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Daily Schmankerl: Alaba dismisses Real Madrid rumors, Pulisic speculation, and MORE!

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David Alaba pushes aside Real Madrid links...for now (ESPN)

The Bayern Munich left back had a quietly solid season once again, despite battling injury issues. With rumors seemingly always swirling from Spain, Alaba decided to address the speculation after his father and agent, George, opened up the proverbial can of worms earlier this month by saying that Real Madrid is “really interested” in signing the Austrian international.

Alaba went so far as to question the authenticity of the quotation:

I know nothing about my father’s interview with Spanish media. I asked him about it and he doesn’t know anything about it either.

Alaba emphasized that he is very happy at Bayern Munich and intends to stay, while acknowledging the reality of the rapidly changing transfer landscape:

At the moment, there’s nothing to say. I’m very, very happy in Munich and have a lot still to achieve here. I’m proud to attract interest from such clubs, but I’m already playing for one of the best clubs in the world and want to continue my career here.

For now there is nothing concrete [i.e. contacts to other clubs]. I know that in football everything can go very quickly. But, for now, I am focused on the national team and after that, preseason in Munich. I feel very, very good in Munich and I still have things to do there.

Alaba’s skill-set is always going to make him a prime candidate for rumor mongering, but—at least for now—it appears that Alaba will stay on the course of honoring his contract with Bayern, which runs through 2021.

I cannot get enough of Besiktas Ginger Cat and I am not even a cat person (@FCBayernUS)

If you don’t support Besiktas Ginger Cat you have NO SOUL!

Christian Pulisic is garnering serious Premier League interest and some of the reasons are stupid (The Telegraph)

In one of our year end features, Christian Pulisic emerged as one of the more popular transfer targets among the Bayern fan base (at least on this site). A bevy of EPL teams, however, are circling like vultures over Signal Iduna Park just waiting to throw down £50million like drunk billionaires.

Tottenham Hotspur are considering switching their attention to Borussia Dortmund winger Christian Pulisic following Fulham’s promotion to the Premier League. Spurs had been leading the race to sign Ryan Sessegnon, but the 18-year-old could stay at Craven Cottage for at least another season after Fulham’s Championship play-off victory over Aston Villa.

(Ed. note: If Craven Cottage doesn’t sound like something that should be a remote outpost “beyond The Wall” in Game of Thrones, I don’t know what does.)

While the above may not be Bayern-related, the monetary figure attached to Pulisic might be if Die Roten wants to invest in the man dubbed Captain America.

Dortmund currently value Pulisic at around £50million and it remains to be seen whether Spurs or any other Premier League club is prepared to get near to that price.

Tottenham allegedly values Pulisic a little more than some other clubs because of an odd (and probably silly) premise.

The signing of the United States international would also be attractive to chairman Daniel Levy, who is trying hard to exploit the American market by staging NFL games at Tottenham’s new stadium.

While Pulisic is popular stateside, it’s far-fetched to think anyone will visit Tottenham for an NFL game because Pulisic plays for the Spurs. Chelsea is also throwing its hat in the Pulisic mix, maybe hoping to workout some sort of player exchange involving Michy Batshuayi, who had a stellar season with Dortmund whie on loan from Chelsea before his season ended prematurely due to injury.

Dortmund, meanwhile, recently inked Marius Wolf from Eintracht Frankfurt. Wolf joined Eintracht on a permanent deal from Hannover 96 in January, but will now be with BVB for the next five years.

Mats Hummels sees a cohesiveness within Die Mannschaft despite an early call for anti-doping measures (FCBayern.com)

Mats Hummels was surprised by the 7AM anti-doping testing procedures performed at the Die Mannschaft camp.

I’ve never see the whole team be tested before. That wasn’t anything special except that it cost us some sleep.

Hummels also touched on the overall talent within the group.

We’re a real unit with plenty of quality. There’s a good atmosphere and great willingness to work.

Hummels...a man of many words typically; just not after an early call to urinate in a cup.

Josh Sargent is a name you should know (@FoxSoccer)

Josh Sargent is a St. Louis-area native and one of the future stars of the USMNT. Sargent is also in the Werder Bremen system (sorry Markopolo!). Given the huge amount of development Sargent has made in the past year, it is not hard to think we could see him crack the Werder Bremen lineup in this upcoming season.

Needless to say, I was impressed with Sargent during the USMNT 3-0 win over Bolivia. It should also be noted that Weston McKennie (Schalke 04) and Tim Weah (Paris Saint-Germain) also turned in solid performances, while former Bayern Munich man, Julian Green, didn’t exactly do anything to make me think Bayern let the 22-year old go too early.