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Daily Schmankerl: Bayern in the market for midfield help (!?); Kovac unsure on Thiago and Vidal; Klopp blasts Ramos; and Pulisic news

It’s game day! Get your day started with the Daily Schmankerl and coffee before you make your way over to the harder stuff.

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Bayern Munich seeking Pole position on midfielder Zielinski (Calciomercato)

In what seems a bit ill-timed considering how many midfielders are currently on the roster in Munich, Bayern is reportedly interested in Polish midfielder (!?) Piotr Zielinski, who currently suits up for Carlo Ancelotti’s Napoli.

According to what has been reported by today’s edition of Il Mattino, Bayern Munich have enquired with Napoli about the availability of their Polish midfielder Piotr Zielinski. Zielinski, 24, is a versatile midfielder, able to play in central midfield or attacking midfield roles. He signed for Napoli in 2016, from Udinese, just after a successful two-year loan spell at Empoli. He has 36 caps for Poland and 5 goals and is a viable attacking option for whoever signs him; or for Carlo Ancelotti if he remains in Naples.

Zielinski has been targeted by a couple of Premier League clubs, but to this point was not rumored to be on Bayern’s radar.

Chelsea were previously linked with Zielinski, as were Liverpool, yet it now appears as though Bayern Munich are one of the favorites for his signature, if he was to leave the colors of Napoli behind. Bayern Munich have a number of aging attacking midfield options and Zielinski would provide both youth and experience as they attempt to challenge for both the Bundesliga and the UEFA Champions League in the upcoming season.

Perhaps adding another Pole to the roster will help ease the concern of Robert Lewandowski and his seemingly never ending desire to get outta dodge. This move also makes sense because...MOAR MIDFIELDERS!!!!

Niko Kovač offers “no comment” on the future of Arturo Vidal (Football-Italia)

There are some things in motion with Arturo Vidal as we reported here yesterday, but (not surprisingly) you won’t get Niko Kovač to budge on giving up any juicy details.

At the moment, Arturo is recovering from an injury. We hope he can come back as soon as possible. The future with him? I can’t say anything more.

As always, the lack of definitive statement just opens up room for speculation. If yesterday’s story has merit, it might not be a situation Kovač needs to deal with much longer anyway.

Coincidentally, on this day in 2015 Vidal signed with Bayern.

Kovač also unsure if Thiago Alcantara will remain in Munich (ESPN)

In a video posted on ESPN, Kovač talked over the uncertainty of Thiago’s status with the team.

I haven’t talked to Thiago [Alcantara] yet. We will talk, he is a very valuable player. I value him highly as a player. Hopefully he will play for Bayern, but there is no guarantee of course. The closer it gets to the transfer window deadline, we will know on August 31st or September 1st.

And to think Karl-Heinz Rummenigge seemed to indicate just a few days ago that Bayern had no intention of letting Thiago leave. Midfield logjam...midfield logjam...(mind explodes!)

Leon Bailey targeted by A.S. Roma (

Bayer Leverkusen man Leon Bailey has been a popular player among Bayern fans and is often at or near the top of many transfer wish lists. Italian journalist Gianluca DiMarzio, however, thinks A.S. Roma will make a play for the Jamaician-born player.

The market of Rome continues unabated, as well as the offensive hunting outside after Malcom’s arrival, gone to Barcelona. In the last hours the hierarchies are climbing Leon Bailey, a ‘97 class player owned by Bayer Leverkusen.

ICYMI: Barcelona swooped in at the last minute to snatch Malcom away from Roma and now the Italian side is looking for an impact winger. Coincidentally, Malcom was yet another winger that Bayern allegedly had its eye on last winter and things progressed as far as “Bayern has a deal” rumors.

Jürgen Klopp puts Sergio Ramos on blast (ESPN)

It only took one question for someone to pull the string on Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp. And boy, once that string was pulled (remember those toys?), it was tough to get Klopp to slow down.

We are opening that bottle again? I watched that back of course. Someone showed it to me immediately after the game. If you watch it back and you are not with Real Madrid then you think it is ruthless and brutal. You don’t think: ‘Wow, good challenge.’ It is in a situation in the game where Mo tries to keep the ball, make a few yards and speed up the game. The thing is I saw the ref taking charge of big games at the World Cup afterwards and nobody really thinks about that later.

I think in a situation like that somebody needs to judge it better. If VAR is coming then it is a situation where you have to look again and say: ‘What is that?’ It was ruthless. I don’t think Mo would have always got injured in that situation, this time it was unlucky, but it is an experience that we cannot have. I’m not sure if it is an experience we will have again -- go there and put an elbow to the goalkeeper, put their goalscorer down like a wrestler in midfield and then you win the game. That was the story of the game.

Okay, take a breath and get some water before you continue you on.

Ramos said a lot of things that I didn’t like. As a person I didn’t like the reactions of him. He was like: ‘Whatever, what do they want? It’s normal.’ No, it is not normal. If you put all of the situations of Ramos together, and I have watched football since I was five years old, then you will see a lot of situations with Ramos. It is like we, the world out there, accepts that you use each weapon to win the game. People probably expect that I am the same. I am not.

We were two times in a row the winner of the Fair Play table. Not that it was our goal before the start of the season, we didn’t say: ‘Let’s be beautiful and win that.’ We are aggressive but I always use the word legal as well. Usually out there if you try something you will get punished. Someone will see it and ban you for four or five weeks. But in this example, no one.

Klopp has every reason to be bitter and Ramos was nothing short of “dirty” in that game. It is actually nice to hear a high-level coach vent like that, though. He didn’t hold all.

Christian Pulisic rejects Borussia Dortmund deal, Premier League teams on high alert (Fear The Wall)

Things are not exactly on the upswing when it comes to Christian Pulisic’s future in Dortmund.

Christian Pulisic’s future at Borussia Dortmund is quite unclear. Just a couple days ago the report was that he wouldn’t be leaving the club this summer, as BVB wanted €70 million for him. The latest news is a bit worse than that. According to Sky Germany, contract talks between Pulisic and Dortmund have broken down, which could lead to a transfer abroad.

It has long been known that Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool have interest in Pulisic. Chelsea are the new link here, but it’s likely that there is plenty of interest in the 19-year-old’s services. Enthusiasm is especially high in the Premier League, where, as an American, his marketing capability is through the roof. Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur have also been mentioned as possible destinations.

Losing Pulisic would be tough for the Bundesliga as a whole, but there is little doubt his future will be somewhere in the Premier League.

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