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Daily Schmankerl: Champions League action, mystery Branchini meeting concerned Sané, Kovac rules out coaching until next season, and more!

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Bayern Munich’s CEO and sporting director met with the Italian intermediary to discuss Leroy Sané’s transfer. Niko Kovac will apparently not accept any coaching positions (e.g. Hertha, Dortmund) this season.

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Red Star Belgrade - Bavaria Munich Photo by Sven Hoppe/picture alliance via Getty Images

Bayern Munich tops an action-packed Champions League matchday

Bayern Munich collectively outscored six of the other seven matches that took place yesterday, scoring six goals against Red Star to clinch their group. Check out our match awards and observations!

Only Tottenham’s clash with Olympiacos saw that many goals. José Mourinho’s new team stunningly surrendered a 2-0 lead to the guests within the first twenty minutes of the match but came roaring back. Dele Alli scored just before halftime, Harry Kane added a brace, and Serge Aurier also scored. That places Tottenham firmly in second place in Group B.

In Group A, PSG trailed Real Madrid for 81 minutes: Karim Bezema scored early in the first half and added a second goal in the 79th minute, but Kylian Mbappé and Pablo Sarabia scored within two minutes of each other to clinch a draw. PSG leads Group A, five points ahead of Real. Club Brugge secured a last-minute equalizer against Galatasaray and saw two players be sent off with yellow-red cards in the ensuing celebrations.

In Group C, Manchester City surprisingly conceded an equalizer to Shakhtar Donetsk, and the 1-1 scoreline held, despite City’s domination of the match. Atalanta dispatched Dinamo Zagreb 2-0, but is still at the bottom of the group.

Finally, in Group D, Bayer Leverkusen saw out a deserved victory over Lokomotiv Moscow 2-0 thanks to an own-goal and Sven Bender’s first Champions League goal. Meanwhile, Juventus Turin beat Atletico Madrid 1-0 off a wonder-strike by Paolo Dybala. That leaves Leverkusen with a chance to escape the group: Juventus leads with 13 points, but Atleti is a single point ahead of ‘kusen. Of course, Leverkusen hosts Juventus next month.

Sané the reason for meeting with Branchini (SPOX)

Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic were seen at a (not so secret) meeting with Giovanni Branchini last week, an intermediary in several of Bayern’s past transfer details. It was speculated at the time (by Bild) that the meeting might concern Bayern’s efforts to sign a new coach.

SPOX has learned that the reason of the meeting was actually the ongoing transfer negotiations for Manchester City’s Leroy Sané. He remains Bayern’s number-one transfer target despite his injury. A winter transfer has been ruled out, so expect him to arrive this summer.

Lewandowski makes shocking confession

That was a historic four goals: four in fourteen!

Flick has had the best start at Bayern EVER

Niko Kovac rules out coaching until next season (Kicker)

Former Bayern Munich coach Niko Kovac’s hometown club is in crisis, but he will not immediately return to coaching to save Hertha Berlin — not at least this season. According to Kicker’s information, Kovac wants to take the rest of the season off to recuperate and collect himself before leaping back into the hot seat at a club. For Hertha, that means that they ideal candidate to replace Ante Covic is unavailable until next season. Could newly appointed board member Jürgen Klinsmann jump in as interim coach? Covic will have at least the upcoming game against an equally troubled Borussia Dortmund. After that, the future of both clubs’ coaches is anything but certain.

Mourinho thanks twelfth man... errrr, boy

Not the first time that a ball boy has helped decide a critical match. Fantastic awareness by the young man!

Manchester City breaks sports valuation record (Financial Times)

A private equity company called Silver Lake just bought a $500m stake in Manchester City, purchasing just over 10% of its total valuation of $4.8 billion. That figure shatters records for the valuation of a sports franchise valuation. FT cites the Brooklyn Nets, who were valued at $2.35bn earlier this year, and Manchester United, which is valued at $2.8bn.

FT says Silver lake “was attracted by the multibillion-dollar prices paid for football media rights by broadcasters and internet groups.” Silver Lake decided to purchase the shares despite an ongoing UEFA investigation into the club for violating financial fair play rules.

1860 now outfitted by... a wholesaler? (Florian Weiß)

According to TZ’s Florian Weiß, 1860 Munich’s part-owner and all-around disgruntled investor, Hasan Ismaik, presented Nike as 1860’s new jersey supplier. The truth is rather less impressive:

Ismaik presents world brand Nike as new outfitter, but the deal, which is probably significantly less lucrative than the current one with Macron, is actually with 11teamsports, which supplies products off the shelf for popular sports. Bravo.

He’s not joking: check it out yourself at their website. And as Weiß adds, he has nothing against 11teamsports: they provide “really great jerseys” for his own recreational team — which is therefore in the same league as 1860, at least as far as their kits are concerned.