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Daily Schmankerl: FC Barcelona gives up on Bayern Munich’s David Alaba; The aftermath of the attempted carjacking on Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil; Updates on Nicolas Pepe, Malcom, Paulo Dybala, and James Rodriguez; plus MORE!

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It’s FRIDAY!

Arsenal v FC Bayern - 2019 International Champions Cup Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

Barca gives up on Alaba, moves on to Max and Firpo (Daily Mail)

FC Barcelona has reportedly given up hopes of bringing in Bayern Munich star left-back David Alaba. Instead, Barca will allegedly look at FC Augsburg’s Philipp Max and Real Betis’ Junior Firpo according to the Daily Mail.

Barcelona will reportedly admit defeat in their pursuit of Bayern Munich defender David Alaba. The Catalan club are looking to reinforce their defensive options this summer and had reportedly earmarked the Austrian as the perfect fit. However, Cadena Cope now report that Barca’s interest in Alaba has ended and they will now turn their attention to signing either Juinor Firpo of Real Betis or Augsburg’s Philipp Max.

Max has been unable to impress Joachim Low enough to get any run for the German national team, so seeing him linked to a high-profile club Barca is a bit shocking.

Los Blancos president holding the cards on a move for James (ESPN)

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez might be the only obstacle preventing James Rodriguez from moving to Atlético Madrid.

Atletico Madrid CEO Miguel Angel Gil Marin has told ESPN that Diego Simeone’s side are interested in signing wantaway James Rodriguez but the deal “depends on” Real Madrid president Florentino Perez. Personal terms have been agreed with James, sources close to Atletico told ESPN FC, with the Colombia international having returned to Madrid after two years on loan at Bayern Munich. However, a fee is yet to be agreed for a player who moved to the Bernabeu for €80 million in 2014.

A move to Atleti almost makes too much sense to happen.

BVB to pursue Malcom? (@dw_sports)

Borussia Dortmund has been linked to Barca winger Malcom.

Witsel welcomes Hummels (Bundesliga.com)

Borussia Dortmund midfielder Axel Witsel was extremely happy to see Mats Hummels back wearing the black and yellow for BVB (as told to kicker and captured by Bundesliga.com):

Hummels is a leader, and the more leaders we have the better! You could see right from the off his influence in training and in our friendly matches. It’s easy for me to play with him. He’s technically very good. I can play the ball to him in any situation.

Pepe reportedly could be heading to bolster Carlo’s roster (@tancredipalmeri)

Tancredi Palmeri, an beIN Sports correspondent, is reporting that Lille winger Nicolas Pepe is heading to Napoli to play for Carlo Ancelotti.

Sunday Times reporter Duncan Castles offered even more context:

Dybala turns down Spurs (Transfer Market Web)

Juventus star Paulo Dybala is always rumored to be going somewhere, but apparently he won’t be heading to London to play for Tottenham Hotspur. At least not yet, anyway.

Tracked hard by Manchester United, Argentinian international forward Paulo Dybala (25), playing for Juventus since 2015/16, has just turned down Tottenham opening bid on him, adding up to an about 90 million euros amount. La Joya seems eager to keep playing for Bianconeri, while the new boss, Maurizio Sarri, is planning to try him out as a falso nueve-type striker, alike the way he lined up Dries Mertens when he was training Napoli.

Dybala, of course, has been linked to Bayern Munich about four million times over the past year.

Die Folgen: Ozil survives scare with help from Kolasinac (Bavarian Football Works)

We covered the attempted carjacking of Arsenal star Mesut Ozil yesterday, which was crazy.

Here are some quick hitters on the attempted carjacking:

  • Sead Kolasinac was having none of it. Knives brandished or not, Kolasinac was not going to let that go down. That was an extreme act of bravery.
  • The fact that this was captured on video added a whole different element to this.
  • Athletes, for as much guff as we given them about being pampered (well, except for Kolasinac...let’s not group him into that mix any time...ever), are always a target.
  • Narrator: “And this was the moment I knew carjacking was no longer a viable career option.”
  • As always, however, Twitter is always going to Twitter any situation:

(For the record, there are accounts that Kolasinac was shouting for Ozil to drive away because Ozil’s wife was in the car, but you know...Twitter.)