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Daily Schmankerl: Niko Kovač convinces Robert Lewandowski to stay; Bayern is out on Ante Rebić; Thiago rumblings; and MORE!

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Niko Kovač has been a busy man. Whether it’s talking Robert Lewandowski into staying or avoiding the urge to create another logjam, the new Bayern boss making moves on and off the field.

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Niko Kovač convinces Robert Lewandowski to stay in Munich (Sport Bild)

It looks like Robert Lewandowski has accepted that Die Roten will not sell him. As Niko Kovač stated to Sport Bild:

It’s true that Robert and I had a conversation last week. Robert knows how I think about him and what I think of him. The whole club knows the qualities he has.He is certainly among the top three strikers in this position worldwide. We certainly won’t let him leave. That’s what I told him. Robert accepted that. I really enjoyed that [he did].

If this finally puts a nail in the Lewandowski transfer rumors then let the bag pipes play.

Kovač kills hope for Ante Rebić to join Bayern...this year (Sport Bild)

Those enthralled with the possibility of Bayern Munich adding Croatia star and Eintracht Frankfurt man Ante Rebić will be disappointed. The speedy winger won’t be booking a one-way ticket to Munich any time soon according to Kovač:

Ante is a strong personality and great player, who has developed well the last two years at Frankfurt and at the World Cup with Croatia. But if you look at our squad, you see that we have plenty of quality in that position. So signing Ante Rebić therefore makes no sense for us.

With Kinglsey Coman, Serge Gnabry, Arjen Robben, and Franck Ribery already rostered and Canadian phenom Alphonso Davies on his way in January, adding Rebić would have been overkilll and likely would have just created a situation similar to what Bayern has in its jam-packed midfield.

If Rebić stays at Frankfurt, however, it is conceivable he could find his way to Bavaria next season. The winger is drawing strong interest from several teams, though, so a move during this transfer window is possible and could subsequently end any hope of Rebić teaming back up with Kovač.

More whispers from Real Madrid toward Thiago Alcantara (Football Espana)

Yesterday, Real Madrid’s interest in Thiago re-emerged. Now it’s gaining a bit of momentum (at least in Spain).

Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara has emerged as a transfer target for Real Madrid this summer, claim Diario AS. Spain international Thiago joined Bayern from Barcelona in 2013 and had been linked with a return from the Camp Nou, but they instead have moved for his former teammate Arturo Vidal.

Madrid Coach Julen Lopetegui is said to be ‘a big admirer’ of the 27-year-old whom he coached for the Spanish national team and has asked his board to consider a deal. Mateo Kovacic looks set to leave the Bernabeu this summer in a move to Chelsea while Luka Modric has also been linked with a move away. Thiago is said to be available for €60M this summer but a deal could be done below that due to a strong relationship between the clubs, including the ongoing deal for playmaker James Rodriguez.

Admittedly, I’ve always been a bit skeptical of just how committed James was to Bayern. I always thought James was P.R. savvy enough to know better than to do anything but say nice things and smile about Bayern. That has been largely his plan it seems and it has worked well.

Now, however, I am beginning to wonder if James has bought into being the centerpiece of Bayern’s plan to conquer the LATAM market. With his own business interests (like energy drinks) at heart, perhaps a long-term stay for James is now a viable option for both parties.

Not going to lie...I like these RB Leipzig third kits (@RBLeipzig_EN)

On International Cat Day, we honor Besiktas Ginger Cat (@notsophotoshop)