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Daily Schmankerl: Julian Draxler on Bayern’s radar again; Mandžukić to Dortmund and MORE!

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That lead photo is not a cover shot for a new boy band album, it’s just alleged Bayern target Julian Draxler hanging with Leon Goretzka.

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Julian Draxler eyed as replacement if James Rodriguez leaves Bayern (TZ)

The James Rodriguez drama has not yet reached a definitive conclusion and just in case things take a turn toward the Colombian’s return to Real Madrid, Bayern Munich is scoping out potential replacements.

Enter Paris Saint-Germain man Julian Draxler.

PSG’s Julian Draxler would fit in well with the predicament of FC Bayern Munich. Now Italian media report that there is interest - should James Rodriguez return to Real. If so, then at FC Bayern Julian Draxler would again focus - at least report the Italian media. The international is currently under contract with PSG. However, it is not clear how the new coach Thomas Tuchel plans with the 24-year-olds. In this respect, a change to FC Bayern could be quite possible.

As we’ve covered since the rumors sparked, there are many different angles and stories around this situation, but until James formally declares exactly what his plans are - and Bayern confirms them - the speculation will only grow.

Bayern, for its part, hold the cards in what exactly they want to happen. There will be dozens of reports stating every outcome to this story, so we will sift through them to help keep YOU - the very important Bavarian Football Works reader - as up to date as possible. We haven’t quite hit Robert Lewandowski-levels of speculation and rumors yet, but we’ll see where it goes form here.

Draxler is coming off a less than impressive World Cup for Die Mannschaft, but does have good talent and ability. If James were to ultimately leave, Draxler is the type of versatile player that may be a good roster fit in Munich.

Borussia Dortmund pursuing Mario Mandžukić (SportBild)

Coming off a pretty incredible World Cup for Croatia and also being less than enthusiastic about sharing the field with Cristiano Ronaldo, Mario Mandžukić may be heading back to the Bundesliga.

Mandžukić remained below his claims last season at Juventus, scoring just five league goals. With Cristiano Ronaldo (33), the Italians also committed a superstar on which Mandzukic (contract until 2020) is unlikely to pass. A change is therefore quite conceivable. According to the Italian sports portal CalcioMercato, Juve has already rejected a first BVB offer. Only the beginning of a transfer poker?

Mandžukić, the former Bayern man and almost post-game brawler, increased his value and standing among many with a clutch and consistent performance for Croatia. While the move would seem sort of odd as Dortmund rebuilds its roster with youth, adding the 32-year old Mandzukic would give them instant viability on offense to compliment the likes of Marco Reus, Mario, Götze, Christian Pulisic, and Maximilian Philipp among others.

TZ, meanwhile, speculated a bit that if Lewandowski were to leave Bayern, Mandžukić would also be a fit in Munich as well.

Mandžukić won with FC Bayern Munich in 2013 the Champions League. Then the Munich Robert Lewandowski picked up and there was no room left for the 32-year-old. A return campaign to the Säbener road seems unlikely - as long as the pole remains. But if Lewy but surprisingly, would need the Munich urgently replacement. In Dortmund, there is need in the storm. After Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang left the club in the winter, was set in the second half Michy Batshuayi. But the Chelsea borrowed attacker is the black and yellow too expensive. In the preparation of the team of new coach Lucien Favre started without experienced center forward - this gap could close Mandžukić.

We’ll follow this story as it develops.

Bayern celebrates World Champion Corentin Tolisso (FCBayern.com)

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge passed along his congratulations to France midfielder and Bayern man Corentin Tolisso.

“I’d like to pass on heartfelt congratulations to our player Corentin Tolisso on behalf of everybody at FC Bayern München for winning the 2018 World Cup. We’re all really happy for Coco for reaching the summit of world football with France,” said FCB chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge in praise of the midfielder following in the footsteps of Manuel Neuer, Mats Hummels and Co.

World Cup stat leaders (WhoScored.com)

If you were looking for a nifty little recap of the players with the best statistics from the World Cup, WhoScored.com presented a nice graphic.

As far as the award winners go, here is my take:

Golden Ball: Luka Modric, Croatia. Modric, from start to finish, was the best player in the tournament. I honestly would debate this with anyone.

FIFA Young Payer: Kylian Mbappe, France. Again, this one was not really a competition. Mbappe was explosive and dynamic and had a terrific tourney, aside of some of his flopping nonsense. Hopefully he can leave that part of his game in Russia and move on.

Golden Boot: Harry Kane, England. Kane registered six goals and despite his poor performance against Croatia, he led the tourney in scoring, so you really can’t argue.

Golden Glove Award: Thibaut Courtois, Belgium. It’s tough to dispute the selection of Courtois as he conceded just six goals over seven games, but Croatia’s Danijel Subašić garnered a lot of thought from me for the absolute steel and resolve he displayed as Croatia clawed its way to the final.

French President Emmanuel Macron was a little excited yesterday (@IndyFootball)

Bayern youth participating in first team training (FCBayern.com)

Some Bayern amateur and youth players recently took part in a first team practice. What a great experience as the club tries to develop talent from within. Check out the video here.

A full youth team rundown was brilliantly prepared on the FCBayern.com website here as well. Give it a look to keep up on how the youth teams made out this past weekend.