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Daily Schmankerl: Liverpool battling Real Madrid for Luka Jovic; Napoli and Juventus want Federico Chiesa; News on Lorenzo Insigne, Riyad Mahrez, Niklas Sule; & MORE!

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IT’S GAME DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Bayern’s absence in race for Jovic opens door for Klopp (The Mirror)

Bayern Munich excused itself and left the competition to sign Eintracht Frankfurt star Luka Jovic, but a new contender has entered the ring: Liverpool. While Real Madrid and FC Barcelona are considered the primary options for Jovic should he decide to leave Frankfurt, Liverpool seems to be making a late push.

Bayern Munich are not interested in signing Liverpool target Luka Jovic from Benfica - though Real Madrid could be set to enter the frame. The 21-year-old has shone for Eintracht Frankfurt, on loan from the Portuguese club, and the Bundesliga side have agreed a deal for the Serb to stay permanently.

But Jovic’s form – which has seen him score 25 times in 42 appearances this term – means Frankfurt could look to sell him on at a profit in the summer transfer window. Barcelona and Real have been linked with Jovic, whilst Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool are also believed to be keen, but it’s the European champions who look to be in pole position to nab the striker.

Amid the speculation over Jovic’s future, Frankfurt director Freddy Bobic told ZDF: “There’s a real possibility that Jovic signs for Real Madrid. I hope and want him to stay here at Eintracht, but I’m also realistic and know that if a big club like Real Madrid want him then we haven’t got a chance of keeping him.”

So — bear with me and put your tinfoil hat on here — if Liverpool is pushing toward Jovic, does that mean Jurgen Klopp has given up on bringing in RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner? If Klopp has given up...then why?

(Because we all know Bayern is striking that deal in just a few short weeks! #TimoTime)

Bayern bid for Chiesa causing agita (Calciomercato)

Yesterday’s report that Bayern had submitted a €70m bid for Fiorentina winger Federico Chiesa made a few clubs upset, namely Juventus and Napoli. Both Serie A clubs have been following Chiesa’s progress and allegedly contemplating a bid of their own.

Federico Chiesa is one of the most wanted Italian talents in Serie A at the moment. The young Italian winger currently plays for Florence-based side Fiorentina but is a reported target of the likes of Napoli, Juventus, Inter Milan and Chelsea. However, according to what has been reported by Italian newspaper the Corriere dello Sport, Bayern Munich are also keen on signing Chiesa and, as per the reports, are ready to offer €70m to secure the Fiorentina player’s services.

This will come as a blow for the likes of Juventus and Napoli who view Chiesa not only as an extremely gifted young player but also as the kind of player to build the future squad around - a real star to help lead the front line. Napoli are said to have a first option for Chiesa when Fiorentina decide to sell; which could give them the advantage. However, with the idea of €75m perhaps on the table from Bayern, Napoli may have to pay a large sum if they wish to sign their target.

Bayern vs. Werder: A Prediction (Bavarian Football Works)

If you view the back-to-back fixtures between Bayern and Werder Bremen as a boxing match, the Bavarians jabbed their way to a big six rounds-to-zero lead through the first half of the fight. While neither team look especially great, Bayern was in firm control and should be looking to exert its will once again — only with more goals this time.

Werder Bremen looked tentative and unsure of itself over the weekend and I would expect Florian Kohfeldt to go for broke in this one. While his team will undoubtedly look to test the center back tandem of Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng, Werder Bremen should be more willing to take some gambles and put more pressure on Sven Ulreich. And while that strategy might create a little more offense for Die Werderaner, it will also leave its own defense more exposed.

I am banking on Bayern not leaving so many goals on the field in this match and to use its superior talent to push forward to Berlin. The game should be close early, but will open up as Werder Bremen grows more desperate.

Prediction: Bayern Munich 4, Werder Bremen 1

Zaniolo talks have Bayern and Juve on alert (Calciomercato)

AS Roma starlet Nicolo Zaniolo is in contract discussions with his club , but Juventus and Bayern are both paying close attention to what happens next for the 19-year-old phenom.

Nicolo Zaniolo is one of the brightest talents in Europe and is having a very positive season for Roma, who are eager to renew the former Inter man’s contract at the Stadio Olimpico, despite interest from various clubs, including Juventus or Bayern Munich. However, there are some problems in this sense.

As reported by Il Messaggero, the Giallorossi are offering 1.7 million euros plus bonuses and a contract until 2024. Meanwhile, the Italian international does not want to prolong the current agreement (2023) but wants a salary improvement up to more than 2 million euros per season.

Sané not the only City man unhappy (Daily Mail)

Leroy Sané’s unhappiness with his playing situation at Manchester City reportedly has the 23-year-old looking at Bayern, but Sané is not Pep Gaurdiola’s only major issue on the bench. Riyad Mahrez is also angry about his situation and could be pushing for a move.

Manchester City’s record signing Riyad Mahrez is openly griping about a lack of minutes — despite making 42 appearances in his debut season. Guardiola picked the Algeria international ahead of Leroy Sane for the first leg of City’s Champions League quarter-final defeat by Tottenham but he struggled to affect the game.

Mahrez was also ineffectual away at Swansea City in the FA Cup last month, hooked with City two goals down, and he blazed a late penalty over the bar in the 0-0 draw against Liverpool at Anfield in October. Guardiola has always maintained that Mahrez trains well. The City manager publicly apologized to him and claimed he is ‘sad’ at the winger’s lack of starts, but also pointed to the form of Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva.

One of the things I always worry about within a roster is having too much talent and no established hierarchy. This seems to be what Pep is dealing with and why so much talent is looking for a way out.

With Sané, his current contract negotiations throw a least a little bit cynicism toward his alleged interest in leaving, while Mahrez might just want to be somewhere that he can feature regularly.

Sule smashing with his pass accuracy (@IntChampionsCup)

Bayern scoping Insigne? (Football Italia)

Napoli is said to be ready to sell 27-year-old winger Lorenzo Insigne and the winger will reportedly have no shortage of suitors. Bayern, Liverpool, Chelsea, Inter Milan, and Paris Saint-Germain might all be looking to make a bid on the Italian.

Napoli will reportedly sell Lorenzo Insigne this summer - and the forward would have no shortage of suitors. According to Corriere dello Sport, Insigne’s relationship with Napoli has broken after their fans turned on him once more against Arsenal last week.

In turn, the Partenopei are ‘ready’ to move on from their captain, who remained a substitute during their 2-1 defeat to Atalanta and is valued at ‘no less than €70m’. The newspaper explains Liverpool, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain are the clubs at the front of the queue for the 27-year-old. However, Sport Mediaset does not rule out interest from Bayern Munich, who need replacements for Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben, and Inter.