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Daily Schmankerl: Wagner defends Aubameyang, Friedl to Bremen, Thiago back in training

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While Marco Friedl departs, it seems that Bayer Leverkusen’s Julian Brandt is staying put.

Borussia Dortmund v Bayern Munchen - German Bundesliga Photo by TF-Images/TF-Images via Getty Images

“He was an attraction for everyone.” Sandro Wagner defends Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Sport Bild)

I’m not fan of stereotypes. For years, Aubameyang has performed well, was an attraction for everyone on and off the pitch. He’s a exciting personality, who may hasn't behaved entirely correctly when viewed from a distance. That's a shame, but to pile on him now? I'm not that kind of guy.

Wagner also talked about the German national team. Jögi Löw told Wagner it was not a problem that he is no longer playing every game, because Bayern's training is so rigorous. Wagner cited Kimmich's situation in 2016: “One argument why he then got a chance was the crazy intensity of Bayern's training.” Wagner believes the move to Bayern can only help his quest to travel with the national team to Russia.

Bayern left-back Marco Friedl loaned to Werder Bremen (Bild)

The transaction has yet to be confirmed, but after training with Bayern on Wednesday 19-year-old left-back Marco Friedl flew to Bremen ahead of a loan at least until the end of the season. “I'm happy to be here,” he told Bild. The deal will be made official after a medical check on Thursday. Friedl will help the Dinosaurs Werder (thanks, Marko) stave off extinction—or rather, relegation while gaining valuable Bundesliga playing time outside the long shadow cast by David Alaba and Juan Bernat (when Bernat is sitting on Alaba’s shoulders).

Thiago hits the pitch: comeback in February (Bild)

Thiago Alcantara’s rehabilitation has taken a significant step forward. On Wednesday, Thiago spent 45 minutes training on the pitch again at Säbener Straße, two months removed from the muscular injury that sidelined him in late November. He is anticipated to return to the team in February.

Julian Brandt is not coming to Bayern Munich (Sport Bild)

By all appearances, 21-year-old forward Julian Brandt (21) will soon extend his contract with Leverkusen, despite the fact that he has an exit clause in his contract (through 2019) for just €12.5m. Brandt had been connected with Bayern, but his father Jürgen Brandt told Sport Bild, “Julian's goal is to play internationally with Bayer Leverkusen again. Julian doesn't feel that he has outgrown Leverkusen.”

Bayern fined €52,000 for fireworks at four away games (ESPN FC)

Another away game, another fine. This time, four away games: The DFL hit Bayern with a €52,000 for the actions of its misbehaving fans this season.

Klose a future youth coach at Bayern? (Münchner Merkur)

Miroslav Klose always maintained good ties to Bayern Munich, where he played from 2007 to 2011. Since becoming a club ambassador this past summer, some have wondered if Germany's legendary striker may take his coaching ambitions to Säbener Straße. Although he currently is working with Jögi Löw and the German national team, some speculate that he may seek employment with Bayern after completing his coaching qualifications. Klose is “excited” about the FC Bayern Campus and said, “Bayern was and is a prime destination for everyone involved in soccer.”

And in other news

“Love is pain” for Jerome Boateng - a pain in the neck, specifically (Bild)

Boateng returned to his favorite tattoo parlor in Berlin early this week, where he had a large mandala tattooed on the back of his neck.

Thomas Müller the 5th player to join Bayern's 100 goal club

You can relive all of them here:

Only Gerd Müller (365!), Karl-Heinz Rummenigge himself (162), Roland Wohlfahrt (119), and Dieter Hoeneß (Uli's brother, 102) have more. Fun fact: Bayern have never lost a game in which Thomas Müller scores. Their record is 74-4-0.

But Robert Lewandowski is not far behind: with now 94 goals, he has passed Arjen Robben as the most prolific foreign scorer at Bayern.

How about a round of “sheep head” with Thomas Müller? (Sport Bild)

“Sheep head,” off course, is the name of the traditional Bavarian card game Schafkopf, a tradition that is alive and well at Bayern Munich. On Monday evening, Thomas Müller and friends participated in a charity Schafkopf tournament for the Nicolaidis YoungWings foundation, a charity dedicated to helping people who have lost their partners and to helping their children. Müller was joined at his table by Bayern Legend Paul Breitner (second from left, below).

Sport Bild's beat writer Christian Falk also participated. He recounts on his private blog how the Schafkopf tradition lives on on Bayern’s long bus trips: Müller is eagerly awaiting the return of his playing partner Manuel Neuer. It takes four to play, though: Mats Hummels was “bought extra as a Schweinsteiger replacement,” and the fourth man is none other than Hasan Salihamidzic, filling in for the retired Philiipp Lahm.

Rafinha has played 150 Bundesliga games for Bayern

He flies under the radar, but Rafinha is one of the best. Seriously. We’re lucky to have him.