October 18, 2022
Daily Schmankerl: Bayern Munich, Liverpool, Borussia Dortmund, Tottenham all competing for Konrad Laimer;  FC Barcelona closes in on Bayern hope;  Chelsea’s Kai Havertz knows he’s not Robert Lewandowski;  Douglas Costa does what he does;  and more!

According to a report from the kicker, Bayern Munich are still in the hunt for RB Leipzig’s ball-winning midfielder Konrad Laimer after the raunchy rumors cooled off a bit over the past week.

The Bavarians, however, are not alone.

Borussia Dortmund, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur are all in the game for Laimer.

While I understand why Bayern Munich want Laimer, I’m not sure I understand why Laimer would want Bayern Munich logistically. Certainly, like Marcel Sabitzer, Laimer would be better placed to win trophies in Bavaria, but at what cost for his career? Will he play enough to satisfy his desire to be on the pitch? Would he be able to usurp a starting role from Joshua Kimmich or Leon Goretzka?

If I were Laimer (and I’m sure he’s grateful every day that it’s not.), I would strongly consider Borussia Dortmund if I focused on the pitch.

A move to a big club is always great in theory, until you find yourself on the bench to 34 of the season. Dortmund could offer him game time, European football and perhaps a chance to compete in the Bundesliga next season.

Chelsea FC star and Germany international Kai Havertz was best known for his role as an attacking midfielder with Bayer Leverkusen, but he’s not expected to play much more like a prototypical striker these days in London.

Recently, Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel spoke about this and why he may never play the role in the traditional way:

Chelsea striker Kai Havertz has admitted he’s ‘not playing like’ Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski as the Blues’ attacking conundrum continues ahead of the Premier League trip to Everton.

Havertz, 22, apart from having 19 goal contributions and tallying in all competitions for the Blues this season, has already won the Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup in FIFA since completing his £70million-plus move from Bayer Leverkusen in the summer of 2020. However, in recent games, alongside the rest of Chelsea’s attack, he has faltered when he had the opportunity to add to his ever-growing list of goalscoring contributions with the Man United draw, a prime example of the development he still has in his game if he is to reach elite level.

“I think many players can admire Ronaldo’s quality, attitude and career,” Tuchel said in his post-match press conference regarding his number 29 who Cristiano Ronaldo could look up to as a role model. He went on to add the decisive issue for the whole team: “This is the objective towards which we are working. It is also up to them to adapt, there is still time to adapt to the rhythm and schedule. The calendar is unforgiving for us and again, it’s the time when they have to adapt to the league, to the physique, to the pace, to the demands. The boys are still young: Mason (Mount) is still young, Timo is still young, Kai is still young. It will come, they will learn because they are good guys and they have the right attitude. It’s not always easy to arrive calmly and with the greatest of ease because you ask a lot of counter-pressing, attacking with the first line when the opponent wants to play. So they have some credit.

At 22, the sky is still the limit for Chelsea’s attacking talismanic figure who has had to bear much of the responsibility for scoring goals this term due to Romelu Lukaku’s shortcomings, but there are still questions as to whether the Champions League final goalscorer is the long-term option in the number 9 role.

Sometimes that post-title hangover can hit a team hard. Bayern Munich sleepwalked onto the pitch against Mainz today and paid dearly for it, although the scoreline was nowhere near as bad as it could have been. Even taking into account that team captain Manuel Neuer and vice-captain Thomas Muller did not start in the XI, it was an unacceptable performance from Bayern, characterized by a strong lack of effort and leadership. Unfortunately, since the game comes after we’ve already won the title, it doesn’t make sense to overanalyze everything.

Here are our talking points from the game:

  • How Julian Nagelsmann didn’t go far enough in experimenting with programming.
  • Why Alphonso Davies’ positioning in the rear three/four hybrid system compromises his defence.
  • Marcel Sabitzer may have sealed his future with this game.
  • Bayern Munich’s mentality problem under Nagelsmann – an inability to deal with adversity.

FC Barcelona could speed up their backup plans to find an attacker. With Robert Lewandowski unsure of leaving Bayern Munich, Barca were linked with Chelsea’s Romelu Lukaku yesterday Schmankerl – and could now go to Brazil to find another centre-forward:

La Liga heavyweights Barcelona are reportedly considering the possibility of signing 25-year-old Brazil international Gabigol from Flamengo this summer.

According to a report by Spanish outlet Fichajes, Gabigol is the subject of interest from Barcelona over a possible move in the summer transfer window. The Brazil international, who has emerged as a possible alternative to Robert Lewandowski, is valued at around €30m by Flamengo.

Gabriel Barbosa, better known as Gabigol, has resurrected his stuttering career since joining Flamengo from Inter Milan. The 25-year-old originally returned to Brazil on a season-long loan deal until the end of the 2019 season before making a permanent move to Flamengo in January 2020. And he hasn’t looked into back since.

While Lewandowski is set to join Barcelona, ​​Bayern Munich won’t accept any offers for the Poland international, prompting the Blaugrana to identify alternatives. Several players have appeared on Barcelona’s radar as a result, Gabigol being the latest striker linked with the La Liga heavyweights.

Signing the Brazil international won’t set Barcelona back much either, with Flamengo likely asking for him around €30m. The price is expected to fit Barcelona’s budget, and it will be interesting to see if they are willing to table a €30m bid to land Gabigol away from Flamengo in the summer transfer window.

It seems to be all too sure of a report that Sebastien Haller will be ‘the one’ to replace Robert Lewandowski:

Bayern Munich have chosen a replacement for Robert Lewandowski. Barcelona are keen to sign the Polish striker this summer transfer window and so the Bavarian giants will have to bring in another number nine should that eventuality materialise.

That man, according to Diario AS, is Ajax’s Sebastien Haller. Haller, 27, has scored 33 goals for Ajax so far this season and has already been contacted by Bayern. Their official stance is that they want to keep Lewandowski but behind the scenes they haven’t yet taken any meaningful steps to extend his contract, which expires in 2023.

It is believed that Lewandowski is annoyed by this. Haller isn’t the only Ajax player Bayern have their eye on. Midfielder Ryan Gravenberch and full-back Noussair Mazraoui are also linked with moves to the Bundesliga champions.

Haller, an Ivory Coast international, was born in France and came through the youth system with Auxerre. He moved to the Netherlands and Utrecht in 2015 before a two-year stint in Germany with Eintracht Frankfurt. He then spent two seasons in the Premier League with West Ham United before joining Ajax in the summer of 2021 and enjoying real success.

Douglas Costa has been stealing money for years in Germany and Italy, but now he’s doing it in MLS:

In the wake of Bayern Munich’s 10th consecutive Bundesliga title, some fans felt a little bitter thinking about what could have been for this season. Although it may be natural, take some time to reflect on what didn’t happen and focus on what did.

Winning ten Champion Crowns in a row is no joke!

In this episode, we cover this topic and much more. Here’s what we have on hand:

  • A look at Bayern Munich’s title race and why there’s nothing wrong with celebrating achievement even if you think this team should have done more.
  • The latest on Robert Lewandowski contract talks and where things could be headed.
  • Erling Haaland spent ‘hours’ chatting with Hasan ‘Brazzo’ Salihamidzic at the sporting director’s home… what does that mean?
  • Bayern Munich’s other option for the striker is Lewandowski on the run.
  • Why this story about Bayern Munich’s latest effort to get Nico Schlotterbeck could be true.

FC Barcelona seem to be closing in on their widely rumored deal for Bayern Munich youngster Kenan Yildiz:

According to a recent report from Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona are among the clubs vying to sign Kenan Yildiz in the upcoming summer transfer window.

An attacking midfielder by trade, Yildiz is considered one of the brightest young talents in Bayern Munich’s academy. He is currently plying his trade with the club’s U-19 setup, but many expect him to make the jump to professional football in the coming years.

The German Rekordmeister have shown a desire to tie Yildiz to a long-term contract. But the youngster appears to be a little apprehensive about signing a new contract amid worries over his place in the club’s youth roster.

The prospect of teenage youth is thwarted by the recent signing of Lovro Zvonarek. The Croatian youngster joined the Bundesliga giants for a fee of around €1.8m and plays in the same position as Yildiz.

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