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Daily Schmankerl: Bayern Munich backing off RB Leipzig’s Timo Werner? Updates on Ante Rebic, Luka Jovic, Sebastien Haller, Max Kruse, Matthijs de Ligt; and MORE!

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Rangnick isn’t so sure Werner is Bayern bound (Sport Bild)

RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner has been heavily linked to Bayern Munich of late, but Die Roten Bullen sporting director Ralf Rangnick is not convinced the Bavarians are truly going to make a play for the high-scoring talent. Rangnick had this to say to Sport Bild:

Basically, I wouldn’t be so sure that he would actually end up with Bayern. If the Bavarians were absolutely sure about Timo, they would have contacted us officially with a request. Anything else would be untypical for the Bavarians, especially since we have a good connection to them. Our position has not changed: We don’t want him to go into his final year without an extension. He will be released this summer if a club comes that is prepared to pay a standard transfer fee.

Meanwhile, AS is reporting that Werner “continues to impress” Bayern:

A forward who has continued to impress is Timo Werner, and the striker has a chance to further prove his credentials as he lines up against Bayern in the German cup final. Niko Kovac will get another opportunity to see the Leipzig man up close and personal, although the club are already primed to start the negotiations as soon as the match is concluded. They know, however, that the 23-year-old will not come cheap.

If there is any doubt whatsoever on acquiring Werner by Bayern, the 23-year-old will have the opportunity to showcase his talents once more to Bayern in the DFB-Pokal on Saturday and again playing for Germany in the Euro 2020 qualifiers in June.

De Ligt still pondering future? (Bleacher Report)

Ajax center back Matthijs de Ligt still seems to still be kicking around where he wants to spend his immediate future. As he does that, Barcelona has grown a little impatient.

Barcelona are reportedly concerned that they’ve fallen behind Juventus, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain in the chase for Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt. Having already agreed a deal with the Dutch giants to sign Frenkie de Jong, the Blaugrana have also been linked with his club and international team-mate. However, according to Moises Llorens and Sam Marsden of ESPN FC, Barcelona are now worried they may miss out on the 19-year-old.

“We can’t move any more on what we’ve offered,” said a source quoted in the piece. “One of the things that could benefit us is the player’s desire to come here, but we will see if that really is what he wants in the end.”

It’s added that Barcelona have struck an agreement in principle with Ajax for De Ligt for around €75 million, but they’ve not yet settled on terms with the player or his agent, Mino Raiola.

Bayern to pass on Rebic (kicker)

A few weeks back, we ran a piece that said that Bayern had some reservations regarding the technical ability of Eintracht Frankfurt forward Ante Rebic. Now, despite the affection of coach Niko Kovac, it appears that Die Roten will formally pass on a potential acquisition of the feisty 25-year-old.

FC Bayern rejected the idea with Ante Rebic (25). The Croatian, who plays at Eintracht Frankfurt, is characterized by a lot of force and great mentality, but also has revealed technical weaknesses, such as the processing of the first ball, especially at high speed, which drives (Bayern) very well.

ICYMI: Bavarian Podcast Works is back! (Bavarian Football Works)

The latest version of the podcast is posted. Give a listen and heart our scorching hot takes and analysis, so you can remember when we are wrong and scorch us in the comments!

Eintracht Frankfurt not leaking info on future of big three (kicker)

Citing a report form Bild+, kicker wrote that Die Adler sporting director Fredi Bobic is playing coy about the future of his big three: Rebic, Luka Jovic, and Sebastien Haller.

In the Bild sports director Fredi Bobic commented on the trio Luka Jovic, Sebastien Haller and Ante Rebic: “So for financial reasons we don’t even have to sell one. But for reasons of reason, anything can happen. Of course, we might lose all three of them.”

Jovic has been heavily tied to Real Madrid, though nothing official has been announced by either club. Rebic had drawn interested from the Premier League last summer, while Haller’s stock has skyrocketed after a tremendous 2018/2019 season.

It would be tremendous for Eintracht Frankfurt to retain all three and make another charge at the Bundesliga title, but that appears unlikely at this point.

Qatar 2022 will only have 32 teams (FIFA.com)

After kicking around the idea to expand to 48 teams, the 2022 World Cup will stick with 32 teams.

In line with the conclusions of the feasibility study approved by the FIFA Council at its last meeting, FIFA and Qatar have jointly explored all possibilities to increase the number of participant teams from 32 to 48 teams by involving neighboring countries at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™.

Following a thorough and comprehensive consultation process with the involvement of all the relevant stakeholders, it was concluded that under the current circumstances such a proposal could not be made now.

Additionally, FIFA and Qatar have once again explored the feasibility of Qatar hosting a 48-team tournament by in particular lowering certain key FIFA requirements. A joint analysis, in this respect, concluded that due to the advanced stage of preparations and the need for a detailed assessment of the potential logistical impact on the host country, more time would be required and a decision could not be taken before the deadline of June. It was therefore decided not to further pursue this option.

The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ will therefore remain as originally planned with 32 teams and no proposal will be submitted at the next FIFA Congress on June 5th.

Kruse to Leverkusen? (kicker)

Outgoing Werder Bremen star Max Kruse is rumored to be one of the player Bayern will pursue this offseason, but Bayer Leverkusen may be looking to the 31-year-old to help fill the void left after Julian Brandt departed for Borussia Dortmund.

After the departure of Julian Brandt to Borussia Dortmund, Bayer Leverkusen will have to look for a replacement. Max Kruse (31) is someone who has to play a role in the thought process.

The attacker, who leaves Werder Bremen without a replacement, is a perfect match for Kai Havertz; at the same time, the leader would be an alternative as a center forward. With Kruse you could fill two positions and at the same time follow the principles of coach Peter Bosz, who is not a friend of a big squad. “If you have too many players, many are dissatisfied,” he says.

Footballers as GoT characters (Oh My Goal - You Tube)

Our own Berni15 took some time Sunday to envision Bayern players as Game of Thrones characters. A video done by Oh My Goal expanded into the greater footballing world.