Sadio Mané to be moved to wing at Bayern Munich in front four shake-up – Sport Media News

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Report: Sadio Mané to be moved to wing at Bayern Munich in front four shake-up

Are things alright for Sadio Mané at Bayern Munich? The dynamic do-everything forward arrived from Liverpool this summer in a rich vein of form, but has endured a drought in goal production since then. The bosses in charge appear to be trying everything they can to get him firing again, deploying him in two straight games — against FC Barcelona in the Champions League and FC Augsburg in the Bundesliga — on the left wing.

Reportedly, that move could be permanent, which would have significant ramifications for Bayern’s attacking structure. From kicker’s Georg Holzner:

Mané hasn’t exactly played poorly through this drought — the latter parts of which he hasn’t had striker partner Serge Gnabry alongside him — but nonetheless the move may help unlock something else in his game.

It might also create a crowded situation at wing, where Kingsley Coman and Leroy Sané still play and may have to vie for time — on the right side of the formation. Meanwhile, the move could shift Thomas Müller and Jamal Musiala not only inside, but into the tip of the attacking line, where they were employed against Barça.

It may also afford greater opportunities to Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting as the team’s lone box striker option up top, as well as open up chances for the fearless youngster Mathys Tel — who has also been deployed largely on the wings to date, but has never been shy to shoot.

Flick admitted that he made mistakes near the end and said that he was being a little selfish.

“At the end of my time in Bayern, there were moments when I took a wrong turn,” he said. “During this phase, I couldn’t just put everything aside. And that’s why there were certainly moments when I was unfair to the team.”

Like Rob Renzetti said in 2005: “I miss you!”

Bayern Munich, FC Barcelona bosses settle the bad blood

Bayern Munich and FC Barcelona are no strangers to trading blows, and not only on the field (where it’s been rather one-sided of late). The Robert Lewandowski transfer saga, Bayern’s pursuit of La Masía youngsters Pedri and Gavi, various comments made about Barça’s financial predicaments from Bayern’s Uli Hoeneß and Julian Nagelsmann…it’s been a simmering cauldron of tension recently. Even Oliver Kahn’s smile at the outcome of the Champions League draw pitting the teams together elicited a range of online interpretations.

In light of the sticky mood, the two clubs reportedly took the occasion of their recent group stage meet-up in Munich to sit down and clear the air, per Sport1:

Indeed, everyone should be happy now that they’ve gotten what they wanted — Lewandowski is enjoying an immense start to the season for the La Liga club, and they’ve recently locked down Gavi as well. And Bayern are over the moon over Liverpool FC transfer Sadio Mané, who would not have been possible without Lewandowski’s move.

Perhaps this will pave the way for fewer barbs and more hugs by the time the return trip to Spain comes around? We’ll take it, and hopefully the wins keep coming as well.
Daily Schmankerl: Manchester United, Chelsea, Atletico Madrid, PSG all wanted Bayern Munich’s Benjamin Pavard; Journo convinced Harry Kane legit target for Bayern; Manuel Neuer…offensive juggernaut?; & MORE!

Pavard admits he had offers in the summer (Telefoot via @iMiaSanMia)
Bayern Munich defender Benjamin Pavard missed his team’s 1-0 loss to FC Augsburg, but is in the midst of a terrific season.

A center-back by trade, Pavard has stood out with his performances at right-back during this campaign. He does still maintain a desire to play centrally and some clubs expressed their interest in the Frenchman over the summer.

“I asked myself questions in the summer. I had calls from different clubs. Maybe one day I’ll go to one of these clubs. But I spoke to Julian Nagelsmann, who made it clear to me that I was in his plans,” Pavard told Telefoot.

Per the report, the clubs who inquired about Pavard were Atletico Madrid, Chelsea FC, Juventus, Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain.

With his contract ending in 2024, how difficult will it be for Bayern Munich to retain Pavard next summer is he continues on pace with his torrid start?

Bayern Munich’s Noussair Mazraoui reacts to spotless showing against FC Barcelona in the Champions League

Bayern Munich’s summer transfer window has been nothing short of a masterclass from Brazzo and Co. One signing that went under the radar initially due to some other big-name signings, but has quickly come to the forefront in recent weeks, was that of Noussair Mazraoui from Ajax. The Moroccan has been stellar in recent weeks and did a brilliant job of deputizing for Benjamin Pavard when the player limped off the pitch with an injury.

It was a high-stakes situation on the biggest of nights, and Maz did not disappoint.

The right-back was easily one of the best players on the pitch, denying Lewandowski and Co. multiple opportunities and pocketing the right side of Barcelona’s attack with relative ease. In short, Bayern’s RB situation suddenly looks incredible.

Speaking to Abendzeitung after the game (quotes via @iMiaSanMia), the player commented on his a-MAZ-ing performance against the Catalans: “I think I had a good game (vs Barcelona). I came in for Pavard without warm-up – you have to be there immediately, which is difficult, but I had a very good start. The block against Lewandowski helped me get into the game.”

Mazraoui is of course referring to the unbelievable block he pulled off to deny Lewandowski what would’ve been a surefire goal. The player threw his body on the line, and launched the ball away from the penalty area to safety in what was one of the game’s most crucial interventions.

He further emphasized the importance of the block and the effect it had on him for the rest of the game: “That (block) was important. From that moment on, I had a great feeling.” He then lauded the team’s performance, which was indeed very good on the night. “The whole team did well, we fought as a team to beat Barcelona. It was a good team performance. We showed a great performance against a strong opponent”.

Bayern fans can only hope that such performances keep coming. With Pavard out, for the time being, it is up to Mazraoui to put these starts to good use and cement his position in the starting XI. It certainly feels good to finally have 2 world-class RBs in the fray after a long period of shuffling players along the backline.

A certain Joshua Kimmich would for one, be super relieved.
FC Augsburg vs Bayern Munich: Lineups, team news, doubts about Sadio Mane, & more! (Updated)

After the euphoria of a win against FC Barcelona, Bayern Munich return to the day job — a game against FC Augsburg away in the Bundesliga. Augsburg aren’t exactly world beaters, but they’re exactly the kind of banana peel that Bayern have been slipping on like it’s Mario Kart lately. Another draw (or a loss) would raise serious questions heading into the international break, but who’s to say questions aren’t being asked already?

Team news
Julian Nagelsmann confirmed that only three players are unavailable for the game — Kingsley Coman, Lucas Hernandez, and Bouna Sarr (all due to various injuries). Coman will likely be back after the international break, while Hernandez and Sarr are set to be sidelined for a much longer time period.

Meanwhile, questions are being asked about new signing Sadio Mane and his recent form. Mane has not scored or assisted since the 7-0 win over VfL Bochum, and the lack of goal contributions is starting to be noticed by fans and the media alike. In his press conference, the coach reiterated his trust in the former Liverpool man, saying he will get his goals and assists soon. We can assume he will start up top tomorrow.

Joining him will likely be Serge Gnabry, in order to give Thomas Muller some rest perhaps? Gnabry could start in the place of any of the attackers, but Muller played the full 90 vs FC Barcelona while Leroy Sane and Jamal Musiala were subbed off, so it makes more sense to give him a break. Expect a four-man attack consisting of Mane, Sane, Musiala, and Gnabry.

In midfield, Joshua Kimmich is confirmed to be starting, since Nagelsmann says he doesn’t see a need to rest him yet. Ryan Gravenberch was also mentioned as “deserving more minutes” but that might mean he’s not close to a starting XI position yet. Leon Goretzka could get the nod ahead of Marcel Sabitzer after his strong performance against Barcelona, with the Austrian likely dropping to the bench.

In defense, Dayot Upamecano is confirmed fit after suffering a knock in midweek, so he’ll be ready to slot in alongside Matthijs de Ligt at center-back. The duo will have to cover for the injured Lucas Hernandez, and for De Ligt especially it’ll be a huge chance to make up for his penalty mistake in the Stuttgart game.

Nagelsmann confirmed that Noussair Mazraoui will be starting against Augsburg after his exemplary show against Barcelona, so him and Alphonso Davies will be tasked with helping the offense unlock the inevitable low block that FCA will field. Two offensive fullbacks on each side could be the extra punch Bayern have been lacking.

Finally, Manuel Neuer rounds out the starting XI at goalkeeper. Here’s what the lineup could look like:

Match awards from Bayern Munich’s 2-0 Champions League victory over FC Barcelona

Jersey Swap: Robert Lewandowski
FC Barcelona played a surprisingly efficient game tonight. While any team with Robert Lewandowski will become one of the best in the world, Gavi, Pedri, and the remainder of also did a marvelous job especially in the first half.

However, the nod has to go to Lewandowski, catalyst for a majority of Barcelona’s best scoring opportunities. Among them was a gorgeous volley that could’ve been a goal of the year candidate if he had put it on frame. Lewandowski was a menace, consistently finding open space and getting the ball at his feet. If it was not for the herculean efforts of Manuel Neuer, Lucas Hernández, and Dayot Upamecano, Lewandowski could’ve had numerous goals. He’s arguably still the single best offensive player in the world and he reminded everyone tonight in his first return to Bavaria. Barcelona will be just fine with Lewandowski.

Der Kaiser: Manuel Neuer/Alphonso Davies
I can’t pick just one. Frankly, Neuer kept the game even in the first half, as did Davies. If Hernández wasn’t Man of the Match, he’d be in the running for Der Kaiser as well. I mean heck, Dayot Upamecano has a valid claim to this award. In short, Bayern Munich’s defense was our best unit by far, which is weird to say. Neuer made numerous saves at close range and Davies’ recovery speed is still unmatched — to go with his offensive capabilities.

Saves like this were a reminder that Manuel Neuer is very much still an elite goalkeeper and one not to mess with:

Fußballgott: Leon Goretzka
Even though he played one half, he was the best midfielder for Bayern Munich by a country mile. Marcel Sabitzer played a great first half before being replaced by Leon Goretzka, but Leon was the cog that earned the corner for Bayern’s first goal and his build up play for Bayern’s second cannot go unmentioned. Joshua Kimmich earned some consideration given his defensive play tonight, but his consistently inconsistent passing meant that Kimmich was third place tonight. Leon’s arrival, which forced Kimmich to play more conservatively, brought back flashbacks of the Kimmich under Flick. Hopefully Nagelsmann makes a note of that, as Bayern’s midfield is best with Leon in it.

Der Bomber: Leroy Sané
Best offensive player for Bayern Munich. I mean, he was everywhere. His goal through the center of Barcelona’s defense was eerily reminiscent of Arjen Robben’s Champions League winner vs Borussia Dortmund. This is the Leroy Sané Bayern thought they were buying from Manchester City. Whatever black magic Nagelsmann has done to Sané, I am all here for it. Given Bayern’s offensive struggles between Müller, Mané, and co., Sané continuing his torrid pace is a welcome development.

Meister of the Match: Lucas Hernández
What can I say? He was nothing short of a demon in the backfield. He not only scored a thunderous header to open up his Champions League account, but was also largely responsible for keeping Robert Lewandowski and Barcelona off the scoresheet — making a third straight clean sheet for Manuel Neuer against Barça. His defensive acumen, positioning, and clearing skillset were all on full display as he helped stifle a robust Barcelona attack. Bayern’s €80 million defender has clearly established himself as Bayern’s top center-back with tonight’s performance. That being said, all eyes will be on Hernández’s injury situation as he pulled up short in the closing seconds and finished the game on the sidelines with the physios.
Why Bayern Munich’s Leroy Sané smashed a water bottle after being substituted against FC Barcelona

Leroy Sané wasn’t the happiest camper after his 80th minute substitution in Bayern Munich’s 2-0 win over FC Barcelona on matchday two of the Champions League group stages — but it was directed at himself, rather than at his coach. The winger was seen smashing a bottle in frustration, and after the game, clarified his feelings in a more light-hearted moment with reporters:

Sané’s 54th-minute goal doubled Bayern’s advantage and swung the tide and sense of belief at the Allianz Arena firmly in the home side’s favor for the remainder of the game. It was a marvelous piece of work, and almost a trademark finish now for Sané in one-on-one situations against the keeper. Here again we can hear Ray Hudson wax poetic about Sané’s magician-like qualities:

Deployed on the right wing today, Sané found himself with different responsibilities than his usual, but more than stepped up to the plate with his end product. He teed up the first half’s best chance as well for Marcel Sabitzer, though the Austrian midfielder’s shot fizzed narrowly wide.

Still, Sané has set the bar incredibly high for himself, and is a constant striver for improvement. That he was not happy with what could have been on a day as successful as this shows why he’s a brilliant asset to Bayern’s attack — which, of late, has been lots of glitzy teamwork without result, save for moments of individual magic such as what Sané supplied.

Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann is showing that he can flex his front four into a wide variety of configurations depending on each matchup. Today that meant Sadio Mané and Leroy Sané on the left and right wings, respectively, with Thomas Müller and Jamal Musiala playing through the middle. For the goal, it would be Musiala threading Sané through the center, showing that similar principles are still underlying the different starting positions. For all his self-critique, Sané was trouble for Barça defenders all night long.

And while Mané and Musiala lit up the first few games of the year, it’s been Sané turning it on in the Champions League over the past week. As long as everyone is working this hard, the good times for Bayern should continue.
Barcelona XI vs Bayern: Predicted lineup, confirmed team news, injury latest for Champions League today

ll eyes will tonight be on Robert Lewandowski as he looks certain to start against former club Bayern Munich in the Champions League.

The Polish striker has been in sensational form for Barcelona sice arriving in the summer, scoring a hat-trick last week in his first European match for the club as Xavi’s side cruised to a 5-1 win over Viktoria Plzen.

While there is pretty much no doubt who will be leading the line, there is a decision for Xavi to make in wide areas. Ousmane Dembele has been similarly impressive and is expected to start, with Raphinha and Ansu Fati competing for the other spot.

Marcos Alonso and Hector Bellerin have both travelled to Munich, after making their debuts over the weekend against Cadiz. That lineup was a largely rotated one, with Pedri among those he will surely come straight back into the side.

Bellerin has a chance of starting again but Jules Kounde looks a more likely option at right-back, while Alejandro Balde is probably leading the race to start on the left, leaving Alonso and Jordi Alba having to settle for places on the bench.

There are plenty of options in the centre of defence for Xavi too. Ronald Araujo and Eric Garcia appear to be the favoured pairing, though that could change in the future should Kounde move inside.

It seems probable that the Frenchman remains at right-back for now though, offering a more defensive option to combat the huge threat of Bayern out wide.

Predicted Barcelona XI (4-3-3): Ter Stegen; Kounde; Araujo, Garcia, Balde; Busquets, Gavi, Pedri; Raphinha, Dembele, Lewandowsk
Champions League expert picks: Bayern Munich vs. Barcelona the headliner as Lewandowski returns to Germany

The second matchday of Champions League play is here and it brings us a few rearrangements. Rangers vs. Napoli was moved by a day, which means we’ll get seven matches to chew on Tuesday and then a jam-packed Wednesday with nine clashes. The week is headlined by a homecoming by the return of Barcelona striker Robert Lewandowski to Bayern Munich hosts Barcelona in a can’t-miss group of death duel. This round will also see Graham Potter debut as the new Chelsea coach as the Blues host Red Bull Salzburg while Liverpool and Juventus look to kickstart their UCL campaigns after last week’s disappointment. You can catch all of the matches on Paramount+, your home for Champions League football.

Here’s our predictions for each match and more:

Craving even more coverage of the world’s game? Listen below and follow ¡Qué Golazo! A Daily CBS Soccer Podcast where we take you beyond the pitch and around the globe for commentary, previews, recaps and more.

Three Bayern Munich players Barcelona must watch out for

Bayern Munich are set to welcome Barcelona on Tuesday on the second matchday of the 2022/23 UEFA Champions League.

Barça are looking to put an end to a run of four successive defeats against the Bavarians in European competitions, but things will be difficult once again, especially at the notorious Allianz Arena.

Despite Bayern’s poor run of form, they are a daunting opposition for Barcelona due to the sheer strength of the squad. And here, at Barça Universal, we will take a look at three Bayern players Barcelona must watch out for if they are to salvage anything from this draw.

Sadio Mane
Sadio Mane was Bayern Munich’s answer after losing Robert Lewandowski in the summer. The former Liverpool star was brought in due to his versatility in the final third, coupled with his goalscoring prowess.

A month into the new season, Mane has scored five goals for Bayern in all competitions so far. He has not had the best of starts to his career in Bavaria, but the forward certainly has the skill set to cause all kinds of trouble for the Barcelona defenders.
Daily Schmankerl: The aftermath of Bayern Munich vs. VfB Stuttgart; Miroslav Klose battling in Austria; Another report of unhappiness at Bayern; FC Barcelona already eyeing next summer’s big transfer; Leon Draisaitl’s Bayern hockey squad; & MORE!

Die Folgen: Bayern’s 2-2 draw with Stuttgart (Bavarian Football Works)
Bayern Munich put forth a very up-and-down effort in another Bundesliga draw — this time against VfB Stuttgart. Here are some quick hitters on a match that surely left some fans frustrated and others longing for some consistency:

Julian Nagelsmann opted to do a pretty heavy rotation for this match. Mathys Tel, Serge Gnabry, Dayot Upamecano, Noussair Mazraoui, Leon Goretzka, and Jamal Musiala entered the fray, while Sadio Mané, Kingsley Coman (injured), Lucas Hernandez, Marcel Sabitzer, and Leroy Sané all took a seat:

I felt like Mané — in particular — needed a blow. It has been a lot on the ex-Liverpool man so far, so getting his legs fresh was a good idea. Otherwise, this was a good opportunity to get Pavard, Sabitzer, and Hernandez some downtime as well.
As expected, the early part of the game was marred by a lot of ping-ponging and choppy play. VfB Stuttgart was determined to defend with all of its might.
VfB Stuttgart really gave Bayern Munich all they could handle for a large part of the first half.
In the 30th minute, Serge Gnabry could not break through Florian Müller and the VfB Stuttgart wall. It’s a shame because it was some outstanding work from Bayern Munich.
Gnabry also probably thinks he should have converted his attempt in the 34th minute as well.
At this stage, Bayern Munich had begun to wear down Stuttgart and Mathys Tel ultimately made them pay with the game’s first goal and set a new standard in the process:

Tel was a bit uneven before his goal, but that seemed to add some pep to his step.
Part of making the loss of Robert Lewandowski palatable was the sense that Thomas Müller would emerge from the Polish Hitman’s shadow and take on more of a scoring role. In fact, the team needs him to produce. Of course, Müller’s presence and his “off the scoresheet” contributions are unquestioned, but he’s not a scoring legitimate threat right now and that’s a problem.
Oh no, here they come for me! It’s the #MullerMafia:

Seriously, though, Müller needs to get back to his goal scoring days.
Truthfully, I though the foul drawn by Joshua Kimmich that took away the 51st minute goal from Serhou Guirassy was pretty weak. Bayern Munich was a bit lucky there as I did not believe that warranted a foul being awarded.
In the 57th minute, Konstantinos Mavropanos took advantage of some really lackluster play from Jamal Musiala and Alphonso Davies to set up Chris Führich for the game-tying goal. There was a complete and utter lack of effort from Musiala on the play (this might be the first time I’ve ever criticized him). Aside of getting out-muscled on the play, Musiala quit on his pursuit, which left Davies to get caught flat-footed. It was a bad look.
Musiala would (almost) make up for it with a pretty spectacular goal off a feed from Noussair Mazraoui and some good work from Kimmich.
Things, however, would not really get better from there.
Matthijs de Ligt’s foul that caused the game-tying penalty can’t happen in that spot. De Ligt has to be better.
Despite some of the post game ratings on popular sites, I thought only Mazraoui turned in a good shift on the backline. Alphonso Davies had his moments, but lost possession an astonishing 16 times. His defensive work and ability to possess the ball have been an issue for a while now.
I’ll beat this drum some more, these are the games where Kimmich needs to be rested. He wasn’t as crisp as he has been. He wasn’t bad per se, but this is a key stretch and I’d rather see him rested a bit like Nagelsmann did with Mané.
Leon Goretzka was not great to be honest and probably my didn’t help his cause to get back into the starting XI consistently.
I wasn’t thrilled with the attacking play overall, either. There were definitely moments where Bayern Munich looked very dangerous. However, it wasn’t consistent enough or good enough. Gnabry needed to finish far better than he did. His 62nd minute attempt (saved by Florian Müller) will haunt him. He was all alone and could not find a way around the VfB Stuttgart goalkeeper.
Yes, there will be people who are going to start clamoring to put the heat on Nagelsmann, but this is a situation where the players need to be better…a lot better. Acknowledging that this was, indeed, a trap game, Bayern Munich’s focus has to improve:

For a team with such tremendous talent and depth, Bayern Munich has to held itself to a higher standard in these types of matches. Fighting and clawing for three points is a must. I saw a bit too much entitlement on the pitch — which was highlighted by Musiala’s lackluster tracking back on VfB Stuttgart’s first goal and De Ligt’s reckless challenge in extra time.
Overall, this was a frustrating for a number of reasons. The game was not fluid for Bayern Munich and the team was — once again — very inefficient in the attack. Dropping points in extra time — especially the way it happened — made it all the more painful, but the reality is what it is: Three Bundesliga games, three draws. If I were to transition to ”Dad Mode” here, I’d say that I’m not mad about the result, just disappointed. Bayern Munich needs to be better…it’s as simple as that.

Four observations from Bayern’s 2-2 draw against Vfb Stuttgart

Bayern Munich have now dropped points in three consecutive Bundesliga matches. Shoutout to VfB Stuttgart for pacing themselves brilliantly to catch Bayern late in the game and deservingly take the point home. The frustration in fans has started to ebb and tonight I’m prepared to take some stick by playing the Devil’s advocate and try to explain why these results off late are not as big of a deal, as they seem on paper. So without further ado, here are the match observations:

Young guns coming up big
In a game in which Bayern had its chances that the seniors were struggling to put away, the duo of the 17-year-old Mathys Tel and 19-year-old Jamal Musiala got their team on the scoreboard.

FC Bayern München v VfB Stuttgart – Bundesliga
Mathys Tel scored his first Bundesliga goal. Photo by Stefan Matzke – sampics/Corbis via Getty Images
The composure shown to put cool finishes from the box under tight pressure from the two youngsters was remarkable. Both of them scored with their weaker left foots. Jamal’s shot was especially thrilling on the eye, coming after some silky footwork to sidestep the defender.

Dangerous De Ligt
Yes, we all saw that penalty coming light years away. Mathias de Ligt so far has had a decent start with Bayern. He plays with fire with his tackles but seeing it as a flaw in the player would be rushing to a conclusion.

He is 22-years-old and after transitioning from the Serie A to the Bundesliga, the change in the game’s pace has not gone unnoticed. So, I would not, blame the guy for wanting to throw his body at the opposition regardless of whether he has a good chance of making a clean tackle or not. He is giving away a lot of fouls and sometimes is out of position. I personally don’t think it’s a big deal unless he hasn’t become a defensive rock in the following years at the club.

Bayern Munich 2-2 VfB Stuttgart: Initial reactions and observations

Third draw in a row for Bayern Munich. Most coaches would be under pressure after this, and Julian Nagelsmann is no exception. That Barcelona game in midweek is looking very dangerous right now.
Matthijs de Ligt has a mistake in him and it surfaced today. The last minute conceded penalty was just begging to happen given his defending style.
Serge Gnabry was … oof. Let’s just say that he won’t be starting against Barca if everyone else is fit.
Some positives: Mathys Tel and Noussair Mazraoui had great starts, they seem like they can do a job this season.
Bayern’s lack of game management in the final minutes is really concerning.
Daily Schmankerl: Liverpool, Manchester United eyeing Bayern Munich’s Jamal Musiala; Is Chelsea going off the rails?; Bernd Leno says Arsenal politics were annoying; Julian Nagelsmann lauds Matthijs de Ligt; and MORE!

United, LFC eyeing Musiala move (Sports Mole)
Recently Bayern Munich sporting director Hasan “Brazzo” Salihamidžic said he would not even sell Jamal Musiala for €120 million.

What about €150 million? If reports are true, Manchester United and Liverpool might be lining up their finances after Musiala’s recent interview detailing that he would not close the door on a return to England:

Liverpool and Manchester United are reportedly keeping a close eye on Jamal Musiala’s situation at Bayern Munich, with the youngster recently hinting at a future move to the Premier League. The 19-year-old spent time with Southampton and Chelsea as a youngster before joining Bayern in 2019, with his first-team debut for the Bundesliga giants coming in June 2020.

According to TEAMtalk, both Liverpool and Man United are keeping a close eye on the situation, having been given encouragement that the player is open to a return to England.

Musiala has a contract through the 2025/26 season, so there is no reason for anyone to get worked up yet, but there will undoubtedly be some deep-pocketed suitors from England eager to throw down nine figures for one of the continent’s most exciting players.

Report: Julian Nagelsmann might be dealing with his first set of unhappy players at Bayern Munich

According to a report from Sport1’s Kerry Hau, the pains of having a big roster might be starting to reach Bayern Munich manager Julian Nagelsmann.

After Bayern Munich’s 2-0 win over Inter Milan in the Champions League, several players were rumored to be at least somewhat perturbed about their roles — or lack thereof:

Two goals, three points: It was a perfect start to the Champions League for FC Bayern. However, there was only a limited amount of celebration in the catacombs of the Giuseppe Meazza Stadium after the 2-0 win at Inter Milan. Several players left a less happy impression when leaving the stadium.

Serge Gnabry and Jamal Musiala, for example, trudged towards the bus without a word after their brief appearances, as did the newcomers Ryan Gravenberch and Noussair Mazraoui, who were not used at all. Only one of the reservists stopped briefly to comment – meaningfully.

As we learned in Friday’s edition of the Daily Schmankerl, Leon Goretzka has already spoken out about wanting to start, so — if this report is true — Nagelsmann’s honeymoon with this roster could be nearing an end. From this point, the boss might have to strategize how to keep his boys happy:

According to SPORT1 information, several players are already dissatisfied with their roles and are pushing for more playing time internally. The coaching team and those responsible remain relaxed, the tenor: The season is long and everyone will get enough appearances.

Nevertheless, the question arises: Can Nagelsmann manage the squad? Even in his first season at Bayern there was criticism of the way he communicated personnel decisions – even from established forces who were used to the empathetic and approachable manner of Nagelsmann’s predecessor Hansi Flick.

For his part, Nagelsmann probably won’t be doing any proactive outreach to give his players warning that they’ll be on the bench:

Nagelsmann himself reported before the game on Wednesday evening at Inter that he rarely sought individual talks with the reservists immediately before or after the announcement of his line-up. His justification: Usually, that leads to nothing, those ones tune out anyways.

Whatever the case, with so much talent and only a finite amount of playing time, Nagelsmann will have tough calls to make over the entirety of the season.

How will Bayern Munich stop Lewandowski? Nagelsmann ‘looking forward’ to reunion with in-form Barcelona striker

Bayern Munich saw Robert Lewandowski leave their books for Barcelona over the summer, with Julian Nagelsmann “looking forward” to a European reunion.

Polish striker left Germany for Barca
Has been in impressive form
Trip to Allianz Arena next up in Europe
WHAT HAPPENED? German giants will need no introduction to a prolific frontman in their next Champions League outing on September 13, with a familiar face preparing to return to the Allianz Arena. Lewandowski has been in impressive form of late, but Nagelsmann knows better than most how to plan for a meeting with a fearsome No.9.

WHAT THEY SAID: Bayern’s boss has said of readying his side for a clash with a former colleague: “I’m looking forward to seeing Robert. It will be an exciting game, they started their league season very well. We don’t need that much analysis against him, the guys know him well.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Lewandowski hit 344 goals through 375 appearances for Bayern, but pushed for a move in the last transfer window and ultimately got his wish when sealing a €50 million (£43m/$50m) switch to Camp Nou.

Inter Milan 0-2 Bayern Munich: Initial reactions and observations

Initial reactions and observations
What a dull game. Bayern Munich dispatched Inter Milan without much drama, with Leroy Sane being the star of the show. Maybe it was saving energy for Stuttgart in the weekend, but this certainly wasn’t a marquee performance.
Kingsley Coman is almost 27 and still hasn’t learned to pass properly. At this point this is all we’re gonna get from him. Even a single decent cross seems like too much to ask for.
Manuel Neuer’s passing has been off all season. What’s up with that?
Jamal Musiala not starting was a strange decision. Is he still not fit?
Leon Goretzka’s substitution gave Bayern more attacking impetus. He had more impact than Sabitzer today.
Brazzo says Bayern Munich wouldn’t even sell Jamal Musiala for €120 million

Bayern Munich sporting director Hasan “Brazzo” Salihamidžic might not be able to commit to many players on his roster for the long-term, but he knows at least one thing: Jamal Musiala is not for sale…at any price.

“We brought him in years ago and already saw great qualities in him. The fact he developed this way is also partly due to our coaching teams and players. It’s fun to watch him. He’s a big win for our team. It’s important he stays at Bayern for a long time,” Salihamidžic told Sky’s Florian Plettenberg (as captured by @iMiaSanMia). “We want to be successful, we want to offer our players attractive football. It’s important that Jamal plays for Bayern for a long time. Of course he is not for sale. He is an amazing guy, a German international. We need players like that. I would be crazy to think about letting him go. He will play for Bayern for a long time.”

Musiala is now working his way back to full fitness after an injury. His creative presence in the lineup has been sorely missed and should be a welcome addition into the lineup if he can start against Inter Milan.
Matthijs de Ligt reflects on time with Juventus, why Bayern Munich was the right move

Over the course of his career, Bayern Munich center-back Matthijs de Ligt has learned a lot.

While at Juventus, De Ligt was able to gain experience playing among some excellent defenders and in different areas of the pitch.

When asked about having to fill in for Giorgio Chiellini at left center-back, De Ligt explained the position did not give him the best opportunity to show his talent.

“I’m more comfortable on the right because obviously I’m right footed. I had problems at the beginning playing on the left. It’s not that I don’t want to play there, but I can express myself better on the right,” De Ligt told ESPN FC (as captured by @iMiaSanMia).

The move to Juventus also was a different style of play to adapt to. Coming from an extremely aggressive style of play with Ajax, De Ligt had to dial it back a bit to fit in at Juventus.

“The style at Ajax was to press high and take risks. At Juventus it was the other way around. In Italy the pace of the league is a bit slower, so you are permitted to sit a bit deep, but they won 4 world cups with this style, I understand they think this is the right way”, De Ligt remarked. “I joined Juventus with the idea of playing a bit more attacking football because (Maurizio) Sarri was the coach and he played amazing football in Napoli and Chelsea. I expected to have the Ajax style there. But unfortunately he left after one year.”

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Daily Schmankerl: Bayern Munich eyeing future move for FC Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong; Transfer updates on Gabriel Vidovic and Josip Stanišic; Lucas Hernandez ready to re-up?; Inter Milan alumnus thinks Bayern stands alone; & MORE!

Bayern could aim to pursue De Jong in the future, but not now (Bayern Insider Podcast via @iMiaSanMia)
While Bayern Munich might not be in pursuit of FC Barcelona star midfielder Frenkie de Jong this season, the future is wide open:

Bayern believe de Jong is a good player – they can imagine signing him, but not this summer and not for this money. The recent rumours linking him to Bayern were spread by Barcelona to put pressure on the player as they want to offload him.

Any pursuit of De Jong will like be contingent upon what happens with the current crop of central midfielders (Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka, Marcel Sabitzer, Ryan Gravenberch) and other top targets Bayern Munich is rumored to have interest in (Konrad Laimer). De Jong seems like he might be a luxury purchase, but it is possible that things change over the course of the next 10 months,
Bayern Munich still trying to sell Bouna Sarr, Julian Nagelsmann doesn’t see him as a right-back

Bayern Munich is still looking to sell off right-back (more on this in a bit) Bouna Sarr, but finding a partner has proven to be extremely difficult.

The Bayern Insider Podcast featuring Sport Bild’s Christian Falk and Tobi Altschäffl detailed Bayern Munich’s strategy for Sarr, which has not worked to date (as captured by @iMiaSanMia):

Bayern are still struggling to offload Bouna Sarr but are hoping a club would need a player for the position and make a late approach for the Senegalese around 30-31 August.

For his part, head coach Julian Nagelsmann thinks Sarr will remain on the roster, but does not actually see his best position as right-back (which could explain a lot). In fact, Nagelsmann sees Sarr as more of a right midfielder or winger.

“As of now, I’m assuming he’ll stay. He’s training very well. I see him more as right midfielder than right-back. He’s doing very well and will be in the squad tomorrow as of now,” Nagelsmann said (as captured by @iMiaSanMia).
Update: Bayern Munich secure buy-back, sell-on clauses in Joshua Zirkzee’s transfer to Bologna

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Per Bild, Bayern Munich have secured a buy-back clause on Joshua Zirkzee in the range of €20-25m. That’s in addition to a sell-on clause and the right to match bids, as detailed below.

According to reports (heard through Kerry Hau of Sport1), Bologna F.C. 1909 have won the race for Bayern Munich striker Joshua Zirkzee’s signature.

We previously reported that Bologna were ahead of Anderlecht, Stuttgart, and Brügge in vying for the young striker’s signing, and now it seems that they’ve managed to seal the deal. Zirkzee may feel he has unfinished business in Italy, following a relatively unsuccessful loan spell with Parma last year.

All said, Zirkzee will move to Bologna for a fee of around €8.5 million. Similar to the Nianzou deal, it’s said that Bayern will also maintain first matching rights as well as a sell-on fee of up to 50%. That may seem like a slightly low fee, given the player’s valuation of €11m (per Transfermarkt), but it may well be that the club was willing to take less money up front to maintain provisions for matching rights and a sell-on percentage.

The departures of Robert Lewandowski (€45m), Tanguy Nianzou (€16m), Marc Roca (€12m), Chris Richards (€12m), Omar Richards (€8.5m), Lars Lukas Mai (€1.6m), Christian Fruchtl (€500k), and Ron-Thorben Hoffmann (€300k) currently have the club sitting at a combined ~€96m in sales for the summer transfer window. Assuming the deal for Zirkzee does go through at €8.5m, it will push Bayern Munich over €100m in sales in a single transfer window for the first time in club history.

Daily Schmankerl: The aftermath of Bayern Munich vs. VfL Bochum; Liverpool urged to get Leroy Sané; Sergiño Dest in limbo with FC Barcelona; Borussia Dortmund still transfer shopping?; Gabriel Vidovic’s future home?; Joe Scally talks Bayern; & MORE!

Die Folgen: Bayern’s 7-0 thrashing of VfL Bochum (Bavarian Football Works)
Bayern Munich dismantled VfL Bochum 7-0 in an insanely dominant effort, despite missing quite a few key players — some expected to miss, some not. It might not have mattered who was in the lineup, though, as Bayern Munich’s depth is proving to be a problem for its opponents.

Here are some quick hitters on the match:

The starting lineup was about what we expected once we found out Alphonso Davies was banged up:
Davies going down with a muscle injury allowed Julian Nagelsmann to shift some things around, but as you can tell…it all worked.
If you had placed a bet that Leroy Sané was going to score a right-footed screamer within the first few minutes of the game, you can probably cash that ticket and become a rich person. Sané’s 4th minute tally was outstanding and it got the ball rolling for a rout:

The amazing thing about that goal is that we so rarely see Sané use his right foot effectively; it made it even more of a surprise.
This Bayern Munich team is very tight-knit — see how the squad rallied around Sané after he scored. Even the people competing with him for playing time were genuinely happy for him.
In the 25th minute, Matthijs de Ligt officially made his first Bundesliga start pretty memorable as he put Bayern Munich up 2-0 with a header goal. I thought De Ligt was the team’s best defender on the day as well.
You know…I felt Thomas Müller had a very “meh” showing. On this team — with this attacking depth — it feels like a “meh” performance might not keep you in the starting XI for long. Given Müller’s age and with this being a World Cup season, the veteran will need more rest anyway, but he is going to be pushed on a weekly basis for his starting position.
Kingsley Coman put Bayern Munich up 3-0 in the 33rd minute and I think you could really argue that Coman was the squad’s best overall player against VfL Bochum. For me, it was a three-man race between Sané, Coman, and De Ligt.
Just when you thought VfL Bochum might escape into the locker room only down 3-0…Sadio Mané decided it was time to tack on a fourth goal (42nd minute) in the first half.
The second half would not really be much better for the home side.
Mané (PK in the 60th minute), an own goal (69th minute), and Serge Gnabry (76th minute) finalized the scoring for Bayern in what was a thoroughly dominant outing.
It was good to see Josip Stanišic get some much needed field time and also for Gabriel Vidovic to get credited with an assist.
Overall, Bayern Munich was just unreal. The attack was relentless, the defense was stifling, and Nagelsmann didn’t try to roll out a 2-1-1-3-1-2 formation…so, all is GOOD!

VfL Bochum 0-7 Bayern Munich: Initial reactions and observations

Initial reactions and observations
Bayern Munich absolutely obliterated Bochum today. Sometimes the game looked like a training match, with all the shenanigans we saw. Team goals, set pieces, own goals, deflections, and a rogue banana eating session — this game had it all.
Credit to the defense and Manuel Neuer for keeping a clean sheet. We were used to free scoring games under Hansi Flick, but they always came with one or two goals conceded. Now we’ve finally seen the team keep two clean sheets in a row. Hope it becomes a habit.
Thomas Muller couldn’t get on the scoresheet today, but his presence was still crucial to the team’s cohesion and setup. Don’t let anyone tell you he had a bad game.
Leroy Sane and Kingsley Coman could still benefit from sharpening up their finishing, as could Joshua Kimmich. All three had plenty of opportunities to score a few more.
Bayern go top of the Bundesliga. Is the title race dead in August?

Bayern Munich’s Bouna Sarr has to sell himself

It sounds like Bayern Munich right-back Bouna Sarr is going to have to put on his business suit and fedora, grab his briefcase, and hit the pavement like a vacuum cleaner salesman from the 1960s if he wants to find a new club ahead of the World Cup.

On the Bayern Insider podcast hosted by Sport Bild’s Christian Falk and Tobi Altschäffl (as captured by @iMiaSanMia), the journalists noted that Bayern Munich wants to sell Sarr as soon as possible (likely to get at least some of his salary off the books), but the player might have to help do some legwork to make a deal happen:

Bayern definitely want to offload Bouna Sarr. Still no offers as of now, but pressure is on the player to find a club before the end of the window as he wants to play at the World Cup with Senegal.

In reality, we know Sarr’s agent would be doing the heavy-lifting here, but there has maybe never been a more clear-cut case of a player needing to leave a club.
Training Update: Bayern Munich join Lovro Zvonarek and Justin Janitzek join first team; News on Serge Gnabry, Leon Goretzka, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting

Another day of training, another day of updates for Bayern Munich. Things are looking good for the injured players, while a couple of youngsters have been working with the first team.

Serge Gnabry
Serge Gnabry is dealing with a wrist injury (for sure), but we have not heard anything else about his rumored issue with an adductor strain. Either way, the bandaged-up Germany international was spotted running with his teammates during training:

Bayern Munich star Matthijs de Ligt tries (and fails) to soothe bruised Juventus egos

When Matthijs de Ligt left Juventus, the breakup was rather painless. Bayern Munich made an offer, Juve accepted, and Chelsea were left looking stupid (as usual). The whole affair was wrapped up in a matter of weeks, which is frighteningly quick for a transfer of this magnitude.

Of course you can’t have an FCB transfer without some drama (it’s in the FIFA bylaws somewhere) so, shortly after his move became final, De Ligt stirred the pot by explaining his reasons for leaving Juventus. His specific quotes about the playstyle rankled a significant chunk of the Juventus fanbase, as can be seen in the looooooong chain of quote tweets sparked by this @iMiaSanMia thread:

So in an interview with Telegraaf, the Dutchman decided to set the record straight. It’s always a good idea to do an interview in your native language in order to minimize the chances of something being lost in translation. However, the player’s statements are unlikely to soothe any fans of his former team, as he basically just said the same thing and also admitted that Juventus was always intended as a stepping stone. Ouch.

Don’t believe me? Don’t think it’s that bad? Read it for yourself.

“At Bayern it’s very physical and intensive because of the pressure and constant pushing,” said the defender. “In Italy it’s more like a game of chess, it’s much more tactical. I’m very happy I was able to experience that (at Juve) and play that way, because I learned a lot from it.”

“The reason I went to Juventus was to become a better defender, even though there were differences with the Dutch national team. At Juventus I often had to stay in my position. At Bayern, I want to get my Ajax game back again.”

“Nagelsmann’s playing style is much closer to what Louis van Gaal asks of his defenders: defending high, applying high pressure, connecting well and playing forward a lot. I think it’s a move that can be good for the Dutch national team and my chances there.”

The defender added that he didn’t ask LvG on advice for his move, but the former Bayern coach still recommended it. Finally, he addressed an accusation by former teammate Leonardo Bonucci that he had been disrespectful to the club.

“I said in June that — as the club itself thinks — finishing 4th twice in a row with Juventus is not good enough. That was not an attack on Juventus. Not at all, because I will always have the utmost respect for this club.”

“For me it was just a fact that no one could be satisfied, that the bar had to be raised, including myself. Maybe it was taken out of context or came across incorrectly. I will never forget how my ex teammates helped me in my development as a footballer and as a person.”

You have to wonder if his ex-teammates will buy that explanation. Either this closes the book on MDL’s tenure at Juventus, or we’ll have to revisit this again someday down the line. In the meantime, De Ligt should work on getting into Nagelsmann’s starting XI. For someone who talks so highly about the way football is played in Germany, he hasn’t exactly experienced much of it so far.
Bayern Munich might want to sell or loan five more players before the transfer window closes

According to Sport Bild journalist Tobi Altschäffl (as captured by @iMiaSanMia), Bayern Munich could still sell off three more players during this transfer window.

Per the report, Tanguy Nianzou, Bouna Sarr, and Joshua Zirkzee could still all be sent away. Let’s take a look at the logistics of each potential transfer candidate.

Bouna Sarr: The fourth choice right-back, Sarr has no prospects for playing time, but his salary is prohibitive to most teams that might have interest in him. Will he take a pay cut to facilitate a move or will he spend another season of match days in the stands? At this point, Sarr has no known suitors.

Joshua Zirkzee: Zirkzee still has great potential, but is buried on the attacking depth chart. A transfer away so the Dutchman can get more playing time would seem to work well — especially because he has decent value on the transfer market. Zirkzee has been linked to several clubs in England and also PSV Eindhoven among others.

Tanguy Nianzou: Now this one…it’s the key to Altschäffl’s story. Nianzou is sporting director Hasan “Brazzo” Salihamidžic’s “golden boy.” Salihamidžic brought Nianzou in and has been a huge force in keeping him on the roster, despite having little-to-no prospects of consistent playing time at a period where he really needs to be on the pitch.

While most assume Nianzou would be loaned rather than sold, take a peek at his competition for future playing time — Matthijs de Ligt (23), Lucas Hernandez (26), Dayot Upamecano (23), and Benjamin Pavard (26). None of those players are old and all are head and shoulders above Nianzou at this stage of his career. Simply put, Nianzou will be waiting quite a while to get time on the field under Julian Nagelsmann. Does he have that kind of patience?

The latest news indicates that Nice is considering a move for Nianzou (per Get French Football News), but Altschäffl and Christian Falk (as captured by @iMiaSanMia) are stating that Bayern Munich would demand a buyback or sell-on clause in any transfer move for Nianzou.

Altschäffl also noted that neither Pavard nor Leroy Sané are a candidate to be sold per the report.

Daily Schmankerl: Marcel Sabitzer’s strong showing at Bayern Munich puts Konrad Laimer on the backburner; Did Bayern dodge a bullet on Callum Hudson-Odoi miss?; Filip Kostic to Juventus; Benjamin Šeško thrilled to be headed to the Bundesliga; and MORE!

Sabitzer staying, Laimer likely not coming (Abendzeitung via @iMiaSanMia)
Marcel Sabitzer’s strong showing to start the season at Bayern Munich has had an effect on the club’s transfer plans:

Marcel Sabitzer will definitely stay at FC Bayern beyond this summer. He has no thoughts of leaving this window. As a result, Konrad Laimer — in whom Nagelsmann is very interested – is set to stay in Leipzig and could join Bayern on a free next year.

Sabitzer’s recent performances have alleviated any pressure that Bayern Munich might have had to bring in RB Leipzig midfielder Konrad Laimer, who actually could be attainable at this stage.

The gap between what Bayern Munich offered and what RB Leipzig wants for Laimer is only €5 million per Sky’s Florian Plettenberg (as captured by @iMiaSanMia):

Leipzig would still sell Konrad Laimer this summer if asking price is met. The difference between Bayern’s offer and RBL’s demands is €5m as of now. Sabitzer’s latest performances have stalled the Laimer deal. The latter is likely to stay in Leipzig at the moment.

Sabitzer’s 2021/22 season was certainly not one to remember and it had to be frustrating for the player himself, Nagelsmann, the Bayern Munich brass, and those supporters who were dumbfounded that he played so poorly.

Whatever caused his issues (lack of confidence, unsettled environment, lack of a consistent starting role), it appears that Sabitzer has worked his way through all of that. For Laimer — and his desire for a transfer this summer — Sabitzer’s resurgence is bad news.
Bavarian Loan Works: Where are the Bayern Munich players out on loan and what are they up to?

Welcome to the first edition of Bavarian Loan Works for the 2022/23 season! At the moment, Bayern Munich has eleven players out on loan throughout Germany, Austria, France, Scotland, and even Canada. Follow along with us as we track their performances out on loan.

Germany: Bundesliga
Center-back Bright Arrey-Mbi (age 19) is the only player on loan in the German Bundesliga.

Bright Arrey-Mbi — 1. FC Köln
Arrey-Mbi has been in Köln since January of this year. In the first match of the new Bundesliga season, he did not make it into the 18-man squad.

France: Ligue 1
Goalkeeper Alexander Nübel (age 25) is the only player on loan in Ligue 1.

Alexander Nübel — AS Monaco
Nübel has been at AS Monaco since January of 2021. He has secured a consistent starting position in his time at Monaco. In the first match of the season, Nübel started again, playing all 90 minutes. He recorded six saves on the way to a 2-1 victory.

Scotland: Scottish Premiership
Forward Malik Tillman (20) is the only player on loan in the Scottish Premiership.

Malik Tillman — Rangers FC
Tillman had a busy summer — switching from Germany to the USMNT and going on loan to Rangers. He has already played in all three competitive fixtures for Rangers so far. In the first league match, he subbed on at halftime and then started and played 75+ minutes in the next two matches. Although he has failed to record a goal or assist so far, he has been rated favorably by other outlets.

Austria: Austrian Bundesliga
There are three players on loan in the Austrian Bundesliga: midfielder Torben Rhein (19), midfielder Daniel Francis (19), and keeper Shaoziyang Liu (18).

Torben Rhein — Austria Lustenau
Rhein left Bayern II on loan this summer, but has yet to get significant minutes in Austria. He made his Austrian Bundesliga debut on the first matchday, but only played one minute. This weekend, he played 26’ against Rapid Wien

Daniel Francis — SK Austria Klagenfurt
Francis just joined Klagenfurt on loan from Bayern II this weekend and therefore hasn’t hadn’t had time to appear.

Shaoziyang Liu — SK Austria Klagenfurt
Liu has been on loan since February of this year. He has not made an appearance yet.

Germany: 2. Bundesliga
There are two players on loan in the second division of the Bundesliga: forward Sarpreet Singh (23) and center-back Jamie Lawrence (19).

Sarpreet Singh — Jahn Regensburg
Singh is entering his second season on loan with Regensburg — who are top of the 2. Bundesliga table and knocked out Bundesliga side Köln in the first round of the DFB-Pokal. Unfortunately Singh has not appeared for them yet this season. He appears to have an illness that has kept him out of the squad.

Jamie Lawrence — 1. FC Magdeburg
Lawrence moved to newly promoted Magdeburg earlier this month. He has played in all four competitive matches — three league matches and a 4-0 Pokal loss to Eintracht Frankfurt. Unfortunately, Lawrence received a red card after 56 minutes in this weekend’s match against Holstein Kiel.

Germany: 3. Liga
There are two players on loan to the 3. Liga: forward Marvin Çuni (21) and forward Lenn Jastremski (21).

Marvin Çuni — 1. FC Saarbrücken
After spending a season at Paderborn on loan, Çuni moved to Saarbrücken this summer. In two league matches, Cuni has yet to make the 18-man squad.

Lenn Jastremski — Erzgebirge Aue
Jastremski joined Aue this summer on loan and has featured in all three competitive matches. He made substitute appearances in the league opener and Pokal match, and then started in the league this weekend against Osnabrück — where he assisted his team’s lone goal in a 1-1 draw.

Canada: MLS Next Pro
Right-back Nick Salihamidžic (19) is the only player on loan in MLS Next Pro.

Nick Salihamidžic — Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2
Brazzo’s son went on loan to Alphonso Davies’ former club this summer. He has appeared in three matches for the Whitecaps developmental side, including two starts and one bench appearance. This weekend, he started and played 68 minutes in a loss to Real Monarchs SLC.
Matthijs de Ligt details which Bayern Munich teammate gave him the most trouble

As a defender, Bayern Munich center-back Matthijs de Ligt has been matched up against some of the most prominent talents in the world, whether he has been at Ajax, Juventus, or with the Dutch national team.

There is one player, however, that gave De Ligt the most headaches. Was it Cristiano Ronaldo during those training sessions at Juventus? Perhaps it was Harry Kane or Robert Lewandowski? What about Lionel Messi?

Nope…none of those mega-stars. Per De Ligt, Bayern Munich teammate Leroy Sané was the biggest headache for him to defend.

“The opponent who caused me the most problems so far was Leroy Sané in our match against the German national team. I had to defend him 1v1 all over the pitch, and he was just everywhere. I told him that when arrived here,” De Ligt told kicker (as captured by @iMiaSanMia).

Sané is seeking to fully regain his form and become that kind of problem for other defenders as well. One thing is certain, though, Julian Nagelsmann’s “iron sharpens iron” mentality will truly be on display with this kind of training ground battle going on all season.
How much does Sadio Mane earn? Bayern Munich player salaries revealed

Among the top clubs in Europe, Bayern Munich have long been known for spending frugal amounts in the transfer market while still remaining competitive. While this is true, in a way hides the fact that big clubs maintain their squads by paying top salaries, not by paying big fees all the time. Of course some teams do both and aren’t competitive at all, so it’s not as easy as it sounds.

So Bild have decided to reveal how much every single Bayern Munich player will earn this coming season. It’s slightly ironic that an article about salaries isn’t behind a paywall this time, but that’s mainly because the info is hidden inside Christian Falk’s podcast. Don’t worry though, we’ve got the full list right here.

Here’s how much every single Bayern Munich player gets from the club, with bonuses included:

Sadio Mane: €22m
Manuel Neuer: €21m
Thomas Muller: €20.5m
Kingsley Coman and Leroy Sane: €20m
Joshua Kimmich: €19.5m
Serge Gnabry: €19m
Leon Goretzka: €17m
Matthijs de Ligt, Lucas Hernandez, Dayot Upamecano: €16m
Marcel Sabitzer, Alphonso Davies: €9m
Noussair Mazraoui, Ryan Gravenberch, Benjamin Pavard: €8m
Jamal Musiala, Tanguy Nianzou, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting: €5m
Mathys Tel, Bouna Sarr: €4m
Paul Wanner and Josip Stanisic: €2m
Gabriel Vidovic: €1m
All figures are gross — i.e. they do not include taxes. Now you may see some weirdness in the salary tiers, which is totally normal. First of all, these are all estimated by Bild, so they may not accurately reflect the exact amounts written in player contracts. Secondly, the numbers include bonuses.

Some players may have a lower guaranteed salary in return for higher bonuses. This would explain why Joshua Kimmich seems to earn less than Leroy Sane and Kingsley Coman after his recent contract extension — either that or his agent is an idiot.

Sadio Mane’s massive salary is still lower than what Robert Lewandowski used to earn at the club, and it’s what you’d expect when signing a player Premier League club like Liverpool. It shows that Bayern Munich can still compete with the EPL when it comes to salaries for top stars, but who knows how long that will last? Teams like RB Leipzig or Borussia Dortmund wouldn’t dream of playing their star player so much money.

Matthijs de Ligt does seem to be a top earner for a center-back at the club, but according to Christian Falk, he is earning less than what he did at Juventus. If true, this means that the Dutchman did indeed take a paycut to join Bayern, proving just how badly he wanted this move to happen.

Alphonso Davies and Jamal Musiala are grossly underpaid considering their impact on the team. These two youngsters will have the leverage to argue for massive raises when their next contracts come up for renewal. Bayern better be prepared to pay the price, because both of them look like true generational talents.

Overall, the wage bill looks like what you’d expect, with no real outliers. Some might find the top tier salaries a bit excessive, but that’s what you have to pay when you want to compete in the Champions League. This club ain’t PSG, but there’s no such thing as winning (consistently) on a budget.

Daily Schmankerl: Bayern Munich and Brazzo nearing extension; Chelsea’s Timo Werner willing to take a pay cut to leave; Frenkie de Jong to Chelsea?; What is going on with Florian Grillitsch?; Joško Gvardiol getting new deal? and MORE!

FC Barcelona star Robert Lewandowski clears the air on why he left Bayern Munich

A lot of things have been said about former Bayern Munich star and current FC Barcelona striker Robert Lewandowski since his move and the Poland international wanted to clear the air.

“I cannot say bad words about my teammates, or the club — even though there was kind of politics before — but the time, what I did for the club in this eight years for Bayern Munich was amazing,” Lewandowski told ESPN. “I’m growing every single season, and I know that to decide to move somewhere else will be more difficult every year. Even now it was very difficult to decide to go to Barcelona because I know what I did, the comfort zone I had in Bayern Munich already, but for me, I was always open to something new.”

Lewandowski wanted to be clear that it was simply time for him to try something new and that his transfer was not because of the club or his teammates.

“I heard that Barcelona wanted to sign me, and that was a sign that maybe now is the perfect timing to go to Barcelona, go to LaLiga. I know that I can still play for a few years on the top high level and that’s why I decided to go to Barcelona. I’m very happy to be part of this team,” Lewandowski remarked.

According to Bild (as captured by @iMiaSanMia), “Lewandowski gifted everyone a bottle of Noble Champagne Armand de Brignac with his signature and photos from his time at Bayern on the gift box” upon leaving the Bayern Munich facilities for the final time earlier today.
Daily Schmankerl: Germany losing Die Mannschaft moniker; Chelsea and RB Leipzig eyeing Timo Werner-Joško Gvardiol swap?; Thomas Müller’s favorite EPL side; Roy Keane talks Sadio Mané/Darwin Núñez; and MORE!

Bayern Munich’s German contingent will likely be known by a different nickname this winter at the World Cup. That’s right, Die Mannschaft is dead — or at least is dying:

The German Football Association (DFB) will no longer actively promote its men’s national team with the marketing name “Die Mannschaft” in the future. This was unanimously agreed upon at a supervisory board and shareholders’ meeting in Frankfurt.

The decision was based on an analysis of the brand used since 2015, which shows a recent increase in interest in the team and greater satisfaction with its appearances, as well as rising popularity for ‘Die Mannschaft’. However, the attitude towards the continued use of the name in particular wasn’t uniform.

Alexander Wehrle, chairman of the DFB’s supervisory board, provided some insight on the decision.

“We have analyzed the brand name ‘Die Mannschaft’ extensively and discussed it intensively. Opinions differ not only among fans, but also within the DFB. This is a clear sign of the polarization of a name that everyone is supposed to rally behind,” said Wehrle. “Hansi Flick’s team is for everyone, and everyone can call it whatever he or she wants. After all, it’s not so much what the team is called that matters, but what’s in it. And that’s where we agree: We have an inspiring national team with a lot of potential and fascinating characters.”

So, what do you say…are pro “Schaft” or anti “Schaft”?
Report: Benjamin Pavard has decided to stay with Bayern Munich

In recent weeks, question marks had been raised regarding Benjamin Pavard’s future at Bayern Munich. He didn’t make the speculation any less aggressive when he chuckled and said he didn’t know what his future held after Bayern’s friendly loss to Manchester City in Green Bay, Wisconsin last weekend. However, per French outlet L’Equipe, Pavard has decided to stay a Bayern player, much to the delight of teammate and French compatriot Lucas Hernandez, who recently said he would be delighted to have Pavard stay a Bayern player.

When rumors began to surface suggesting Pavard could be potentially open to a move away from the club this summer, with Bayern’s front office also being open to that possibility, it did seem to make sense on paper. With the additions of Noussair Mazraoui and Matthijs de Ligt this summer, Pavard’s minutes are now in more jeopardy as Julian Nagelsmann has added depth at both center-back and right-back with the aforementioned signings. Pavard had said that he does prefer center-back over right-back, but with de Ligt added to the ranks of Dayot Upamecano and Hernandez, there’s now significantly less chance that he’ll be able to get regular minutes as a center back. Not to mention, Pavard also has competition from both Mazraoui and Josip Stanisic at right-back.

In the DFL-Supercup win over RB Leipzig, Pavard started and clocked 78 minutes before being replaced by Mazraoui, scoring Bayern’s third of five goals with a finely taken, left-footed effort in the 45th minute. Whether this was perhaps an indicator of the starting lineup against Eintracht Frankfurt on Friday to open up the Bundesliga season remains to be seen, but with the lineup he fielded in Leipzig, it would suggest that there’s more trust in Pavard right now than Mazraoui. The latter still needs time to adjust to life at Bayern and Nagelsmann’s systems.

Pavard’s current contract at Bayern runs through June 2024, but this summer oculd’ve been the most financially lucrative chance the club would’ve had to offload Pavard, seeing that his market value had taken a significant dip from last summer up until now. That could easily change with consistently strong performances this season, but that’s not a given, and a dice roll that Bayern is clearly willing to take.

Daily Schmankerl: The aftermath of Bayern Munich vs. RB Leipzig; Real Madrid, Juventus eyeing Chelsea’s Timo Werner; FC Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong to Bayern on loan?; Cristiano Ronaldo seeking Manchester United exit; No movement on Konrad Laimer; & MORE!

Die Folgen: Bayern’s 5-3 victory over Leipzig in the DFL-Supercup (Bavarian Football Works)
Bayern Munich did not look like a squad just beginning to put things together early on, but did lose some focus during its 5-3 win over RB Leipzig in the DFL-Supercup. Here are some quick hitters on the match:

The starting XI did shock me just a little bit. The inclusion of Jamal Musiala over Leroy Sané was surprising in a good way. With Kingsley Coman and Matthijs de Ligt not fully fit and Noussair Mazraoui not having fully proven himself yet, it was a chance for Musiala, Serge Gnabry, Benjamin Pavard, and Dayot Upamecano to put their respective talents on display:

That said, it was a very choppy beginning to the match for both sides. Bayern Munich seemed to have trouble with players adjusting to being in different areas of the pitch than they might be used to. Spacing and running lanes were also an issue at times.
In the 8th minute Marcel Sabitzer saved Manuel Neuer’s bacon after the captain had a pretty bad gaffe.
Just following that, Dayot Upamecano made a boneheaded play that was luckily not ruled a penalty.
Clearly, it was not exactly a great start for either team as the match, but things would quickly get better for Bayern Munich.
In the 13th minute, Bayern Munich began to put some things together and Musiala capitalized one minute later with a goal. If only someone had been championing for Musiala to start for the better part of two seasons now?
So, yeah, Musiala > Sané and it’s been this way since midway through last season.
Bayern Munich’s formation was extremely variable. It was difficult to see what alignment was in play from possession-to-possession at times.
Benjamin Henrichs is going to be trouble for Die Roten Bullen this season. It doesn’t seem like he makes the best decisions (which has been a problem for him in the past).
Bayern Munich took a 2-0 lead when Thomas Müller, Musiala, and Gnabry strung together one-touch passes and set up Sadio Mané. It was a brilliant sequence for the Bavarians and one that seemed to decimate the hopes of RB Leipzig.
I thought both Sabitzer and Pavard quietly were very solid in the first. The two players have been much maligned, but they were extremely steady. Pavard, however, did make a boneheaded decision of his own later.
Musiala was totally disruptive. His turns when receiving the ball were off-the-charts good and RB Leipzig just couldn’t handle him.
Lucas Hernández had a very strong performance as well.
Musiala’s overall disruptiveness also setup Pavard’s goal, which made it 3-0 before halftime.
André Silva’s second half header nearly put RB Leipzig on the scoreboard. The entry of Silva and Dani Olmo into the match helped turn the tide for Die Roten Bullen.
Marcel Halstenberg’s header in the 59th minute, however, would not miss and RB Leipzig cut Bayern Munich’s lead to 3-1.
Serge Gnabry put home the rebound of a shot from Müller in the 66th minute. Bayern Munich’s attack was relentless, but subbing off Musiala and Müller would prove to be detrimental.
From here, Bayern Munich lost focus and got sloppy. Part of that had to do with Müller being subbed off the squad, subsequently running around like a chicken with its head lopped off.
A risky and reckless challenge from Pavard gave RB Leipzig a penalty and Christopher Nkunku buried it to make it 4-2.
Toward the end, the lack of focus became a big issue. Forwards and midfielders were borderline cherry-picking, defense got a little bit sloppy and Olmo made Bayern Munich pay with a goal to cut the lead to 4-3.
In the throws of extra time, RB Leipzig went for it all, but left itself out of position and Leroy Sané found himself in a 1v1, which he won, and then deposited a shot into the net to clinch the victory.
Overall, it was a fun and exciting match…and hey, it was a win! There is a lot of room for improvement and Julian Nagelsmann is certainly going to have his work cut out for him in terms of deciding who is in and who is out from match-to-match, but this team has a ton of potential.
Daily Schmankerl: Cristiano Ronaldo headed to Sporting Lisbon?; Benjamin Pavard ahead of Noussair Mazraoui at Bayern Munich, but offered to Chelsea, Manchester United?; Benjamin Sesko looks legit; What did AS Roma do to introduce Paulo Dybala?; and MORE!

Pavard ahead of Mazraoui at this stage? Frenchman offered to United, Chelsea (Bayern Insider Podcast via @iMiaSanMia)
According to Sport Bild journalists Christian Falk and Tobi Altschäffl, Benjamin Pavard is open to leaving Bayern Munich, but the club is now reluctant to let him go.

Why? Well, Noussair Mazraoui has not quite won the right-back/right wing-back job just yet and Pavard might actually still be in Bayern Munich’s starting XI at this point:

Benjamin Pavard is open to leaving Bayern and Chelsea is an option for him. However, a move will not happen quickly as Noussair Mazraoui is not undisputed yet, and Pavard is still expected to start on the right side for the time being.

Chelsea FC is rumored to want Pavard, but if the Frenchman is in the starting XI as a right-back or a center-back, Julian Nagelsmann might push to keep the 2018 World Cup winner.

Falk added more context in Bild:

According to BILD information, Bayern professional Benjamin Pavard (26/contract until 2024) is not averse to switching to Premier League club Chelsea this summer. Apparently he’s just waiting for the right offer.

(Pavard) has it more difficult, among other things, due to the commitment of Matthijs de Ligt (22): The already dissatisfied Frenchman should toy with the idea of ??leaving Bayern. Pavard’s advisor is his longtime confidante Joseph Mohan. Pavard and Mohan are friends with Max Bielefeld: he switched from “Sky”, where he previously worked as a moderator, to Zahavi’s agency.

This is how the contact between the Pavard side and Zahavi came about: The agent has no official mandate, but will “friendly support” Pavard in the search for a new club. Through his network, Zahavi could find a club willing to pay the transfer fee – reportedly over €20m – that Bayern demanded. Pavard is considered a sales candidate in the club, even if Nagelsmann praised him: “I hope he stays. He is a fantastic and important player.”

In addition, Sport1’s Kerry Hau provided the following detail (as captured by @iMiaSanMia) — including that Pavard was offered to both Chelsea FC and Manchester United:

Within the club, there’s disagreement and different opinions as to whether selling Benjamin Pavard would make sense. Hasan Salihamidžic is still keeping the option of selling Pavard open, although Julian Nagelsmann insisted that he wants him to stay.

Pavard was offered to Manchester United and Chelsea in the past few days. He’s not an option for United as of now, but Chelsea consider the Frenchman as an interesting option. For the time being, we’re still far away from concrete negotiations. Nagelsmann could continue to use Pavard in the right-back position depending on how Noussair Mazraoui will fare in the coming weeks. Nagelsmann is a fan of the Frenchman’s solidity and reliability.

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Benjamin Pavard could leave Bayern Munich with the help of the club’s biggest nemesis
Wanner as a left-back? (Manuel Bonke via @iMiaSanMia)
If you are like me, you have probably looked at the Bayern Munich roster and wondered how Paul Wanner is going to fit in this season. The über-talented, future star has been moved all around in hopes of giving him an option to get on the pitch.

The 16-year-old has been patient as he as played a bit of central midfield, attacking midfield, and left-wing. Now, though, Wanner could find some field time as the back-up to Alphonso Davies. Depending on what formation Julian Nagelsmann runs, Wanner could be an option at left wing-back or left-back:

The coaching staff figured out an opportunity to give Paul Wanner playing time as backup for Alphonso Davies at left wing-back. The club had considered signing a player for the position – David Raum was discussed but in the end it was decided there was no need.

Tz journalist Mano Bonke added more context on the Tz website:

In practice, Wanner’s first priority is to get playing time on a regular basis. And the coaching team found a way to give the midfielder minutes to play: as a backup for Alphonso Davies (21) on the left. In the friendly against Manchester City, coach Julian Nagelsmann (35) sent his team onto the field in a 3-5-2 formation. Wanner came on in the 70th minute for the Canadian as a so-called joker or rail player — and did well against Pep Guardiola’s English star ensemble.

The greatest advantage of the German-Austrian born in Dornbirn: He is two-footed, so he has no problems hitting crosses with his left foot. In addition, he has an excellent shooting technique, which is why he regularly takes free kicks from the right towards the goal in training.

Wanner is one of the many reasons for fans to be excited about this season, but it is definitely hard to envision him getting any significant playing time based on how loaded the roster is.

Noussair Mazraoui talks his Bayern Munich move, training intensity, and team goals

In a wide-ranging interview for Tz.de, new Bayern Munich right-back Noussair Mazraoui talked everything from his move, to his faith, to training intensity (where have we heard that one before?), and his outlook at the club. We’ll bring you the highlights in a short series this week.

On training: Mazraoui isn’t even the first player this summer to come Bavaria to find a trial by fire in their new training environment. Out of the frying pan, into the fire.

“Every preparation is exhausting!” Mazraoui exclaimed. “The German style is different from the one I’m used to. But I will benefit from it during the season…[compared to AFC Ajax] the intensity is higher.”

Granted, this year has also been affected by a clipped preseason due to the December start to the World Cup. That’s contributing to players needing to work their way to match fitness in record time.

But perhaps there was something to Thomas Müller’s famous wisecrack to Robin Gosens after last year’s EURO win over Portugal: “He [played well], but only for 60 minutes. He plays in Italy, after all.”

At Bayern — “one of the best, if not the best club in the world” — the standards are high, and so is the pressing. A physically demanding playing style is encoded in the club’s DNA. It’s not for the faint of heart, but for those with the loftiest ambitions, it will bring out their best — and help them to achieve their goals.

“I want us to win everything that’s possible,” Mazraoui said. “When I look at the quality of our team, we can win any title: the Meisterschaft, the DFB-Pokal, the Super Cup, the Champions League. I think anything is possible with this team. Everyone believes in it, and we must strive for the best.”

That winning everything is not merely possible but expected at Bayern helped make it an easy choice. Mazraoui arrived on a free at the start of the transfer window after his Ajax contract expired, and he had plenty of suitors — Arsenal FC and (surprise) FC Barcelona among them. But the choice was an easy one.
Made easier, of course, by the now well-known closing ability of Bayern’s new recruitment team.

“The people in charge didn’t give me the run-of-the-mill lectures; they were very personal with me,” Mazraoui said.

As for Ryan Gravenberch, who will remain his teammate through this club change, Mazraoui made clear they were each their own men. They discussed the possibilities — Mazraoui was confirmed first, while Bayern pursued Gravenberch in negotiations with Ajax — but little more than that.

“[Also for him], I live in such a way that I make my own decisions,” Mazraoui stressed. “After it was clear to me that I was going to move to FC Bayern, I said to him: I’m waiting for you now. For both of us, it was clear right from the start what we wanted to do.”

Still, it’s surely a little surreal that the Säbener Straße will be his new stomping ground. Mazraoui, still only twenty-four, spent seventeen years of his life at Ajax. It’s very much a fresh start, as he acknowledges, but also maybe an improbable one.

“I was never the greatest talent,” Mazraoui confessed. “I came into the pro ranks as an amateur…without a [professional] contract. You can’t say I didn’t have the potential. But it just hadn’t developed for a long time.”

That potential has certainly revealed itself now. At at FC Bayern, he’ll have one of football’s grandest stages on which to show it.

Lewandowski replacement inbound? Bayern Munich could pay up to €40m for Rennes striker Mathys Tel

It’s been almost a week since Bayern Munich made their most recent bid to Stade Rennais for their striker talent Mathys Tel. In that time, the French side have been mysteriously quiet, refusing to say a word in reply to the offer. The player himself has been left out of Rennes’ preseason campaign, and reports say that his locker has been emptied out. So what is going on?

Well, according to a report by Santi Aouna, Tel’s transfer to Bayern Munich is in its very final stages. The player could cost up to 40m euros including add-ons, making him one of the most expensive 17-year-olds ever. It’s not known how much of that is guaranteed, but the fee could be even higher than what Real Madrid paid to acquire Eduardo Camavinga last summer.

Four observations from Bayern Munich’s 2-6 win vs. D.C. United

It’s obvious to see why Bayern are doing this. The loss of Robert Lewandowski to FC Barcelona means that the club NEED a new striker. Beating DC United 6-2 is all well and good, but preseason games don’t hold a candle to the knockout rounds of the Champions League.

Even so, the signing of Tel seems like a huge gamble by the Bayern bosses. Per reports, he’s seen as the next Benzema — an absurdly talented French youth striker. However he barely has any top flight experience, and at only seventeen years old, he’ll need a few seasons before he can start contributing consistently for Bayern. For reference, he’s younger than both Jamal Musiala and Alphonso Davies when they started getting regular minutes at the club, and both those players were already exceptionally young.

Is this move going to work out for Bayern? Or will it be another Renato Sanches scenario? We’ll have to wait and see. Until then, Rennes maintain their mysterious silence, and we have no idea if the deal is even progressing or not.
Bayern Munich managed to put in a really enjoyable shift against D.C. United, scoring six. Thomas Müller’s goal wrapped up the night after Sadio Mané got the party started.

Back 4? Hybrid 3/4? Back 3? Back 2? Who knows?
It doesn’t really matter at this point because, well, it’s a friendly. But, Julian Nagelsmann tried a bit of everything and it does leave a lot of questions for next season. In the first half, it seemed like Noussair Mazraoui was the one in a hybrid role although Alphonso Davies was also pushing forward. The formation seemed to consist of a proper back four in the second half and I liked what I saw of Josip Stanisic.

Amazing opening 16 minutes by Bayern
The first 16 minutes was stunning from Bayern. All the combinations worked delightfully and it was so easy on the eye that it made me almost….dare I say…no I won’t because INNN will tell me I have jinxed things. D.C. United, a team which I believe is in midseason, seemed lost and did not have many answers. Sadio Mané and Serge Gnabry seemed to share the responsibilities up front.

Praise for Paul Wanner, Lucas Copado, Josip Stanisic
I cannot believe Wanner is 16! It was an incredible performance from him as he ran rings around players again and again. Copado was impressive too in his half while Stanisic performed solidly in his half too. Stanisic might be pushed down the pecking order because of Bayern’s new purchases but I have always liked him and am interested in seeing where his career goes.

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Thoughts on Joshua Zirkzee, Kingsley Coman and Thomas Müller
When Thomas Müller came onto the pitch in the second half, Bayern seemed newly energized and reorganized. The game had slowed down after the first 18 minutes or so but, even in the grueling D.C. heat. Müller’s leading abilities made Bayern seem like a superbly cohesive and fun-to-watch unit. He seemed the furthest player up although Joshua Zirkzee was also in that particular lineup.

Meanwhile, Kingsley Coman continued to deliver consistently as he has done ever since his Champions League winning goal. His consistency after his initial years at Bayern amazes me. He had a great game and created room for many opportunities including Zirkzee.
Sadio Mane cites German hospitality as part of the reason he chose Bayern Munich

Before moving to Liverpool in the summer of 2016, Sadio Mane spent two years with Southampton after joining from RB Salzburg in the summer of 2014. After six, well-decorated years at Liverpool, Mane has joined Bayern Munich in what’s been one of the most exciting transfers for not only Bayern, but the Bundesliga as a whole in recent years.

It had become clear that he wanted to leave Liverpool and he had made it clear to the club that that was the case. He parted ways with Jurgen Klopp’s side in the most professional and respectful manner possible, and for him, Bayern was always he preferred destination due to his pre-existing love of Munich.

Having spent a good portion of his career in Salzburg, Munich is a short journey away from the Austrian city that borders Germany and Mane recently revealed that he frequented Munich during his tenure at RB Salzburg. He recently told FCBayernTV that he used to “come to Munich frequently” and said that “the people are very respectful and nice.” He added that the way he’s been welcomed thus far since arriving in Munich after his transfer was completed has been “extra motivation” for him and his teammates have already been impressed with what they’ve seen from him at Sabener Strasse since he began full team training from last Friday (Sport Bible).

Mane leaves behind a massive legacy in Liverpool, having scored 120 goals for the club across a total of 269 appearances across all competitions, having won the Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup, Carabao Cup, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup. He’d won every trophy available to him at Liverpool bar the Community Shield, which is essentially the English equivalent of the DFL-Supercup.

With no indictment on Liverpool and Merseyside, Mane and Munich is a match made in heaven. It’s no surprise that he spoke highly of the German hospitality in Munich being one of things he loved most about the city. For such a humble player that routinely does work with charitable institutions back home in Senegal and donates money to build schools and mosques in his home city of Bambaly, he’ll fit in very well in Munich and at Bayern.
Bayern Munich star Leon Goretzka happy to see Ryan Gravenberch on the squad

When Bayern Munich inked former Ajax star Ryan Gravenberch to a contract, some wondered if the deal was some kind of indicator that the club was unsure about Leon Goretzka’s durability over the course of a long season.

Others, however, thought that Bayern Munich was eyeing up a long-term replacement for Goretzka. Whatever the case, the Germany international is not all that worried about it.

We already know that the midfielder does not mind the competition for his starting position, but now we understand that the 27-year-old just wants to be surrounded by the best possible team.

“I’m looking forward to welcoming (Gravenberch) to our team. We have a very tight schedule this season. In order to be able to compete for all trophies, we need a big and top class squad,” Goretzka told Sport Bild via @iMiaSanMia.

Goretzka, who dealt with a series of nagging injuries last season, is extremely vital to Bayern Munich. What he brings to the pitch physically as a box-to-box midfielder is hard to replicate — and his synergy with teammate Joshua Kimmich might even be harder to replace.

By all accounts, Gravenberch will be groomed to be able to step in for Goretzka when necessary. Just how much Julian Nagelsmann will need to use the 20-year-old, however, remains to be seen.

Bayern Munich striker Joshua Zirkzee has had a rollercoaster of a ride as of late. Zirkzee announced himself in the 2019/20 season when he scored in the 92nd minute to give Bayern the lead in the 3-1 win against Freiburg; he repeated the trick against Wolfsburg the next game. He also scored in the 6-0 win against Hoffenheim and helped Bayern move an inch closer to the league title by scoring in the 2-1 victory over Borussia Mönchengladbach.

People started to think that the Dutchman could be Robert Lewandowski’s understudy, but things went downhill from there.

A disastrous loan spell with Parma in Serie A was followed by a moment that Bayern fans won’t forget in a hurry. In the preseason game against Ajax in 2021/22, Zirkzee rounded the goalkeeper and had the goal on front of him begging for the ball to be put in (phrasing). Zirkzee, who should’ve buried his chance, instead slowed to a walk and let the ball roll to give Ajax defender Perr Schuurs enough time to clear it off the line. That, coupled with some issues about Zirkzee’s playing style, meant that he wasn’t doing himself any good. So, he decided to take his talents to Belgium by signing for RSC Anderlecht on loan to save his career. Zirkzee thrived under the tutelage of now-Burnley manager Vincent Kompany, scoring in double digits and assisting as many goals.

Zirkzee has now returned from Belgium and he wants to impress Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann. Fitness problems were evident in the 21-year-old’s performance in the Monday training session, and if he wants to show his clout to Nagelsmann, he’ll have to push himself to emulate his Anderlecht form at Bayern.

Weekend Warm-up: Bayern Munich should finish the job and ink Matthijs de Ligt; What to do about Konrad Laimer?; Assessing Stranger Things; Throwing it back to Ben Lee; and MORE!

What a massive week of transfer news for Bayern Munich.

Robert Lewandowski had found out that “there’s no easy way” of Bavaria, while the front office has rekindled it once torrid love affair with Juventus star Matthijs de Ligt.

Way back when I started at BFW, De Ligt was one of the very first stories I covered. It was just some initial interest from Bayern Munich with the player and I watched that story evolve from De Ligt looking like he would ink a deal with Bayern Munich to his star exploding and drawing the interest of every big club in Europe.

While he was linked to Bayern Munich, Manchester United, Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain, and others, De Ligt ultimately chose a huge offer from Juventus. It can be argued (by some) that the move was a bit of a mistake. While he has still progressed and improved, Juventus has not been the most stable club and might not have made for the best learning environment.

With multiple coaching changes, the arrival and subsequent exit of Cristiano Ronaldo, and a pretty steady flow of upheaval, De Ligt probably was not set up to really make the best use of his time in Italy — but he still made strides in his game.

Now, though, the defender seems ready to leave the club and Bayern Munich is at the forefront of the pursuit. This time, the Bavarians should do what it takes to get the deal done and have a foundational piece at center-back to help lead the club into its next generation.

So, what do you say…should Bayern Munich buck up and get this deal done? Tell us what statement most aptly fits your attitude toward a deal.

Report: Juventus star Matthijs de Ligt suspends talks with Chelsea as Bayern Munich prepare a bid

This report comes from Bild, so take it with a grain of salt. However, if true, it means that Bayern Munich are serious about signing Matthijs de Ligt this summer. Per the report, the player’s agents have broken off all talks with Chelsea FC as they wait to see if Bayern and Juventus can reach an agreement.

Contrary to reports in Italy, Bild claim that Bayern Munich have yet to submit any bid for the Dutch defender. Hasan Salihamidzic flew to Turin yesterday to meet with Juventus sporting director Federico Cherubini and discuss the subject of a transfer. The meeting lasted for around three hours and reportedly convinced the Juve bosses that de Ligt only wants a move to Bayern.

Finally, the report says that Juventus may be willing to settle for a fee of around 75m euros, and Bayern are still preparing an initial bid. This is contrary to reports from yesterday which claimed that Bayern had already bid €75m plus bonuses. German media had already cast doubts on the reliability of that report to begin with.

With the player already seemingly secure, Brazzo and the Bayern bosses now need to work on convincing Juventus to sell. What number will they finally agree on? We’ll have to wait and see.

Interested in some more transfer gossip? Why not check out our podcast? In our latest episode, we tackled the Cristiano Ronaldo to Bayern rumors, and also discussed whether a switch to a 4-3-3 makes sense for the club. Listen to it below or at this link.

If you like what you hear, please vote for us on the World Soccer Talk — Best Club Podcast award. It only takes a few seconds to vote and we’d really appreciate it! If you’re a Bayern fan, don’t let the scousers win!
Update: Bayern Munich will not sign Cristiano Ronaldo even if Lewandowski leaves

Update: July 6th, 3:30PM EST — Bayern Munich will not sign Cristiano Ronaldo even if Robert Lewandowski leaves
For those thinking that this is a negotiation tactic, Florian Plettenberg has confirmed that talks took place between Jorge Mendes and Bayern, but CR7 will not be moving to Munich. Lewandowski’s impending departure to Barcelona has no bearing on this.

Cristiano Ronaldo has never been in this position before. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner is desperate to leave Manchester United this summer, but all his preferred destination clubs don’t want him. His agent Jorge Mendes has been offering him to the likes of Bayern Munich and Chelsea, but the interest has been lukewarm at best.

According to reports, the Portuguese superstar wants to go to a club that can compete for the Champions League, and Bayern fit the bill. Thanks to the work of his agent, the Bavarians have been mentioned as his preferred destination for several weeks now. Jorge Mendes is “pushing hard” for his client’s move to Germany, according to Fabrizio Romano. However, the interest doesn’t seem mutual.

With Robert Lewandowski angling for a move to FC Barcelona this summer, it has been speculated that the Bavarians could pick up CR7 and give him a leading role in the team. However, that speculation remains confined to media circles — there has been no concrete evidence that Bayern would entertain a move for the 37-year-old. Still, it hasn’t stopped fans from dreaming.

Now club CEO Oliver Kahn has come out and firmly shut the door on Ronaldo potentially moving to Bayern Munich. Speaking to kicker, here’s what the former goalkeeper had to say on the subject:

This lines up with earlier statements by club sporting director Hasan Salihamidizic, who said that Ronaldo was not a subject of discussion at Bayern Munich. No explanation was provided by Brazzo, but Kahn’s comment on the club’s philosophy is telling.

While we have reports that CR7 would even accept a wage cut to play in the Champions League next season, Bayern Munich do not see him as a fit for the team Julian Nagelsmann is trying to build. If you’re confused about what that means, we tackled this very topic on the latest episode of our podcast — “Should Bayern Munich sign Cristiano Ronaldo?” Spoiler alert: The answer is no, and the reason why is more complicated that you might think.

In many ways, the issues discussed above also fit for Chelsea, and any other top club currently meeting Ronaldo’s criteria. He doesn’t fit the projects at Liverpool and Manchester City, and PSG don’t seem like a suitable destination for him.

In a nutshell, top level teams have moved past the need for a superstar like Cristiano Ronaldo. Right now it looks like he’s stuck at Manchester United, and he won’t be happy about that.
Update: Sport1 challenges report on Bayern Munich’s rumored big offer to Juventus for Matthijs de Ligt

Update: July 6th, 5:30PM EST — Sport1 refutes report on Bayern’s offer to Juve
According to Sport1 journalist Kerry Hau, Bayern Munich has not made an offer to Juventus for Matthijs de Ligt just yet — which contradicts Alfredo Pedulla’s earlier report:
Update: German media and Spanish media on opposite sides of Bayern Munich’s rumored pursuit of Cristiano Ronaldo

Update: July 6th, 5:00PM EST — Kahn says club is content with center-backs, but does need a leader
In a brief report from kicker, Bayern Munich CEO Oliver Kahn talked through where his club stands with its personnel on the backline:

FC Bayern is still working on a commitment from Matthijs de Ligt (22) and is optimistic. The problem: Chelsea are fiercely courting and are considered to be financially more powerful. Juventus would like to sell the Dutch central defender to the highest bidder, 80 million euros are in the room.

Bayern’s advantage: De Ligt is said to want to switch to Munich at the second attempt after it didn’t work out for the then Ajax player in 2019. “We are very satisfied with the quality in the center,” says CEO Oliver Kahn. “But we can improve on the points of leadership, volume and presence.”

Update: July 6th, 2:05PM EST — Bayern makes big proposal for De Ligt
According to journalist Alfredo Pedulla, Bayern Munich made a €80 million+ (€75 million, plus more than €5 million achievable in bonuses) offer to Juventus for Matthijs de Ligt:

Bayern surprisingly came out of the woodwork on July 1, first with an inquiry and then with a much higher pressure. It is likely, but we have no definitive confirmation, that the Germans like De Ligt more than Chelsea. it will be the (Editor’s Note: size of the) offer that will make the difference; Bayern’s latest offer is 75 million plus bonuses to reach and exceed 80. Juve is asking for minimum base 80 plus bonuses, we will see if the further raise will come. And especially if Chelsea will raise further.

— C.Smith

After Sadio Mané’s move to Bayern Munich, sporting director Hasan “Brazzo” Salihamidžic is working on the next big move of this summer: the transfer of Matthijs de Ligt from Juventus.

Apart from Bayern Munich, Chelsea FC are also in contention for De Ligt. Journalist Gianluca Di Marzio earlier claimed that De Ligt would prefer a move to the Premier League and to Stamford Bridge.

Recent reports by Sport1 have clarified that the defender is clear on what he wants. He only wants a move to Munich. Brazzo has already spoken to De Ligt, along with manager Julian Nageslmann and has received the player’s firm verbal commitment.

In addition, @iMiaSanMia captured addition information from The Independent, which indicates that De Ligt’s style of play might be a better fit in Germany than in England:

Matthijs de Ligt is understood to currently prefer a move to Germany with Bayern. Bayern have in the last week stepped up efforts to sign the 22-year-old center-back, having been given encouragement by his camp.

There is a belief that German football may suit his style more at this point in his career, although they are naturally open to Chelsea’s offer. The London club have been preparing alternative options

Much persuasion wasn’t necessary, as the Dutchman has liked Bayern for years and would’ve preferred a move to Bayern over Juventus in 2019. This unfortunately failed to transpire due to Ajax’s huge demands in terms of the transfer fee. Despite his inability to secure the player, Brazzo has apparently kept him in mind.

The price tag of a 80 million euros, as daunting as it is, is hardly changeable since De Ligt’s contract only expires in 2024. Brazzo wishes to start negotiations in the next few days, knowing well that he will certainly not get De Ligt at a reasonable price. Juventus will try to sell the Dutchman to whoever is ready to pay the highest.

The price, however, could also start to go higher if Chelsea FC starts getting aggressive as @iMiaSanMia captured from Goal’s Romeo Agresti recent report:

With De Ligt, Nagelsmann would get the communicative defensive leader that he has wanted for a while. This position has a David Alaba-sized hole in it, and while it remains to be seen if De Ligt will fit in, it is certain that he has Nagelsmann’s trust.

But one thing is for sure: the Dutchman isn’t assessing his options based on money. He simply wishes to make the move he would have made three years ago.

Update: July 5th, 7:30PM EST — Ronaldo…in or out?
According to Bild journalists Christian Falk and Tobi Altschäffl, Bayern Munich is not pursuing Cristiano Ronaldo because his wages might blow up the squad’s structure — and because he would not be able to press effectively:

Interestingly, there is clearly a division in this story depending on who is doing the reporting and it seems to vary by country. Regardless, with sporting director Hasan “Brazzo” Salihamidžic operating in stealth mode, anything is possible.

Thomas Müller talks about Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund and their activity in the offseason

It’s been a hectic preseason for both Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, with both teams making numerous signings to beef up their squads. One person can attest to the fast-paced movement, and he wants to take it easy before making the grind. Thomas Müller is still on vacation and wants to make the most of his free time before reporting to training in the coming days.

“In my job I don’t get many opportunities to catch my breath”, Müller said. “That’s why it’s something special and I’m making the most of the time. If I think about it, holidays have different phases for me. On the one hand, working through things that I put off before me. Then maybe a few thoughts on the future. However, I spend most of my time switching off and enjoying myself. For example, when playing golf.”

The exploits of Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund during this transfer window have not gone unnoticed, with Müller being excited about it and raring to get back on the pitch.

“So far, the ball hasn’t really wanted to go the way I wanted, but basically we get along well,” joked Müller in typical Müller fashion about his golf game. “Of course, I’m following closely what’s going on in club football during the summer break. Bayern have already strengthened their squad with three newcomers. A lot has happened in our national competition as well.”

Dortmund mean business this summer after spending 80 million euros for Sébastien Haller from Ajax, Karim Adeyemi from RB Salzburg, and center-back duo Nico Schlotterbeck and Niklas Süle from SC Freiburg and Bayern respectively. Bayern, on the other hand, signed fellow Ajax players Noussair Mazraoui and Ryan Gravenberch, and the blockbuster signing of Sadio Mané from Liverpool, for the combined price of around 50 million euros.

Both clubs aren’t done just yet; Dortmund are after Hoffenheim wing-back David Raum while Bayern are after Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt and RB Leipzig midfielder Konrad Laimer. Bayern, however, seem to have
Update: Bayern Munich set to hijack Chelsea’s bid for Matthijs de Ligt, English sources confirm

Update: July 5th, 9:20AM EST — Chelsea sources confirm Bayern Munich are close to landing Matthijs de Ligt
We have our first reports of Bayern’s interest from sources in England. According to Nizaar Kinsella of the Evening Standard, Bayern Munich are confident of landing the Juventus star from right under Chelsea’s noses, as they have worked on convincing the player to reject a move to the Premier League. This lines up with the information reported by Sport1 and Florian Plettenberg earlier in the day. Kinsella is considered a reliable source in Chelsea circles, so the information is likely to be true.

This means that Bayern have a clear shot at landing the Dutchman without interference from the Blues, provided that they can convince Juventus to sell for an agreeable price.

According to a report by Kerry Hau of Sport1, Bayern Munich have agreed personal terms with Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt. The 22-year-old Dutchman prefers a move to Germany over the prospect of joining Chelsea FC, and his salary should not be an obstacle to making a move happen. Currently, the main hurdle preventing the transfer is Juve’s astronomical asking price — a figure Bayern will somehow have to meet or reduce.

The report from Sport1 comes with a ton of information, so let’s break it down point by point:

Bayern Munich have a firm verbal commitment from de Ligt on the subject of a transfer. The Dutchman actually wanted to move to Bayern originally in the summer of 2019, but Ajax’s high asking price prevented the transfer from materializing.
Hasan Salihamidzic has kept in constant contact with de Ligt’s camp ever since the move from Ajax fell through, which has impressed the player and helped inform his decision. The Dutchman is also a Bayern fan from an early age and would have preferred to move to Munich back in the summer of 2019, as confirmed by Mino Raiola. The late agent even said that “it was a shame” the talks didn’t work out.
Bayern are not certain of Juventus’ current asking price, but they currently hold the advantage over Chelsea due to the player’s preference for the German champs. Brazzo knows that despite his past relationship with Juventus, the Turin-based club are looking to sell to the highest bidder and will not agree to any discounts.
De Ligt’s salary should not be an obstacle — the Dutchman is not looking for a huge raise, but simply wants to take the step he wanted to take in 2019.
Julian Nagelsmann sees the 22-year-old as the defensive leader Bayern Munich are looking for. This is why de Ligt is one of Bayern’s major targets for the summer window.
Got all that? Good. It’s a lot of info to absorb. Now, let’s move onto some major talking points that aren’t in the Sport1 report.

Speculation and analysis
De Ligt may want to join Bayern, but as we’ve seen before in 2019, he’s not above moving elsewhere if the money is better (or if the buying club pays a higher transfer fee). So even if his desire is to move to Munich this summer, Chelsea could still land the Dutchman if they meet Juventus’ asking price first. Even if his dream is to play for Bayern one day, he’s young enough that it could still be an option four or five years down the line.

Now, moving onto the other major question — what will Juventus’ asking price be? The player still has two years left on his contract, so his club has plenty of leverage. Some reports in the German media indicate that €60-80m is the price range, but news out of Italy suggests that the Bianconeri are looking for a fee in excess of €100m. Also, Juventus don’t want to accept any player swap deals, so including Benjamin Pavard in the transfer to reduce the price seems unlikely.

After strong showings in negotiations with both Liverpool and Ajax this summer, Brazzo may have finally met his match. If Matthijs de Ligt does come to Munich in this transfer window, it will be for a massive fee — the Dutchman could become the most expensive signing Bayern has ever made. Is he worth it?
Bayern Munich submit official bid for Stade Rennais gem

RMC Sport is reporting that Bayern Munich has submitted a bid for 17-year-old Stade Rennais youngster Mathys Tel. The amount of the proposal is unknown at this point.

Tel, who frequents playing on the left or through the middle in the attack, is fresh off of winning the U-17 Euros with France, scoring two goals and getting the captain’s armband along the way.

RMC Sport hints that, with Lewandowski leaving, Tel might see a chance at playing time for Bayern Munich’s first team, even though, the likes of Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Sadio Mané remain as competition for that center-forward position.

BFW Analysis
Mathys Tel is incredibly talented and would surely be a boon for Bayern if he were to sign, but the odds of this move happening are very low. News of a potential move for Tel follows Bayern’s attempt to sign another 17-year-old French star in the making, Ayman Kari. The difference between Kari and Tel in this situation is that Kari’s contract with his current employers Paris Saint Germain has already expired, which means Bayern would have been able to sign him for no transfer fee, while Tel still has two years left on his contract.

Inking Tel would require a mammoth transfer fee, which Bayern might not want to pay with more potential business to be done this summer. Besides, Tel already managed to get some first team minutes for Stade Rennais last season. His next season for Rennes is poised to be a true breakout season, so why would he swap that for less playing time with Bayern? Stranger things have happened, but this transfer does seem very unlikely.

Off the Crossbar: When one (refrigerator) door closes, does another one open for Bayern Munich?

One of the most fun — and tremendously stupid — storylines we have encountered at BFW in recent years was involving the assertion that former Bayern Munich center-back Niklas Süle and Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt were a bit too hefty for their chosen profession.

Now, hear me out, we think it is beyond ludicrous that anyone would think either of those young dudes are out of shape. It has become a great, running joke on the site for years now.

Years bro…years.

Because of that, I have always wanted to see the “All Chonk” center-back tandem of Süle and De Ligt as Bayern Munich’s big-boned bros on the backline. Celebrating each win with heavy beers and even heavier plates, this was my dream.

To defend his honor, Süle even had to declare publicly that he was no “lard arse.”

Alas, when Süle took his craving of kebabs to the North Rhine-Westphalia region, my fantasies were (orange) crushed. Now, though, Bayern Munich might be throwing me a (ribeye) bone and could be pursuing De Ligt.

While you might be able to argue that Süle has carried an extra pound or two at times, De Ligt’s case was completely ridiculous — and typical of Manchester United’s drunken sailor-type squad planning — because it didn’t even involve his own physical state.

Yup, the Red Robins…err, Devils, turned down a chance to ink De Ligt because they thought his dad was too heavy. It’s a good thing that BFW did not scan my family or else my grandfather might have been too drunk for SBN to hire me (or maybe that is why they hired me).

What a Whopper of a story!

Anyway, my crockpot, err, crackpot theory is that there is a strong chance that Lucas Hernandez will leave when his contract expires in 2024 — and if that turns out to be true, the Bavarians could be looking to sell off the Frenchman as early as next summer.

So…a pursuit of De Ligt — even if he is expensive — is not out of the realm of possibility for me. Will it happen? Fat chance…but we will always have our dreams, right?
Oliver Bierhoff feels the arrival of Sadio Mané at Bayern Munich will affect Serge Gnabry and Leroy Sané’s standing with Die Mannshcaft

Serge Gnabry’s situation at Bayern Munich is still unclear as far as his contract is concerned. His contract at the club is set to expire next summer, but he’s yet to accept rather lucrative offers that would see him earn 17-19 million euros per year, which is a favorable offer, especially considering his inconsistency from last season. There’s hope internally at Bayern that Gnabry will eventually accept the current contract offer that’s on the table, but there’s currently no indication from his camp that he will eventually do that.

Per a recent report from SportBild, Germany team manager Oliver Bierhoff is slightly worried with Gnabry’s situation having not agreed on a new deal yet. He’s also worried that the arrival of Sadio Mané from Liverpool this summer will affect Gnabry’s standing at Bayern, and will thus jeopardize his standing with Die Mannschaft. He wants to ensure that the player has a clear head without too many distractions this upcoming season and potentially running the risk of losing Gnabry on a free transfer next summer puts Bayern in a difficult spot. “I’m curious to see what happens,” Bierhoff said.

Bierhoff also feels that Mané’s arrival in Bayern’s attack will hurt Leroy Sané’s prospect – a player that really struggled toward the latter stages of last season after having a decent Hinrunde. “It can be a problem, especially in a World Cup year, when there are too many top players in the squad who want and need every minute of play and who want to play for themselves,” Bierhoff explained. Mané’s versatility to play as either a center forward or a winger means that he could easily windup taking minutes from either Gnabry or Sané. It’s also still not clear whether or not Robert Lewandowski will get his move to Barcelona this summer, but he’s certainly pushing for it.

“You have to assume that Sadio Mané is the top transfer at the beginning. Every player has to be aware of this situation and decide for themselves what is best for their own situation and development,” Bierhoff continued. Whether or not Mane’s arrival is affecting Gnabry’s decision to sign a new deal or not is unclear, but it’s certainly something the player has to consider. For both Sané and Gnabry, though, if Lewandowski does wind up leaving, that will be better for their own prospects of getting more minutes and not missing out on too many at the hands of Mané.

Cristiano Ronaldo ‘tells Manchester United to let him LEAVE’ with Premier League rivals Chelsea and Bayern Munich interested, but club insist star is NOT for sale

Cristiano Ronaldo has reportedly told Manchester United to let him leave this summer.

But the Premier League giants remain steadfast in their view that the Portuguese superstar is not for sale, talkSPORT understands.

The 37-year-old is said to want to play in the Champions League for the remainder of his career, which the Red Devils won’t be doing next season after finishing sixth in the Premier League.

The Times claims Ronaldo has told the club of his wish to depart this summer, and that rivals Chelsea and Bayern Munich have already discussed the possibility of signing the superstar forward.

Manchester United had denied initial rumours of a possible Ronaldo exit when the links first emerged in June.

And while the club has not moved to deny the claims he has asked for a move away from Old Trafford, United maintain he will be going nowhere this summer.

Ronaldo has a year left on his contract and new manager Erik ten Hag sees the legend as a key part of his plans.

New Chelsea owner Todd Boehly is said to have held talks with Ronaldo’s representatives last week, while Bayern’s interest is also well-documented as they look for a replacement for Robert Lewandowski, who looks set for a move to Barcelona.

finishing as the Red Devils’ top scorer with 24 goals in 38 games.

Reacting to the news on talkSPORT, ex-Manchester United midfielder Darron Gibson, who played alongside Ronaldo during his first Old Trafford spell, expressed his shock at the reports.

He said: “I’m a bit surprised. A lot of people will say it’s a good thing but personally I think it would be a bad thing if Ronaldo left.

“It’s up to him if that’s something he wants to do: keep breaking records and achieving things.”

New Man United boss Ten Hag insisted earlier this summer that he plans to utilise Ronaldo in the coming season, while club and international teammate Bruno Fernandes also said he expects him to stay.

“I spoke to him a few weeks ago,” Fernandes said. “We’re both on vacation, no one bothers friends on vacation.
“I hope to meet him on [July 4] to train there at Manchester United, I’m not expecting more than that.

“There is nothing more than that, but each one takes care of their future.

“I don’t believe that the club is willing to lose a player of the value of Cristiano.”

After rivals Liverpool and Man City both strengthened, Ronaldo reportedly fears another trophyless season at Old Trafford.

Portuguese outlet Record also claims that Ronaldo ‘fears Ten Hag doesn’t have weapons to fight for titles’, and ‘doesn’t want to waste’ the final years of his career at a club where he feels he can’t win trophies.

Report: Bayern Munich to pursue Cristiano Ronaldo if Robert Lewandowski is sold
Report: Bayern Munich to pursue Cristiano Ronaldo if Robert Lewandowski is sold

Okay, okay…we’ve been down this road before — and Bayern Munich has already tried to stiff-arm any idea that they would have interest in Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo.

However, journalist Duncan Castles of The Times is reporting that the Bavarians could still be in the mix for the Portuguese star if the club ultimately sells Robert Lewandowski this summer.

The report (as captured by @iMiaSanMia), says that while Bayern Munich has — allegedly — placed any pursuit of Ronaldo “on hold”, a sale of Lewandowski would instantly ignite interest in the 37-year-old star:

Cristiano Ronaldo has asked to be allowed to leave Manchester United should the club receive a satisfactory offer. Bayern Munich are understood to have placed a hold on their interest in Ronaldo until Robert Lewandowski’s sale has been agreed.

So, what can Bayern Munich offer Ronaldo that some other clubs cannot? A realistic shot at Champions League glory:

Ronaldo is driven by a desire to play in the Champions League. He believes he has “three or four years” left at the highest level and would like to spend them at a club where he is capable of adding to his team and individual achievements.

Lewandowski has been closely linked to FC Barcelona, with Chelsea FC and Paris Saint-Germain on the periphery of a pursuit.

English pundit raves over Sadio Mané’s chances for success at Bayern Munich

In an exclusive interview with FreeSuperTips (as made available to Bavarian Football Works), English pundit Sue Smith became one of the few football experts to give Sadio Mané some credit for making the move to Bayern Munich.

“I think it’s a great signing for Bayern Munich and he’ll be a great success in Germany. Yes, he’s 30 years old, but he’s still at the top of his game and he’s still one of the fittest players and producing some top-quality performances,” Smith said. “He’ll still provide a lot of goals and assists and help Bayern Munich go to the next level. There’s going to be a lot of competition for places in that side, but I think the level that he sets will turn out to be a top-quality signing for Bayern Munich.”

As for what kind of hole Mané is expected to leave at Liverpool, Smith said the Senegalese attacker will not be easy to replace.

“It’s a huge loss because he’s been a consistent performer for several years. The fans absolutely love him and rightly so because he’s been so consistent and performing at a high level since he joined. He’s scored a lot of important goals and created important moments,” Smith said. “For such a long time we looked at that front three of Mané, (Robert) Firmino and (Mo) Salah and you wondered how it could ever be broken up or get better. But then they go and bring in Jota and Diaz giving them five quality players battling for those front three positions. When Mané does leave, it will be a loss and it will upset some Liverpool fans, but they’ve brought in one of the most exciting talents in football in Darwin Nunez, so Liverpool have made a real statement in this window.”

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Daily Schmankerl: FC Barcelona making its next move for Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski?; PSG failed on Sadio Mané and Paul Pogba; Arsenal, Juventus scoping Serge Gnabry?; and MORE!

Barca to offer €50M fixed to Bayern for Lewy (Barca Universal)
FC Barcelona will reportedly submit another bid for Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski. This time, Barca will allegedly pitch a fixed fee of €50 million. That figure could still fall we short of the €70 million-€75 million that the Bavarians are supposed to want to the Poland international:

Barcelona’s attempts to sign Robert Lewandowski from Bayern Munich this summer are yet to bear fruit. The German champions have knocked back three separate offers from the Blaugrana for their ace goal scorer, with the latest bid being in the region of €40 million, plus €10 million in add-ons, taking the total value of the deal to €50 million.

However, Bayern Munich continue to be steadfast in their stance of the player being not for sale. But recent reports indicate that the Bavarian giants have started informal talks with Barça after having avoided negotiations until this point.

And Gerard Romero is now claiming that Barcelona are prepared to raise their bid for the 33-year-old Poland captain and table an offer that would be worth €50 million fixed, in the hope that it will convince Die Roten to do business. Romero adds that Lewandowski has been identified as the absolute priority by manager Xavi Hernandez for the summer transfer window, which is why the Catalans are now ready to table another improved offer despite having faced rejections thrice already.

Update: Bayern Munich might want €75 million from FC Barcelona for Robert Lewandowski

Update — June 29th: 11:53AM EST — Bayern wants €75 million for Lewy
Well, that escalated quickly.

According to Diario Sport (as captured by ESPN), Bayern Munich now wants €75 million for Robert Lewandowski:

Diario Sport says that Bayern were asking for a transfer fee of €75 million for the 33-year-old, while Barca aren’t willing to go above €40m plus add-ons, so it could be a long negotiation before Lewandowski gets his move.

It is felt that the demand for €75m is to give Bayern a very strong opening position in negotiations, while at the same time it is felt that Lewandowski can no longer continue at the Allianz Arena due to the impact he could have on the morale of the squad.

Perhaps Bayern Munich saw the rumored €65 million Barca will get from Manchester United for Frenkie de Jong and decided it would need a bigger pay day if it is going to sell off Lewandowski?

Striker Watch: has Bayern Munich come calling for Canada’s Jonathan David?

Bayern Munich’s striker search this transfer window may be taking an intriguing turn. Per Sport Bild (as captured by @iMiaSanMia), Lille OSC forward Jonathan David has emerged as a candidate to fill the shoes of one Robert Lewandowski — who is still here, for now.

The situation
David has a contract until 2025, having signed two years ago for €27m from Belgian side K.A.A Gent. Lille finished tenth in Ligue 1 this season, however, and big teams are circling, including Manchester United. Though he’s hit an icy patch — scoring in two out of 21 club games in 2022 — Transfermarkt’s Manuel Veth puts his price tag at a cool €50m.

What does David make of all the attention? As he told The Province in early June:

“I wouldn’t say there’s a particular team. I think anything could come. It just depends on the project. What I can offer them or what they can offer me […] It’s a World Cup year, so I think it’s important for me to keep playing and getting minutes. And I think it’s all about going somewhere that you know that you’re in a good environment,” David said.

Player profile
Still just 22 years of age, David is far from the finished product. But here’s one Bayern-centric glimpse at what he can do through the middle.

Pacey, energetic, looking for runs in behind, cool in the box with either foot: there’s lots to like. David is also consistently praised for pressing from the front, which is no surprise given his links to an Erik ten Hag team. At Lille, he played in a strike partnership, and his touchmap shows influence across the pitch:

Fit at Bayern
The immediate question will be how he might complement new signing Sadio Mané, who has also found his calling centrally for Liverpool. A strike partnership would not be out of the question: Julian Nagelsmann did employ a top-two as an adjustment from the bench last season and previously used a 3-5-2. It would still be surprising, though, and ask questions of numerous other players.

It’s also possible that Mané remains on the wing, and David is asked to develop into an in-the-box 9 for the next generation. Bayern should consider with caution, however, as not every striker used to having a partner transitions smoothly to lone ranger — see the cases of Timo Werner and Romelu Lukaku for Chelsea’s back three.

From a chemistry perspective, at least, David is already well-acquainted with Canada teammate Alphonso Davies. That will certainly be a bonus, especially in any creative partnership. And he is the exact ideal age profile for Bayern’s next acquisition in attack.

Ultimately, at €50m, this would be buying high and putting a lot of pressure on David’s shoulders. Tantalizing, though it feels unlikely unless both Robert Lewandowski and Serge Gnabry depart. Should that happen, however, David may zoom to the top of the list.

Did Bayern Munich just sign the best talent of Paris Saint-Germain?

Last Saturday there was a big social-media storm about Bayern Munich’s rumored contract agreement with the young midfielder Ayman Kari, from Paris Saint-Germain’s academy. At the age of seventeen Ayman is one of the best midfield talents in the world and last year he won the ‘Titi d’Or’, an award given to the best talent in the academy of PSG. Ayman is yet to sign his professional contract with PSG, and his contract with the club runs out on 30th June of this year. And Bayern were said to be looking to take advantage of this situation as they were rumored to be plotting a move that will bring youngster to the club on a free transfer. And a deal was seemingly on the verge of being done.

The social-media rumors gathered more intensity after people on the internet found out that, Bayern’s ‘Senior player care manager’, Johannes Mösmang was already following Kari on Instagram. While this can well be of no significance but Mösmang has an interesting ‘Instagram follow’ history. In past, he already started ‘following’ Leroy Sané and Lucas Hernández on Instagram, just days before they officially signed their contracts with FC Bayern, so yeah, make out of it what you will.

But in reality, the move does not seem to be so close to being done. Ayman’s advisor told RMC Sport that it was not yet over between Kari and PSG, and they are still trying to extend the youngster’s contract.

Now GOAL France has confirmed that Bayern were, in fact, in advanced talks to sign Kari, but the negotiations have apparently stalled now and Paris have re-intensified their efforts to keep their young midfielder. Moreover, two Bundesliga clubs have also joined the race to secure Kari’s signature.

Bayern has a history of signing ‘Titi d’Or’ winners, however. Their Kingsley Coman and Tanguy Nianzou are both former winners of this award, Coman, in fact, won if twice. Another well-known name of Bundesliga, Moussa Diaby of Bayern Leverkusen has also won it in the past. Ayman Kari will be third ‘Titi d’Or’ winner to play for FC Bayern if the move goes through, but competition from everywhere else, is only getting tougher.

Bayern Munich transfer hypocrisy can only end one way as Liverpool made wise Sadio Mané call

In what is shaping up to be one of the biggest transfer sagas of the summer, Robert Lewandowski remains a Bayern Munich player (for now) and Barcelona keep being linked with him.

Lewandowski has made it clear publicly that he wants to move to Barcelona, and Barcelona have made it clear that they want to sign him — and yet, a deal does not appear close.

So where do Liverpool come into the equation? Well, having agreed to sell Sadio Mané to Bayern Munich for a fee that could reach £35m (but is initially less than £30m minus the add-ons), there is more than a little hypocrisy at play.

READ MORE:Liverpool can copy Naby Keïta transfer trick to complete signing of £32m Luis Díaz repeat

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