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Daily Schmankerl: Cristiano Ronaldo wants James Rodriguez with Juventus; Bayern scoping Manchester United goalkeeper; and MORE!


Real Madrid via Getty Images

Ronaldo gave James a buzz in hopes of bringing him to Italy (The Mirror)

Bayern Munich midfielder James Rodriguez may have a high-profile suitor this summer.

Cristiano Ronaldo has called James Rodriguez to try and convince him to sign for Juventus this summer, according to reports. Ronaldo played alongside the Colombian forward at Real Madrid before he was sent on a two-year loan to Bayern Munich back in 2017.

This season Rodriguez has fallen out of favor in Germany, and was linked with a loan move to Arsenal for the remainder of the campaign just this January. The Gunners, who have a £40million transfer kitty to play with in the summer, may be looking into the option of loaning him - or perhaps signing him - ahead of the 2019/20 campaign.

It is not clear whether the Colombian has any plans to take Ronaldo up on his offer, or whether Juventus would consider a summer move for Rodriguez. Rodriguez, 27, won the Champions League twice with Real Madrid before his switch to Bayern Munich, where he won the Bundesliga last season.

Bulinews captured a report by Sport Bild that detailed some telling comments by James’ father, Wilson Rodriguez, which seems to provide at least some merit to the report by The Mirror. In addition, Mr. Rodriguez took a subtle jab at Niko Kovac for good measure.

I experience him as being very quiet, monosyllabic and not so happy. With the way I see Italian football at the moment, it would be a good decision. They (Ancelotti and Heynckes) put him where he belongs. A top player has to play! You have to use your strengths. I’m sad every time he’s on the bench again. And so is all of Colombia.

There seems to be a lot of commenting from different members of James’ camp these days.

Bayern has eyes on Red Devils goalkeeper (ESPN FC)

As Manuel Neuer ages a bit, Bayern may be looking outside Säbener Strasse for his potential replacement. Manchester United’s Dean Henderson, who is on loan with Sheffield United, is allegedly on the radar of Juventus, Arsenal, and Tottenham Hotspur as well.

Henderson signed a two-year contract at United -- who also hold an option to extend the deal by another 12 months -- in the summer after a successful season at Shrewsbury. He was named in the League One team of the year after helping Shrewsbury reach the play-off final. The 21-year-old has been a regular at Sheffield United this season as they have risen to third in the Championship table to challenge Norwich and Leeds United for automatic promotion.

United are keen to keep hold of the goalkeeper, signed as a 14-year-old from Carlisle in 2015, but face a battle as some of Europe’s biggest clubs monitor his situation. He is the latest English youngster being tracked by Bayern, who saw a bid for 18-year-old Chelsea starlet Callum Hudson-Odoi knocked back in January. Henderson is behind David De Gea, Sergio Romero and Lee Grant in the pecking order at Old Trafford but is seen as a potential United No. 1 by the club’s academy staff.

Robben will have many options for his last destination (

Bayern legend Arjen Robben should have no trouble find a new home for next season.

The 35-year-old has confirmed that he will depart Bayern Munich when his contract expires in the summer which has led to speculation of a return to the Eredivisie with Groningen or PSV Eindhoven. However, Robben has plenty of options with Bild reporting that clubs from England, France, Spain and Netherlands all making contact for the winger. Japanese club FC Tokyo are also in the running.

It does appear that the Philadelphia Union have ignored the pleas to bring in Robben (which makes me sad).

Bayern vs. Hertha: A prediction (Bavarian Football Works)

It might be a stretch for some to this say this is a big game, but today’s DFB-Pokal match is ASSUREDLY a big game. Bayern is coming off a humbling 3-1 loss to Bayer Leverkusen and was bounced by Hertha Berlin 2-0 back in September.

Die Alte Dame is not going to make this easy.

A big piece of today is going to be determined by how Niko Kovac aligns his troops for the contest. With a variety of options now that Thiago Alcantara and Franck Ribery are available, Kovac’s player management is going to be tested. Thomas Muller and Leon Goretzka have proven their mettle over the past three months for Kovac, while Thiago has been an indispensable part of the lineup. While Ribery sitting out would not be shocking given he is just coming back from an injury, it will be interesting to see what combination of Muller, Goretzka, James Rodriguez, Serge Gnabry, Alphonso Davies, and Kingsley Coman that Kovac rolls out today.

In addition, Manuel Neuer could be back, but it will depend on how much progress has been made on his hand injury. Inevitably, there could be some unhappy and potentially volatile players after this one. That said, this is a “pride” game for Bayern. Die Roten cannot forget how they were manhandled in their last visit to Berlin. Bayern must seek to find whatever is burning inside of them to pull away from Hertha Berlin in this one and I think it will.

Prediction: Bayern Munich 2, Hertha Berlin 0

Goretzka celebrating his birthday in Berlin (@FCBayernEN)

Leon Goretzka turns 24 today.

Meanwhile, FC Bayern Frauen player Carina Wenninger turns 28.

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