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Daily Schmankerl: Barcelona out on Luka Jovic; Arsenal eyeing Nicolo Zaniolo; Real Madrid likes Timo Werner; Inter Milan bids on Nicolas Pepe; & MORE!

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Is today the official start of crazy season?

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Barca backs out of Jovic sweepstakes...for now (Mundo Deportivo)

FC Barcelona appears to be taking a pass on Eintracht Frankfurt striker Luka Jovic. Prior to last week, the line of thinking was that Jovic would be purchased from SL Benfica and then flipped for a huge profit by Frankfurt. Bayern Munich and Barcelona were the leading candidates to make a move, but Jovic’s own father indicated that his son would likely stay out with Die Adler.

Now, however, Real Madrid, is poised to make a move if Frankfurt does open up the bidding.

FC Barcelona has ruled out the signing of Luka Jovic (21), center-forward of Eintracht Frankfurt, according to MD. He has been spied on by several members of the ‘scouting’ department and several (top club figures). That is to say, the general manager Pep Segura, the technical secretary Eric Abidal and his assistant Ramon Planes. The three attended the San Siro Europa League match between Milan and Eintracht.

Further, Barca appears a little worried that Jovic’s skill-set is still lacking in tight spaces, which could hamper his ability to work together with Lionel Messi.

There is no one who disagrees with his ability to finish first with the right, with the left and with the head. The problem is that you’re not just looking for a ‘killer’ from the area but also a forward with the ability to combine and maneuver away from goal. Also there are doubts on if the Serb is a soccer player especially skillful for the combination in short spaces.

The report also cited the Barcelona considers the fact that Benfica sent Jovic on a loan to Frankfurt as a red flag and that Barca would prefer to pursue someone like Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann.

Los Blancos to pursue Werner? (Daily Mail)

They are always there...lurking. In addition to a late run at Jovic, Real Madrid might be pursuing RB Leipzig’s Timo Werner as well.

Liverpool, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid have been put on red alert as Leipzig CEO Oliver Mintzlaff has confirmed Timo Werner is unlikely to extend his contract at the Bundesliga club. Liverpool and Bayern are currently favorites to land his signature in the summer but Zinedine Zidane is also considering bringing in Werner as he looks to rebuild Madrid’s squad. Leipzig are keen to keep hold of the highly-rated striker but may be forced to cash in on him with Werner’s heart set on a move away in the near future.

Arsenal to battle with Bayern for Zaniolo? (Tribal Football)

Arsenal could very well be the primary competition for Bayern and Juventus on AS Roma starlet Nicolo Zaniolo.

Arsenal are keeping close tabs on AS Roma superkid Nicolo Zaniolo. Gazzetta dello Sport says Arsenal have asked Roma for a “detailed report” on the £36m teenager after scouts were impressed by him earlier in the season. But Roma are keen to keep him, and will meet with agents of the player on Thursday, according to reports from Italy. Roma want to extend Zaniolo’s deal until the summer of 2024, claiming the player wants a wage of 2.4 million euros per season.

Inter makes €60m bid on Pepe (L’Equipe)

Lille’s Nicolas Pepe has been heavily linked to Bayern of late, but Inter Milan is trying to be the early bird that gets the worm.

Sixty million euros is the amount that Inter Milan is willing to pay to engage the services of Lille’s Nicolas Pépé, according to information from France Football. (Milan) is one of many contenders, including Bayern Munich, Manchester United, Arsenal, PSG...

BFW Transfer Throwdown poll results (Bavarian Football Works)

On Saturday we ran a “Transfer Throwdown” pieces aimed at getting your feedback on

On the player you LEAST wanted to see transfer in, the results were pretty conclusive:

  • Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale: 46%
  • Manchester City’s Ilkay Gundogan: 10%
  • RB Leipzig’s Timo Werner: 6%
  • Juventus’ Paulo Dybala, Ajax’s Matthijs de Ligt, and Lille’s Nicolas Pepe: 5%

Total votes: 1045

On the player you MOST wanted to see transfer in, there was a little more parity with the final results:

  • Chelsea’s Callum Husdson-Odoi: 27%
  • Ajax’s Matthijs de Ligt: 20%
  • Juventus’ Paulo Dybala: 13%
  • RB Leipzig’s Timo Werner: 12%

Total votes: 918

For the Bayern player you wanted to retain the most, it was a clear and decisive vote:

  • Mats Hummels: 34%
  • James Rodriguez: 20%
  • Javi Martinez: 15%
  • Renato Sanches: 9%

Total votes: 916

A little bit of “Bayern” close by (Bavarian Football Works)

I am not sure how I never noticed this before, but the shopping center where my favorite little Italian takeout spot is located is named the “Bayern Center.”

Totally random, but it gave me a little chuckle.

Hertha and Dardai to part ways (@HerthaBSC_EN)

Perr a report from the team, Hertha Berlin and coach Pal Dardai have “mutually agreed to part ways at the end of the season.”

The team’s official release on the move can be found here.