (and slightly controversial?) 4-1 win over SC Freiburg
It really was a tale of two halves, with a lackluster first half paving the way for a thoroughly dominant rout in the second. The Bavarian boys really made a statement.

Bayern Munich gave Freiburg a sound thrashing at the Europa-Park Stadion, with the hosts being overwhelmed by a scintillating attacking performance from the Bavarians in the second half. Of course, the 4-1 scoreline could still be in jeopardy following the suspected presence of 12 Bayern players on the pitch at some point late in the second half (yet to be confirmed).

We can only hope that that never happened and that even if it did, it didn’t affect the play by much. Several footballing regulations seem to make a yellow card awarded to the concerned player the norm in such situations. Hopefully, the result stays the same, and there isn’t any change in the outcome of the game.

With all that said, here are some observations from the match:

Energy-saving mode
With most of the players in the squad having just returned from international duty, it seemed like Nagelsmann had them take it easy in the first half, with more emphasis on controlling possession, dictating the tempo, and conserving energy. This resulted in a lopsided possession graph, and Bayern was able to pass the ball around Freiburg’s box for 45 minutes.

However, since that didn’t get die Roten any goals, Nagelsmann probably gave the boys an energizing pep talk at halftime and instructed them to change the tactics a little, because it really showed in the second half. The team pressed more as a whole, starting taking more shots, with the passing looking crisper and the play quicker. Lewandowski was subbed off early, probably as a precaution, as were several other players a few minutes later. The sudden suffocating press and a huge influx in chances generated meant Bayern was bound to score a bunch of goals sooner rather than later.

And that’s exactly what happened.

PSG won’t sell prized defensive prospect to Bayern Munich

Paris Saint-Germain is going to do whatever it can to keep highly-touted defensive prospect El Chadaille Bitshiabu per Foot Mercato.

Bayern Munich was said to have interest in Bitshiabu, but PSG does not appear likely to sell the youngster any time soon:

According to our information, the Parisian club has no intention of letting go its U17 international, seen twice with the pros in the French Cup. Paris has taken out the barbed wire and will not let go its prospect, whatever the price offered and whatever the interested club. This is clear.

Bayern Munich’s rumored shift to being a “selling club” likely means that it will be on the hunt for young players like Bitshiabu moving forward. PSG, which is probably still a bit bitter about losing Tanguy Nianzou to Bayern Munich, seems intent to not make losing defensive prospects to the Bavarians become a pattern.

Bitshiabu currently has a deal with PSG through 2024.

Daily Schmankerl: Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski wants to join FC Barcelona?; Chelsea’s Antonio Rüdiger too old for Bayern?; Atletico Madrid closing in on Boubacar Kamara; Barca, Liverpool battle for Raphinha; Hulk ref?; and MORE!

Lewy eyeing Barca move? (Forbes)
In a report from Sport that was captured by Forbes, the word is that Bayern Munich superstar Robert Lewandowski is ready to make the move to FC Barcelona:

Robert Lewandowski wishes to join FC Barcelona, who have an offer ready for the striker according to reports. The reigning two-time FIFA The Best winner is a free man in June 2023, which perhaps forces his current club Bayern Munich to offload him before next season so as not to lose their second all-time top scorer on a free transfer.

According to Sport, Barca will offer the Poland international a four-year contract until 2026 as they believe that the model professional can still perform at the top level despite already being aged 33.

Barca don’t think that reaching an agreement with the Ballon d’Or hopeful will be a problem either given president Joan Laporta’s strong relationship with the player’s agent Pini Zahivi – who has represented Lewandowski since 2018 when he left the man that took him to German football, Cezary Kucharski, in 2010.

Lewandowski’s contract situation and negotiations are allegedly up in the air at this point, but we do know that there is mutual interest in getting a deal done in Bavaria — and also that Bayern Munich CEO Oliver Kahn has recognized that he needs to take a more hands-on approach in dealing with his star players.

There have, however, been some hard feelings built up on Lewandowski’s end that have left him feeling a bit disrespected. How this all plays out when the two sides finally meet remains to be seen.

Report: Bayern Munich front office, coaching staff clashing on Tanguy Nianzou’s development

According to Sport Bild’s Christian Falk (as captured by Twitter account @iMiaSanMia), Bayern Munich sporting director Hasan “Brazzo” Salihamidzic is unhappy with manager Julian Nagelsmann because the coach has not given young defender Tanguy Nianzou much of an opportunity to play this season.

In fairness to Nagelsmann, Nianzou has not been good when called upon. Sloppy positionally and with his challenges, Nianzou has been mistake-prone. Given his age (19) and his vast potential, though, there is no reason for Bayern Munich to write Nianzou off just yet. In fact, it appears that the only way to truly get a feel for what the player can be as a professional is to send him off on a loan assignment to a club where he would be able to play on a regular basis.

Even with the upcoming exit of Niklas Süle, Nianzou is not assured of consistent playing time next season at Bayern Munich. For all parties, it appears that a loan should be the next step for the player’s development.

Bayern Munich boss Julian Nagelsmann irked by criticism over tactics
Julian Nagelsmann is getting tired of pundits dragging his players — and tactics — through the mud.

Bayern Munich boss Julian Nagelsmann has read and heard enough.

The former RB Leipzig and Hoffenheim manager is getting sick of everyone taking shots at his tactics, formation choice, and players.

“The question has come up for the 1,437th time recently — and it will also come up at the next press conference,” Nagelsmann said (per Abendzeitung).

The normally calm and composed coach seems to be letting the barrage of criticism get to him a bit — and maybe rightfully so. His squad is sitting atop the Bundesliga table and has not lost a game in the Champions League all season.

Recently, Sky pundit Didi Hamann, stated that Bayern was only playing with “only three and a half defensive players” with the back three of Benjamin Pavard, Niklas Süle and Lucas Hernández and defensive midfielder Joshua Kimmich, which really seemed to get under Nagelsmann’s skin a bit.

“I’ll discuss it with Didi again because I think it’s a bit unfair to the players when you see how hard-working Serge, King and Leroy are,” Nagelsmann said. “I always try to consult with my players. And they also have the clear idea that the best staff is currently playing in the way we are playing. And I agree with that.”

Nagelsmann, though, did try to lighten up what seemed to be some frustration by taking a jab at Hamann in a playful way.

“Maybe (Hamann) used to see himself as a very offensive eight and didn’t feel like defending,” Nagelsmann said. “Didi also understands what I’m saying. I find it disrespectful towards players like Gnabry or Coman. The whole world of journalists claim that they can’t defend. These are two world-class players, so defending is part of it, as they have shown.”

Bayern Munich’s Sven Ulreich doesn’t want to be left out in the cold…again

Bayern Munich back-up goalkeeper Sven Ulreich has likely heard the rumors linking the Rekordmeister to Arminia Bielefeld starter Stefan Ortega and the veteran might be getting a little antsy about his own future.

According to Sky journalist Florian Plettenberg, Ulreich has not met with Bayern Munich as of yet regarding a new deal, but the 33-year-old wants to know if the club has any plans for him in the future — by the end of this month.

For Ulreich, this makes sense from a career-planning perspective:

By all accounts, Ulreich is a popular, seasoned option to play behind starter Manuel Neuer. Moreover, the relationship between Neuer and his current understudy appears to be rock solid, which is important considering how little Bayern Munich’s back-up goalkeepers actually play.

For players seeking any type of consistent field time, being Neuer’s back-up is not exactly a desirable position. Ulreich, however, is content in the role, which differs from Neuer’s heir apparent Alexander Nübel.

Should Neuer sign a contract extension, Nübel is expected to look for a new club.

Bayern Munich boss Julian Nagelsmann wants to help Dayot Upamecano get back on track

Bayern Munich defender Dayot Upamecano turned in a decent effort against Bayer Leverkusen when it comes to statistics. The Frenchman completed 90% of his passes, won both aerial duels, won three of four ground duels, and had three tackles.

The one awful moment was an errant pass that left a bad impression on many watching the match — including Bayern Munich boss Julian Nagelsmann.

“I will talk to him and show him solutions. Upa knows he doesn’t have to play a back pass (to Ulreich) there. You’ve to play simple and clear the ball, send it to the third row, even if that’s not a very smart solution at that moment,” Nagelsmann said after the match (as captured by Twitter account @iMiaSanMia).

While extremely solid at times, Upamecano has been inconsistent at various points of the season. Signed with the expectation that he was ready for prime time, Upamecano has shown that he has the potential to be a good starter, but also that he might need more seasoning before he is ready to be the lead dog on Bayern Munich’s backline.

The timeline on how quickly needs to ramp up has undoubtedly been expedited given the upcoming exodus of Niklas Süle.

Bayern Munich star Niklas Süle laments failure against Bayer Leverkusen, won’t talk about Borussia Dortmund

Bayern Munich defender Niklas Süle scored in the 18th minute to give his club an early 1-0 lead over Bayer Leverkusen, but the soon-to-be Borussia Dortmund center-back saw his squad scuffle and eventually settle for a draw.

It was not exactly the result anyone was looking for.

“We played one of our best 30 minutes of the season. After the unfortunate equalizer, we lost focus and lost the ball too easily. We allowed the opponent to get back into the game. That must not happen to us,” Süle said (as captured by @iMiaSanMia). “We allowed two or three big chances within five minutes. In the second half we had more control. But of course we wanted more today. The 1-1 draw is not enough.”

As for the upcoming move to Borussia Dortmund, Süle is not ready to discuss that just yet and would rather focus on trying to win the two remaining titles that Bayern Munich still fighting for.

“I deliberately haven’t spoken out yet. I’m still a Bayern player. There are still two big titles to play for and I will give everything to make sure Dortmund finish second this season,” Süle said (as captured by @iMiaSanMia). “I’m nothing but grateful. I’ll give everything for this club until the last day, hopefully with two more titles. I believe in that. I’m grateful for the way people here are coping with my decision.”

Tottenham Hotspur leads Bayern Munich on Djed Spence
It seems like Bayern Munich might have to look elsewhere to fill a role on the right defensive flank.

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