Messi demands Joshua Kimmich this January! (El Desmarque)
Huzzah! El Desmarque continues its quest to dethrone the Don. According to this eminently credible report, Lionel Messi has ordered Barcelona’s board to replace Nelson Semedo with a galactic transfer target this January: Bayern Munich’s Joshua Kimmich!
Semedo is the theoretical starter at right-back, but he just doesn’t convince, and neither do Sergi Roberto or Moussa Wagué. Alas, what to do? Easy: raid Bayern in the upcoming winter transfer window. El Desmarque’s reasoning is impeccable:
And he has good prospects of leaving the Allianz Arena, tired of failures year after year. They are not real contenders in the European Cup, and they are having a terrible Bundesliga, in which they are third. Nonetheless, it’s hard to believe the Bavarian club would let him leave in the middle of the season.
Kein Scheiß, Sherlock. And we all know how eager Joshua Kimmich is to play right-back!
Dortmund and Bayern interested in Dries Mertens? (Calciomercato)
Citing the Neapolitan newspaper Il Mattino, Calciomercato claims that Borussia Dortmund is not the only Bundesliga club interested in Belgian striker Dries Mertens. Mertens is out of contract at the end of the season and has yet to reach an agreement with Napoli on an extension. It seems pretty preposterous that Bayern would spring for Mertens, though, since Robert Lewandowski has a death grip on his position and Serge Gnabry or Thomas Müller can fill in if he’s unavailable (to say nothing of Fiete Arp).
Borussia Dortmund and Manchester United favorites for Haaland; Sancho stays (Bild)
In Bild’s roundup of transfer news for Borussia Dortmund, the publication states that BVB and Manchester United are in the lead for Erling Haaland’s signature, ahead of RB Leipzig and Juventus. Dortmund can realistically promise Haaland ample playing time.
Bild also reports that Dortmund will not sell until the end of the season. Then they hope to cash in on a potentially record-breaking sum of circa €150m.
Antonio Rüdiger the latest target of racist abuse in England
German international and Chelsea FC player Antonio Rüdiger was subjected to racist abuse at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London. He spoke out about the incident on Twitter afterward. This is the first of four messages:
It is really sad to see racism again at a football match, but I think it's very important to talk about it in public. If not, it will be forgotten again in a couple of days (as always). (1/4)— Antonio Rüdiger (@ToniRuediger) December 22, 2019
Rüdiger hopes that the perpetrators are identified and punished. “When will this nonsense stop?” he asked in conclusion.
Stay strong, Toni.
Will Schalke bench Alexander Nübel for the rest of the season? (Bild)
Alexander Nübel did not win any new friends at Schalke with his decision to leave the club as a free agent thus summer to join Bayern Munich — where he will have to wait patiently behind Manuel Neuer, himself a Schalke product, until potentially 2023. The head of Schalke’s supervisory board Clemens Tönnies told Bild,
We did everything to keep him at Schalke. Now we have to accept his decision — I don’t understand it.
Nübel turned down a contract until 2024 with a salary of at least €5m and an exit clause as of 2021. Now Bild speculates that Schalke could strip Nübel of the captaincy coach David Wagner conferred on him and potentially bench him for Markus Schubert for the remainder of the season.
Nübel is suspended in Schalke’s next two games in January — against Gladbach and then Munich — anyway for the red card he received for kicking Eintracht Frankfurt’s Mijat Gaćinović in the chest.
What a way to go out if that turns out to be his last action for Schalke.
Bundesliga injuries in the Hinrunde 2019/20 (Fussballverletzungen.com)
What if I told you that Bayern Munich was relatively healthy? Wild stuff right? Well, believe it or not Bayern has lost the fifth fewest days per player due to injury in the Bundesliga:
Alle Jahre wieder : Die Verletzungsbilanz der Hinrunde. Paderborn vorne, BVB mit "Favre-Effekt". Bayern stark verbessert, Eintracht stürzt ab. Und am Ende: Gladbach.Mehr im Blog: https://t.co/3PEYJJqTvP #Bundesliga #dataviz #FCB #BVB #SGE pic.twitter.com/mySEJHWf8q— Fußballverletzungen (@fbinjuries) December 23, 2019
Dortmund under Lucien Favre (who is famous, apparently, for a low number of injuries) is third. How on earth Mönchengladbach is dead last in injuries yet second on the Bundesliga table is beyond be, but there you have it.