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Daily Schmankerl: Updates on Matthijs de Ligt, Alexander Nübel, Gareth Bale, and James Rodriguez; Mario Mandzukic on the radar for Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund; Mario Balotelli is at it again; Zlatan Ibrahimović is still the best; and MORE!

Mario Balotelli has not offered BFW £1,800 to strip down and drive a moped into the sea, but if he did, we would take it!

Getty Images for FC Bayern

Juve still working a deal for Matthijs de Ligt (Transfer Market Web)

The transfer saga of Matthijs de Ligt has offered many twists and turns, but no club has been able to finalize a deal with the player or Ajax. Juventus is coming as close anyone, but still can’t quite get De Ligt’s signature on a contract.

Now, the Old Lady is trying to entice its offer to Ajax by using U-23 player Leandro Fernandes to sweeten its potential deal for De Ligt.

According to Tuttosport, Juventus management, still in talks with Ajax on Dutch international centre-back Matthijs De Ligt (19), are trying to go a different way, by offering Eredivisie reigning champions Leandro Fernandes as a bargaining chip. Dutch 19-year old midfielder and former PSV wonderkid is playing for Bianconeri U-23 squad.

Nübel might have a future in Gelsenkirchen (kicker)

Die Königsblauen goalkeeper has been rumored to be a primary target for Bayern Munich, but Schalke 04 appears eager to keep its young talent.

FC Schalke 04 wants to “do everything” to keep goalkeeper Alexander Nübel (22) in Gelsenkirchen. An initial offer of an extension supposedly has been made to the U-21 European Vice-Champion — but a decision will take time. They want Nübel to extend his current contract until 2020 by three years (2023) and, unsurprisingly, sign for significantly improved remuneration.

Juve wants 15 million from Dortmund for Mandzukic (@NicoSchira)

Italian journalist Nico Schira is reporting that Borussia Dortmund is still pushing hard for Juventus forward Mario Mandzukic and that the Old Lady would like to collect €15 million for the Croatia international.

But wait...there’s more! Bayern Munich is allegedly also ready to kick the tires on the 33-year-old.

I can’t imagine Mandzukic accepting a back-up role yet, but if he could play out wide and also be a back-up, he would be a fit. The issue for Bayern, however, would be whether Mandzukic would accept this type of role — which is where I have my reservations.

Bale still in limbo (The Sun)

Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale needs a life preserver, but no club appears ready to throw him one — well, at least no club that he wants to go to. Bale had been linked to Bayern Munich, Manchester United, and Tottenham Hotspur, but no deal could be reached between Los Blancos and any of those clubs.

The Chinese Super League, however, has now stepped up to the plate with an absolutely preposterous £1.2 million-per-week salary offer. Bale currently earns £600,000 per week (which is already insane).

Gareth Bale has ruled out a move to China as he will only leave Real Madrid for a top European club, according to reports. The Welshman, 29, has allegedly been offered a ludicrous £1.2million-a-week deal to play in the Chinese Super League.

Balotelli being investigated for odd stunt (The Mirror)

Mario Balotelli has a way of finding trouble at times. This instance, however, might take the cake for his odd behavior.

Wildcard footballer Mario Balotelli is expected to face questions from Italian police after reportedly paying a man to drive a moped into the sea. Balotelli, 28, is alleged to have paid the owner of a local bar £1,800 to strip down to his underwear and drive a blue moped off the side of a the dock and into the water.

(Time to re-evaluate my life choices after using that text above.)

Anyway, it appears that both Balotelli and the bar owner are in some trouble.

But it has now transpired that the former Manchester City and Liverpool forward is facing accusations of “criminal solicitation and gambling” and police want to talk to him, according to Football Italia. The bar owner, named as Catello Buonocore, is also facing charges for the abandonment of hazardous waste, as well as two other unnamed persons. wanted video of this? You came to the right place.

Ciao, bello!

James is getting close to a move (Transfer Market Web)

Former Bayern Munich midfielder James Rodriguez appears to be moving past an attempt from Atlético Madrid and now appears to be fully focused on rejoining Carlo Ancelotti at Napoli.

In spite of Atlético Madrid’s recent attempt, almost 28-year-old Colombian international attacking midfielder/winger James Rodriguez is getting closer and closer to be announced, as a new signing, by Napoli. Real Madrid owner, Florentino Perez, opened to a payout-by-installments scenario, and former Bayern Munich player is eager to join Italy for the first time.

F95 receives Steffen on loan (

Fortuna Dusseldorf will have United States Men’s National Team goalkeeper Zack Steffen on loan from Manchester City for 2019-2020.

Zlatan is still a riot (@FootyHumour)

Say what you want about LA Galaxy star Zlatan Ibrahimović, but the guy is still a show.

Zlatan also released his “favorite team of all time”:

Not all heroes wear capes, but some apparently wear a scarf (@SoccerAM)

This guy might be a Schalke 04 fan, but maybe he just needs an intervention.

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