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Daily Schmankerl: Bayern Munich and Barca are battling for Matthijs DeLigt and Nicolas Pepe; Timo Werner news; some Bayern vs. Wolfsburg tidbits; and MORE!

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It’s GAME DAY!

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Bayern rises as main competitor to Barca for De Ligt (Sport)

With Juventus allegedly bowing out of the race for Ajax’s 19-year-old center back phenom Matthijs de Ligt, it looks as if Bayern Munich has stepped in to be FC Barcelona’s huckleberry in this transfer showdown.

A couple of months ago it was Juventus who led the race. In the last few weeks, though, the Italian side have varied their priorities. They like De Ligt, but the squad revamp will be bigger than expected and their money may be better invested elsewhere. They want a center back but the high price of the Dutch international is a problem at the moment.

That’s not the case for Bayern Munich. Barça are aware the German side have shown their interest in the player to Ajax and their desire to sign him in the summer. It’s not the first time Barça and Bayern’s interests have crossed. For example, both clubs are also keen on Lille forward Nicolas Pepe.

Meanwhile, De Ligt may have unintentionally added another potential suits as he discussed Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk:

PSG’s hunt for Timo Werner heats up (Transfer Market Web)

Paris Saint-Germain might really make a push for RB Leipzig’s Timo Werner:

According to kicker, PSG are furthering talks with RB Leipzig on German international striker Timo Werner. Bundesliga club are planning to let the 1996-born leave ahead of a 60 million euros or more bid. Werner is also tracked by Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Inter Milan, and Liverpool.

Report: Bayern close on deal for Pepe (Le10 Sport)

The Nicolas Pepe-to-Bayern chatter will likely be in a spike period:

As Le10 Sport has revealed, Bayern Munich is clearly positioned for Nicolas Pepe. Discussions are underway between the striker, the LOSC and the Bavarians. Nicolas Pepe should be spoiled for choice. Courted by half of Europe, the LOSC striker will be one of the big players of the next summer transfer window. Author of a high-flying season, he sees FC Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and even PSG interested in him.

And Bayern’s interest is not empty. According to our sources, recent discussions have taken place between the Bavarian club, the LOSC, and the entourage of the player. Nothing has been signed, no agreement has yet been reached, but negotiations are moving forward. So far, it is Bayern Munich that shows the most interest to attract Nicolas Pepe. The Ivorian international will have to make a choice. Same thing for LOSC, which hopes at least a sum of 50 million euros for his little pearl.

Lewy’s five goal masterpiece (@FCBayernEN)

You know that when you read “Bayern vs. Wolfsburg” you automatically think of Robert Lewandowski’s five-spot:

Keith Costigan on the call for Fox Sports (@KeithCostigan)

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

It was a busy news week in Bavaria given all of the injuries to account for and the unexpected walk-in from Jogi Low. Aside of all of those things, however, the squad had to prepare for a very tough Wolfsburg side that is far better than previous few editions that we saw in the Bundesliga.

The Wolves have made significant strides this season and feature defender John Brooks, who seems to always step his game up against Die Roten. Wout Weghorst has been Wolfsburg’s most consistent offensive threat and the supporting cast around those two players has just been extremely solid all season. In addition, with an elimination game against Liverpool looming, it would be easy to pack it in and say that the Bavarians are just going to look right past Wolfsburg to the Champions League match next week.

Bayern, however, will likely have a laser focus on this game. In some ways Bayern’s mettle is being tested. It does not seem as if many outside Germany are expecting the Bavarians to get by Jurgen Klopp’s crew next week and with the national team is lopping off Bayern players left and right, it would seem only natural to think that Borussia Dortmund will be able to at least the goal-differential advantage atop the table given all of the distractions going on.

None of that should matter today, though. Bayern should be primed and ready for this tilt. We’re expecting the offense to be on-point and the defense to be in lock-down mode. While the Wolves do not present the ideal challenge before facing off with Liverpool, they are a game and hungry bunch that will not back down. Even with that, this should be a Bayern squad that has something to prove.

Prediction: Bayern 4, Wolfsburg 1