Bayern will not buy Philippe Coutinho, leaving him Barca’s problem (Don Balon)
In a first for BFW, Don Balon, the most trusted newspaper in Spain, has published a stunningly credible story: the Don reports that Bayern Munich will not purchase midfielder Philippe Coutinho, but rather will not exercise their €120m purchase option for the Brazilian magician, instead allowing him to return to FC Barcelona in the summer transfer window. The Don writes:
The Brazilian international is performing at his best level only when wearing the jersey of the Selecâo, but that is not enough for his market value to plummet season after season after arriving at FC Barcelona.
Since Bayern presumably will not break the bank for a decidedly non-dazzling Coutinho, Barca has three options: include him in “the Neymar Jr. operation” (i.e. to help pry Neymar away from PSG), accept a low offer, or at worst let him stay at Barca and give him another chance... which seems like a non-starter under Ernesto Valverde.
Apparently, the only semi-attractive offer for Coutinho at the moment comes from FC Chelsea, who would be willing to pay Barca €75m for the midfielder, half of what Barca paid Liverpool for him just two years ago.
Did I mention that Uli Hoeness reminded everyone about Bayern’s “serious” transfer policy at yesterday’s annual meeting? Good example.
Bayern interested in Emre Can — Juve wants €40m (Calciomercato)
Corriere dello Sport (via Calciomercato) reports that Bayern is interested in out-of-favor midfielder Emre Can. Can is 25 years old and plays primarily as a defensive midfielder, although Jogi Löw has lately thrust him into Germany’s central defense rather than recall Mats Hummels. Can has been looking for a way out of Turin ever since he was unceremoniously dropped from Juventus’ Champions League squad along with former Bayern striker Mario Mandzukic.
As a defensive midfielder, Can plays a position of need for Bayern Munich, but given how far his star as fallen (he has all of 150 minutes for Juventus this season) it seems highly unlikely that Bayern would seriously consider signing him, let alone for €40m.
Borussia Dortmund considering Olivier Giroud? (Mirror)
Borussia Dortmund has often regretted not buying a striker to relieve Paco Alcacer. Olivier Giroud just might be the guy to do it, according to the Mirror:
Borussia Dortmund have joined the chase for Chelsea outcast Olivier Giroud. The German giants are ready to reignite their interest after being rejected by the France striker in the summer of last year. Inter Milan are already keen on the Chelsea striker, 33, and the Blues want £5million.
Giroud has made only six appearances for Chelsea this season and wants to move on in search of regular first-team football. Although he is out of contract at the end of the season and available on a free, he wants to move in January in order to make the France squad for next summer’s European Championships.
Giroud is hardly playing, since Tammy Abraham has scored 9 goals (2nd in the Premier League) and former BVB loanee Michy Batshuayi is also thriving under Frank Lampard’s tutelage. Dortmund could afford €5m, but would Giroud be satisfied there?
Hoeness says servus at Bayern’s annual general assembly
Bayern Munich held its annual general assembly yesterday. It was a momentous occasion: after forty-nine years with the club, Uli Hoeness officially retired, stepping down from his office as club president. His farewell address is well worth reading. In addition to Hoeness’ retirement, Herbert Hainer was officially elected his successor. Hainer’s first act was to appoint Hoeness Bayern’s sixth honorary president, following Franz Beckenbauer.
The club also announced another year of record-breaking financial growth. Bayern moves from strength to strength with its sound financial strategy, even as Jan-Christian Dreesen pledged that the club will invest more in players than previously to compete with the elite of Europe.
Germany takes on Belarus today (2:45pm EST)!
Manuel Neuer, Serge Gnabry, Joshua Kimmich join their colleagues on the German national team as they aspire to seal their qualification to Euro 2020 with a decisive win over Belarus. As long as the Netherlands do not lose to Northern Ireland at the same time, Germany is through... They will have to break down Belarus’ defensive blockade to do so.
Check out our predicted lineup and team news for more:
The Frauen face Wolfsburg in the DFB-Pokal round-of-16! (8am EST)
If you’re up early, support the Mädels. They drew a tough opponent in the latest round of the DFB-Pokal: the dreaded she-wolves of Wolfsburg! The game kicks off at 8am in the morning if you’re on the east coast of the United States.
Antonio Conte sent letter with a bullet and threats (Corriere della Sera)
Italian police have opened an investigation of Inter Milan’s manager Antonio Conte received an anonymous letter containing a single bullet and a series of threats. Conte is now under police protection both at home and at Inter’s headquarters. The police intend to review video surveillance in hope of identifying the person who delivered the letter. They have not ruled out that it may be merely the work of an attention-seeker.
Inter Milan plays Torino next on November 23. They are currently in second place in Serie A, just a single point (31pts) behind Juventus Turin (32 pts).
The Bayern boys bid the erstwhile “blond angel” Uli Hoeness servus
James Rodriguez suffers potential ligament damage in knee (Marca)
James Rodriguez may have picked up more Bayern DNA than we realized in his brief stint at the club. According to Marca, James suffered a knee injury while training with the Colombian national team. The Real Madrid midfielder will undergo tests to determine the extent of the damage.
He might not have really wanted to stay at Bayern, but the guy just cannot catch a break. Since returning to Madrid, James unsurprisingly remains mostly on the outside looking in. He has played in seven games, logging a grand total of 422 minutes, slightly less than Ivan Perisic at Bayern (447).
Today’s (southern) German lesson: “fickrig” (Michael Gregoritsch)
I mentioned Augsburg’s Michael Gregoritsch in yesterday’s Schmankerl for his frank assessment of his “shitty” (beschissen) situation at Augsburg. What can I say? The guy’s hilarious. He was interviewed on duty with the Austrian national team, where he plays alongside David Alaba, and found himself at a loss for words as he tried to describe the team’s eagerness to play North Macedonia tomorrow:
Actually, the week so far has been hardest, because it’s the longest and we pretty much don’t play until Saturday. And everyone is actually already — what word should I say? — fickrig ja — everyone is virtually fickrig for the game on Saturday. Can I say that, or do I have to say it differently? Well, there we have it already...
Fickrig: adjective derived from ficken, “to fuck”: ergo “horny,” “randy” and in an extended sense, “(fucking) ready,” “excited”!