Honigstein drops Bayern bombs prior to big match (ESPN)
Journalist Raphael Honigstein took a look at what the future might hold for a few of Germany’s bright young stars and, not surprisingly, Bayern Munich was among the teams heavily involved. Here are some of the highlights of the piece that can be found in its entirety here:
- Honigstein confirmed something that that has been pretty apparent for a while; Jerome Boateng is likely to move on:
It’s no secret in Munich, for example, that Jerome Boateng is for sale following Bayern’s move for Lucas Hernandez (Atletico, €80 million) and Benjamin Pavard (Stuttgart, €35m). Boateng, 30, nearly left at the beginning of the current campaign -- Manchester United and Paris Saint Germain were interested -- and is happy to move on after repeated fall-outs with the club’s hierarchy. Sources close to the 2014 World Cup winner see Italy as his most realistic destination.
- It will soon be #TimoTime in Munich:
Sources at Bayern no longer deny that the champions have reached an agreement with (Timo Werner) but the exact date of his arrival is yet to be determined. Negotiations have reportedly been put on hold until after the DFB Pokal final in Berlin that pits the two sides against each other in two weeks’ time. But the fact that the clubs have begun talks would suggest that there is ample scope for a compromise.
Chelsea’s reluctance to sanction the sale of Callum Hudson-Odoi to Munich has freed up additional funds to bring Werner’s move forward by a year. A fee in the region of €40m should see the striker join up with former Stuttgart youth teammates Serge Gnabry and Joshua Kimmich once more.
- Bayern has not yet even attempted to get on the radar of Bayer Leverkusen ace Kai Havertz:
Even Bayern’s money doesn’t extend to spending the best part of €100m on Kai Havertz at the same time, however. Sources close to the midfielder told ESPN that Havertz is in no hurry to leave the BayArena but a lot will hinge on whether Leverkusen will make the Champions League and on the right kind of team making a firm offer. So far, the clearest interest has been shown by Chelsea and Manchester United but there are a number of concerns.
Havertz might be inclined to wait for a natural fit -- a Barcelona, say -- for his stylish game next summer. That in turn is Bayern’s biggest nightmare: missing out on the third budding superstar to emerge from the Bundesliga after Kevin De Bruyne and Leroy Sane would be an embarrassment for the bosses at Sabener Strasse. They’ll have to come up with a strategy to avoid that scenario quickly. In Havertz’s camp, there’s mild surprise that Germany’s biggest club are still dithering to set the wheels in motion.
- Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool might have the edge on landing Julian Brandt:
Brandt, 23, has a €25m release clause that undersells his market value by about 50 percent; the attacking midfielder is basically free to choose his next destination and thus in high-demand.
Sources close to the decision-makers at Leverkusen see Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool as the most likely contenders. But there’s also a genuine hope that Havertz’s prolonged stay and the club’s strong improvement under Peter Bosz -- ideally culminating in a top four place -- will convince Brandt to stay one more year at least. He’s advised by his father Jurgen Brandt rather than an agent, which could help Bayer’s cause.
Bayern vs. RB Leipzig: A prediction (Bavarian Football Works)
In what amounts to a fascinating and dynamic match-up, Bayern and RB Leipzig will engage in the first of two meetings over the next 14 days. With a win, Bayern would clinch its seventh consecutive Bundesliga title. Leipzig, for its part, has already clinched third place and a spot in the Champions League for next season.
On the surface, it would appear that Die Roten Bullen would be capable of looking past this game and focusing on the DFB-Pokal finale on May 25th. Leipzig, however, is not exactly the type to just give any opponent a free pass. With Kevin Kampl out due to a suspension for yellow card accumulation, Leipzig will be without at least one key player, but also has several prominent figures injured such as United States star midfielder Tyler Adams, center back Dayot Upamecano, and midfielders Konrad Laimer and Marcel Sabitzer.
Bayern is no stranger to having multiple key players banged up as well as Manuel Neuer, Javi Martinez, and James Rodriguez all figure to be out, while Robert Lewandowski’s status remains in question (at least at the time this post was scheduled). Regardless, this is an opportunity for any Bavarian who can suit up to prove his mettle and I think that’s what we’ll see. A victory over a good opponent, when battling injuries, would be a fitting way to clinch yet another Meisterschale for Die Roten.
Prediction: Bayern Munich 3, RB Leipzig 1
(This prediction was made before the injury news broke on Robert Lewandowski and James Rodriguez, but the author is stubborn and insisted: “We’ll do it live...(Bleep) it!”)
Neymar wants out (Sport Bible)
Just two years after joining Paris Saint-Germain, it appears that Neymar wants out.
Neymar has apparently changed his mind on his future with Ligue 1 champions PSG and wants to leave France just two years after arriving as the most expensive player ever. Two summers ago, Neymar changed the entire landscape of football transfers when he moved from Barcelona to PSG for an incredible record breaking £198 million move, beating the previous record by about £100 million.
As per the norm, Real Madrid is said to anxiously awaiting the ability to move forward with an offer.
ICYMI: Bayern II clinches Regionalliga and moves on to the playoffs (Bavarian Football Works)
If you are trying to understand how Bayern II might get promoted, Phillip Quinn broke it down here.
ICYMI: Bayern to have doctors take a look at Hudson-Odoi (Bavarian Football Works)
Even though it was the wee hours of the morning (his time), our own Ineednoname broke down a report from Bild that stated that Bayern was going to ask Dr. Hans-Wilhelm Müller-Wohlfahrt to make an assessment of Chelsea youngster Callum Hudson-Odoi.
Give it a read.