Not, not Sandro Wagner—who just scored a goal with his nethers—but Manuel Neuer! The Don has struck again: since David De Gea seems intent on leaving this summer, and since it would be so hard to get Thibaut Courtois or Jan Oblak (who’d cost €100m), Mourinho wants ManU to settle for an aging Manu (now 32). As the Don points out, the move makes perfect sense for Neuer, because “a three-year contract with United that could be his last big contract as a professional.”
Not to discredit Don Balon, but Bild has confirmed that Toni Kroos has not demanded that Real Madrid sign David Alaba as a condition for his staying with the club. Kroos commented, “Of course that's nonsense. Somebody probably was bored.”
Eintracht Frankfurt’s Niko Kovač is one prominent name mentioned as a potential candidate to coach Bayern. Now Eintracht’s sporting director Fredi Bobic told Europasport, “That’s a nice media topic. As long as you don’t say 100% who will be Bayern’s coach. I heard somewhere who it’ll be—but I won’t say who.” Uli Hoeness told Sport1 in response, “In that case, the gentlemen know more than we do.” Hasan Salihamidzic was less gracious at Bayern’s last press conference. Asked about the coaching question, he told the press, “There are no updates on that. But I heard that somebody knows. Call him.”
Bayern's chairman wrote in the club's magazine, ““If we had not signed Leon Goretzka, there’s a high probability he would have moved to Barcelona . . . Fundamentally, that cannot be in the interests of German football.” Additionally, Rummenigge explained, “Only 22, Leon Goretzka is an enormously talented German international with great potential in his position. We would have been really crazy not to try and sign him.”
Jupp Heynckes and Julian Nagelsmann set a record for the largest age difference between two Bundesliga coaches when the two squared off on Saturday. There are 42 years separating Heynckes, aged 72, and Nagelsmann, a mere 30—but they are nonetheless peers. After the match, when asked about his relationship with Heynckes, Nagelsmann revealed, “Before the game we still addressed each other with Sie [the formal ‘you’ in German]. Now he proposed that we could use Du [the informal, intimate ‘you’]. My compliments, Jupp!”
It’s difficult to explain if you don’t speak German, but it’s a big deal when a man of Heynckes’s age and stature tells a 30-year-old he can address him by his first name and informally.
In other news:
Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal have at last reached an agreement about Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, but there's a hitch. Arsenal will pay approximately €63m for the striker and give Dortmund Olivier Giroud on a free loan until season's end. The hitch? Giroud doesn't want to go to Dortmund, but would rather stay in London with Chelsea. Chelsea's Michy Batshuayi, in turn, is a good loan candidate, so a three-way deal might happen, seeing Auba go to Arsenal, Giroud to Chelsea, and Batshuayi to Dortmund. Or not. More at Fear the Wall.
After Stuttgart's latest Bundesliga loss—2-0 to Schalke—the club management held an emergency meeting late into the night and decided to dismiss Wolf and his assistant, Miguel Moreira. Stuttgart have lost six of their last seven Bundesliga matches, falling to 15th place on the table. During the same stretch, they also were knocked out of the DFB Pokal by Mainz. Michael Reschke, Bayern's former technical director and Stuttgart's sporting director, said the club need “a new impulse to get back to winning ways.”
And from the world of social media:
Ribery nutmegs Heynckes in practice
Franck Ribéry nutmegs Jupp Heynckes in training pic.twitter.com/1yeuE1MOf7— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) January 28, 2018
Never change, Franck.
Schweinsteiger plays the cameraman again
Sebastian Rudy touched by a little fan's card
Rudy just joined Twitter in December, so give him a follow if you don't already.