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Daily Schmankerl: Bayern “cooling” on Matthijs de Ligt; J.J. Watt knows Callum Hudson-Odoi needs playing time; and MORE!

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It’s a busy week for Bayern Munich with the DFB-Pokal and Der Klassiker on the slate.

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Barca storms back into the lead for De Ligt (Football Espana)

It looks like FC Barcelona has taken over as the front runner for Ajax center back Matthijs de Ligt. Bayern Munich’s interest is reportedly no longer as strong after the signing of both VfB Stuttgart’s Benjamin Pavard and Atletico Madrid’s Lucas Hernandez.

Barcelona are increasingly confident of signing Ajax captain Matthijs de Ligt this summer as Bayern Munich have cooled their interest, say Diario Sport. The 19-year-old has been the captain of the Amsterdam-based club for over a year and has starred for club and country.

Widely regarded as one of the best upcoming talents in world football, the central defender is set to command a €75m fee from Ajax. The Blaugrana are among the leading candidates to sign the Dutchman while Bayern and Juventus were also said to have a longstanding interest in the player. Reports have claimed the Catalan giants are hopeful their agreed deal for de Ligt’s friend and teammate Frenkie de Jong will be enough to persuade the defender to join them.

Diario Sport (as captured by Football-Oranje) also stated that Bayern is now focused on signing Ajax’s 26-year-old Hakim Ziyech who plays on the wing and as an attacking midfielder.

Watt displayed strong knowledge of a different football (@JJWatt)

Houston Texans all-world defensive lineman J.J. Watt is one of the NFL’s best players, but the big man who played collegiate ball at Wisconsin also has a keen eye for talent on the soccer pitch. Surely, Watt has followed every twist and turn of Bayern’s attempt to pursue Chelsea’s Callum Hudson-Odoi in the Daily Schmankerl.

The Mirror highlighted the fervor surrounding Hudson-Odoi as many teams are now preparing bids on the 18-year-old:

Callum Hudson-Odoi could have edged closer to a Chelsea exit on Sunday - putting Liverpool, Manchester United, Barcelona, and Bayern Munich on high alert. Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri came under fire from fans after he left Hudson-Odoi on the bench for his side’s 2-1 win at Cardiff on Sunday.

The snub came despite the 18-year-old having impressed on his first start for England in their 5-1 Euro 2020 qualifying victory over Montenegro last Monday. Sarri has continued to overlook youngster Callum Hudson-Odoi despite growing calls to give him his first Premier League start. Interest in the forward has grown in recent weeks as he has continued to be frustrated by a lack of opportunities at Stamford Bridge.

Looking to catch-up on the Bundesliga action from the weekend? I’ve got you covered (The Barrel)

For a capsule-style recap of the Bundesliga’s weekend fixtures, just click here.

ICYMI: Lewandowski denies wife prevented PSG move (Bavarian Football Works)

Robert Lewandowski let it be known that it was not any dislike for France from his wife that kept him in Germany when he was pondering a move last summer.

Frauen victims of the Big Bad Wolves (FCBayern.com)

After a torrid stretch, the FC Bayern Munich Frauen hit a stumbling block against the ever-powerful team from Wolfsburg in the DFB-Pokal.

After the 0:4 defeat against VfL Wolfsburg the dream of re-entry into the DFB Cup final is over. “The disappointment is huge,” said afterwards a dejected Sara Däbritz. The defending champions were simply too strong this Sunday in the FC Bayern campus. “We were inferior today in terms of tackling, second balls and switching behavior,” the midfielder had to recognize.