After a solid but not spectacular win over Hoffenheim, Bayern finally has 5 consecutive days off. Let's dig into the papers and see what the news brings concerning the club, the Bundesliga, and the footballing world.
- FC Bayern is rumored to be chasing Neymar. The UK's Metro (quoting, in turn, Spain's Sport) says that Bayern's board has prepared an 86 million pound bid for the Brazilian. Recall that Neymar has previously said that he wants to play out his current contract, then the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, and then see if he'll make a move. Recent reports suggest that this isn't set in stone, however, and that he is keeping his options open.
Could this really happen? I guess, but I certainly don't think that the Spanish press have any inside knowledge. This kind of speculation is, at best, cranked up based upon some overheard statement like "Neymar is great," and, at worst, just made up out of nothing. If he really wants to come to Europe this summer, I'd see Barca or Real putting together a bigger offer ... but, with Guardiola coming in, anything is possible. We'll try to keep up on the latest here, but consider us unconvinced that there's anything to this story beyond speculation.
- The semis of the DFB Pokal have been drawn, with Bayern getting a home match against VfL Wolfsburg. Remember, these are all one-legged ties; this makes home-pitch advantage a big deal, but it also means that one slip-up can put a dent in our treble ambitions. Ivica Olic will be returning to the Allianz, Mario Mandzukic will be facing his old club, Mandzukic and Perisic (Croatian teammates) will be facing each other less than a month after they join forces to lead Croatia against Serbia in WC qualifiers, and ... what else? I'm sure there are some other story-lines. Let us know what we're forgetting in the comment section.
In the other semi, VfB Stuttgart will host Freiburg, just a few days after the same clubs meet in league play, as all minnows have been disposed of. The Final will take place on June 1 - after the Champions League final. I don't see how this makes any sense, but there's no point in arguing about. Tell us when to show up, and we'll be there.
- Conflicting reports from Dortmund: Michael Zorc pleads poverty, saying that BVB couldn't possibly afford to replace Lewandowski with a similar talent if he leaves. But Aki Watzke says that they will make big moves, whether or not Lewandowski leaves. I'm still not convinced that 'Dowski will end up at Bayern (and I'm even less convinced that we need him), so there's a chance he stays put this summer. I know some readers disagree with me. But even if he does leave, and even if BVB can't replace him exactly with another rising star, there are several proven big-name strikers available, with Dzeko said to be willing to come back to Germany.
- Note that the prediction board for the Champions League bracket challenge is up. These matches start tomorrow, so get your picks in if you're interested. And, as always, thanks to Kate L for pulling all this together.
Any other news we're missing? No word on Gomez's slight limp in the second half, so I assume he's OK. If you know of any stories or links to share, leave them below, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. thanks for reading.