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Daily Schmankerl: Griezmann to Barca official next week; Bale Real’s sweetener for United’s Pogba; Alex Morgan rivals Thomas Müller; Mats Hummels locker and MORE!

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Guess what the USWNT’s Alex Morgan and Thomas Müller have in common? HINT: they’re winners.

Andorra V France
“They’re taking the hobbits to Isengard!”
Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images

Griezmann to Barca officially official... next week (L’Equipe)

The Griezmann saga is nearing the end.

The saga carrying Antoine Griezmann from Atlético Madrid to FC Barcelona will soon come to an end. Now that his release clause has dropped on Monday from €200 to €120 million, the Catalan club is actively preparing the official announcement and presentation of the world champion (aged 28), which should not happen until next week.

Real Madrid falling over itself to send Bale to Manchester for Pogba (Marca)

Real Madrid and Zinedine Zidane in particular want to see the French superstar in white — ah, but Manchester United have been stonewalling talks about a deal for their best player. But Real has a secret weapon that no one would suspect! Gareth Bale!

Paul Pogba is Real Madrid’s primary target this summer and Los Blancos are eager to include Gareth Bale in a deal to sign the Frenchman from Manchester United.

Zinedine Zidane has made clear that his compatriot would be ideal for his team’s midfield, but the Red Devils are not willing to negotiate his transfer.

Pogba’s agent, Mino Raiola, has twice travelled to Manchester to communicate his client’s intention to depart England, while Madrid’s directors have also tried to reach the Premier League club’s board who have refuse to enter into talks.

Sounds promising!

Alex Morgan rivals Thomas Müller’s winning ways

Alex Morgan & co. sipped the tea and brought the pain yesterday. The USWNT held on to a 2-1 lead after Alyssa Naeher saved a penalty awarded by VAR for a foul on England’s Ellen White. Christen Press and Alex Morgan scored beautiful goals for the US, and White nailed a Robert-Lewandowskiesque strike for England. It was a spectacular match. Incredibly, the USWNT’s record when Alex Morgan scores is 63-0-10. That’s right: the US has never lost when Morgan scores.

Sound familiar? It should because Bayern Munich’s record when Thomas Müller scores is (I believe) 69-0-4, undefeated in 73 games. They are both crucial players.

Check out the buildup to Alex Morgan’s goal:

Megan Rapinoe sat out with a mild hamstring strain

Here it from the woman herself, who had to agonize watching the game from the bench:

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You can breathe now, @mrapinoe

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Here’s Paris, says Mbappé

Mbappé is ostensibly just sporting Paris Saint-Germain’s new jersey for the 2019-2020 season, but the post of course also indicates that the young superstar has no intention of going elsewhere, despite various far-fetched rumors to the contrary.

Mats Hummels shows his empty locker

Mats Hummels shared a parting shot of his empty Bayern locker on Instagram. The message he added is somewhat interesting:

So, the locker is empty, the picture straightened again, and now someone else can get up to no good there.

That someone could be Benjamin Pavard, of course, who inherited Hummels jersey number 5, or Lucas Hernandez (who took Philipp Lahm’s 21), or indeed another newcomer.

Hummels’ reference to straightening “the picture” — i.e. his own portrait by his locker — is especially interesting. According to a report by kicker (via tz), Hummels’ picture in the locker room had been turned upside down by his teammates after the defender praised his Hinrunde as if Bayern’s 10-2-3 record when he played was reflected his own outstanding play.

Coincidentally, just days ago, our own Brian Burton observed that Hummels’ potrait had already been removed from above his locker at the Allianz Arena.