ESPN’s Mark Lovell lays out his offseason plan (ESPN)
Mark Lovell, one of the great reporters on the Bayern Munich beat, laid out his thoughts on what direction Bayern may go. Lovell gave some interesting info on Gareth Bale that was tucked away in the section where he first stated that Bayern’s top target should be Timo Werner [Ed. Note - I firmly support this and feel as if Werner is going to have a breakout World Cup for Germany.]
If Lewandowski leaves, Bayern should pull out all the stops to bring in Germany international striker Timo Werner from Leipzig. And if Bayern do decide they want to do business with Real Madrid on Lewandowski, look for the German champions to include the likes of Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale in the deal as makeweights. Bale’s advisers have just opened an office in Munich—let the speculation commence.
Who does Lovell think could ultimately move on?
Provided they steer clear of injury at the World Cup for Poland and Germany respectively, Lewandowski and Boateng will be the ones to watch over the summer. Strongly linked with Chelsea and Manchester United in the past, Vidal may also attract some attention provided he overcomes his latest knee injury.
Give Lovell a follow on Twitter if you are not already following him.
Arturo Vidal feels the pain of everyone, then he feels nothing (Bild)
Sorry for the Dinosaur Jr. lyric-based title in advance.
At the beginning of this year, Arturo Vidal (31) had his entire back tattooed. Since about two weeks ago, his chest is now also completely covered. The man responsible for this: Sergio (23), a tattoo artist from Valencia, who flew specially to Munich for the work of art.
Sergio (who only needs one name I guess) then dished a bit on Vidal’s ability to withstand the pain of getting a tattoo:
It only took a few hours. All I had to do was fill in the rest of the free space on his chest. He already had something there, but it wasn’t by me. I have to say: he tolerates the pain very well.
Bayern-slaying Eintracht Frankfurt goalkeeper Hradecky signs with Bayer Leverkusen (Bundesliga.com)
With Bernd Leno rumored to be on his way out, Die Werkself made a savvy move in bringing in Finnish keeper Lukas Hradecky, who most recently helped bury Bayern in the DFB Pokal finale (it still stings!).
Bayer Leverkusen have signed Finland international goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky from Eintracht Frankfurt, with the 28-year-old signing a five-year contract with Die Werkself. Slovak-born Hradecky had been at Frankfurt since 2015, and featured in 100 games in all competitions for Die Adler. The 2017/18 campaign was arguably his most impressive to date, though, with the DFB Cup final win over Bayern Munich confirming his talent.1
With talents like Julian Brandt, Leon Bailey, Kai Havertz, Kevin Volland, and Lucas Alario all dangerous offensive threats, the acquisition of Hradecky could help boost the confidence of the defense, which struggled mightily at times this past season. Leverkusen sporting director Rudi Völler is clearly excited to have the brought in Hradecky.
We’re very happy to have strengthened our team with an outstanding goalkeeper. Lukas Hradecky is an excellent Bundesliga keeper, has international experience and was an absolute leader in Frankfurt. He demonstrated his quality impressively in the Cup final.
Image of Sandro Wagner and Mario Götze looming over Die Mannschaft training ground (Twitter - @itstheicebird)
Bild reporter Heiko Niedderer captured the image below. I could only make out Sandro Wagner, Mario Götze, Mesut Özil and Julian Draxler, but maybe Die Mannschaft should adjust some of it’s decor at the pitch.
Am Trainingsplatz wird der DFB begrüßt von... Sandro Wagner! #eppan #dfb #trainingslager pic.twitter.com/JDeRVCXvMV— Heiko Niedderer (@itstheicebird) May 22, 2018
Former Bayern assistant Willie Sagnol linked to Swansea City (The Mirror)
Willie Sagnol has been linked as a candidate to take over at Swansea City for Carlos Carvalhal.
Swansea are set for talks with former Bayern Munich assistant coach Willy Sagnol as they hunt a successor to Carlos Carvalhal. The Welsh club have already spoken to former Crystal Palace boss Frank De Boer in a surprise move. Now they are ready to speak to 41-year-old Sagnol after the highly-decorated ex-defender threw his hat into the ring. Sagnol, 41, clinched 58 caps for France, the title in France with Monaco and lifted five titles and the Champions League with Bayern. The former France defender Sagnol has also managed Bordeaux and been the head coach of his country’s Under-21 team where he pushed the claims of Manchester United winger Anthony Martial, then a Monaco reserve.
Sagnol, who unfortunately was caught in the mass unraveling that went down in Munich with Carlo Ancelotti, also recently became a member of the Rush soccer Board of Directors, which has a strong foothold in the United States.
Lothar Matthäus firing out red-hot hot-takes (SportBild)
Lothar Matthäus has lots of opinions. Here are his thoughts on Thiago Alcantara:
Thiago has not made the difference in the big games so far. I actually like him, but he recently was a shadow of himself. Thiago has disappointed me in the past few weeks. I do not know where he is with his head. With performances like these, he is not a player for Bayern Munich.
I think this “fire” from Matthäus stems from Thiago’s tantrum when Jupp Heynckes removed him from the DFB Pokal loss to Frankfurt. Thiago was very agitated to be taken off the field to say the least. While I don’t endorse everything Matthäus states, he has a point that could be made about many Bayern players in that their talent does not always produce the results you would expect. Frankly, with the level of talent on the squad, a loss like what happened against Frankfurt should not happen on that stage.
Javi Martinez appreciates YOU! (Twitter - @Javi8martinez)
I wanna say THANK YOU Without you fans this team would be empty. Thank you for your amazing support through this thrilling season with all its ups and downs! This is football! I love this game! See you all next season #Javi8 #passion #football pic.twitter.com/PEeS5Uidje— Javi Martínez (@Javi8martinez) May 22, 2018
Bayern ranked as 4th most valuable club worldwide (BBC.com)
To no one’s surprise, Bayern was the top-ranked Bundesliga club.
Manchester United has again been named most valuable European football club, being worth about €3.25bn (£2.9bn) says business services group KPMG. The English club tops KPMG’s study of top sides’ “enterprise value”, ahead of Real Madrid and Barcelona. The study, based on the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons, studied profitability, broadcasting rights, popularity, sporting potential and stadium value.
Top 10 European clubs by ‘enterprise value’
Manchester United - €3.255bn
Real Madrid - €2.92bn
Barcelona - €2.78bn
Bayern Munich - €2.55bn
Manchester City - €2.16bn
Arsenal - €2.10bn
Chelsea - €1.76bn
Liverpool - €1.58bn
Juventus - €1.30bn
Tottenham - €1.29bn