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Daily Schmankerl: Did Bayern pull strings for VfB Stuttgart deal? James-to-Arsenal rumors scoffed at and MORE!

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It’s the FINAL COUNTDOWN!

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Bayern reported mastermind behind Kabak to VfB Stuttgart (Sport.de)

VfB Stuttgart has reportedly acquired 18-year-old Galatsaray center-back Ozan Kabak for the cool fee of €11.5m. The six-foot-one defender already has Champions League experience, but the long-term plan for the young Turk could include a future with Bayern Munich if Kicker is correct.

The transfer of 18-year-old Galatasaray talent Ozan Kabak to VfB Stuttgart is as good as done. Apparently VfB owes it to Bayern. Recently, Kabak favored a transfer to Watford in the English Premier League, writes Kicker. Then, however, Bayern might have interfered in the negotiations. Per the magazine, (Bayern Munich) are also interested in Kabak and now could be involved as a future buyer of the defender.

Consequently, this could be transfer deal like Serge Gnabry’s. The offensive star transferred from Arsenal to Werder Bremen in 2016. Even then it should have been clear that Gnabry would later transfer to Bayern. In 2017, Bayern loaned immediately Gnabry to the TSG Hoffenheim and then brought him back last summer.

The deal with Kabak and VfB Stuttgart could be similar: Bayern helps VfB bring the talented defender from Turkey to Germany, while securing the right of first refusal. Accordingly, it is still unclear how long Kabak’s contract with VfB will be.

ESPN FC analyst stomps on Gunners pursuit of James (Daily Express)

When asked if James Rodriguez would join Arsenal, ESPN FC analyst Gabriele Marcotti stomps on that rumor and also thinks James operates a little slower than Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Mesut Ozil.

To do what? Like seriously, who comes out [with this]? What another attacker? Look, anything’s possible, Raul Sanllehi operates differently and if Unai Emery really likes him. But you’d have what, another attacking midfielder type, who’s going to do what [Henrikh] Mkhitaryan and [Mesut] Ozil do, only he’d do it slower. I don’t think this addresses Arsenal’s needs. They’ve been linked with a lot of guys like that.

Meanwhile, Marca is not certain that Real Madrid is completely on board with James returning to to Spain as the club’s opinion of the Colombian could have shifted after the dismissal of Julen Lopetegui.

Meanwhile, Madrid are awaiting the decision before thinking about what they might do with the player. Julen Lopetegui wanted him back at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, but with the future coaching situation a mystery, it is unclear what would happen if he were to return.

Note to self: “The Special One” would jump at a chance to coach Bayern (Münchner Merkur)

Jose Mourinho’s biographer Manuel Pereira think his guy would love to coach Bayern:

If Karl-Heinz Rummenigge calls tomorrow and offers him the job of coaching Bayern, Mourinho would immediately say yes.

Pereira does not think Mourinho is desperate to get back on the sidelines, however. The former Manchester United coach appears to want to take his time to plot his next move:

He does not have to hurry; he has all the time in the world. The most likely thing is that he will take a break until the summer to gather the necessary strength for a new challenge.

Havertz doing Havertz things (@dw_sports)

Apparently Bayer Leverkusen starlet and Germany international Kai Havertz even has excellent skills with his chewing gum.

So are we! (@R13_official)

British writer makes argument for Hudson-Odoi to join Bayern (Telegraph)

As Little Carmine from The Sopranos would say, Chelsea’s Callum Hudson-Odoi is “at the crossroads of a precipice.”

The 18-year-old winger needs field time, but his pathway to the field is seemingly always blocked in London. Would it be any better in Munich? I’m not so sure, but Telegraph writer JJ Bull took a very insightful look at the struggle for young players in the Premier League and why a move to the Bundesliga could benefit Hudson-Odoi.

Hudson-Odoi cannot afford to wait another year in the hope he is given that same opportunity — his time is now. Perhaps his patience will be rewarded with starts and Hudson-Odoi establishes himself a Champions League level player at Chelsea before he turns 19, just like the Real Madrid stars of 2018 did in their fledgling careers.

Much more likely is that Hudson-Odoi gets minutes off the bench and spends the rest of his time twiddling thumbs, endlessly learning from others on the training ground with no way of applying that knowledge. One day, during a 2-0 win over a mid-table club, Hudson-Odoi can look at his phone while sitting on the bench and follow the adventures of similarly talented wingers of his generation showcasing their skills elsewhere. Sancho will probably be at Euro 2020 — Hudson-Odoi is nowhere close.

The sooner Hudson-Odoi gets first team football, the better his career will be. Is Chelsea really the best place for that?

The whole piece can be found at the link above or here. It’s worth a look.