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Daily Schmankerl: ManUtd eyeing Thiago Alcantara, Arsenal “keen on” Jerome Boateng, Thomas Müller teases 1860, and more!

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Manchester United is keeping a close watch on Thiago Alcantara’s contract situation at Bayern Munich, but let’s hope their sources are better than The Sun’s.

Hertha BSC v FC Bayern Muenchen - Bundesliga Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images

Manchester United circling Thiago Alcantara (The Sun)

The news of the day:

GOOD BAY Thiago Alcantara set to leave Bayern Munich in summer putting Man Utd on red alert over long-term transfer target

MANCHESTER UNITED are on red alert following the revelation that long-term target Thiago Alcantara may be up for grabs, according to reports.

CODE RED, repeat, CODE RED! That “GOOD BAY” (as in “BAY-ern) might also be the bad-sports-pun of the month.

Anyway. Honestly, if I were Manchester United, I would probably also be on red alert if I seriously believed that Bayern Munich might sell Thiago at the end of this season — there is no way in hell that they would let the Spaniard leave for free a year and a half from now.

But even if I have my own mixed feelings about him, I don’t see Thiago leaving anytime soon. He is paradoxically one of the most “Bavarian” players on the team and a key figure both in the locker room and on the pitch. He may be in a slump of sorts this season, but it is far too premature to write him off.

Thiago can still perform at an elite level, as we saw against Hertha Berlin this past weekend, and two of his ostensible replacements already on the team, Leon Goretzka and Corentin Tolisso, have struggles of their own. Only Joshua Kimmich has a death grip on his starting position in that midfield.

And although the The Sun might be the most well-respected publication in the United Kingdom, there is less to the “reports” they mention in the lead paragraph than meets the eye. They boil down to two articles: one is another Sun article, and that story is based entirely on a Bild commentary (i.e. not actual news) from last week about the eight Bayern players who will be out of contract (Perisic, Coutinho) or are heading into their last year (Thiago, Javi, Boateng, Neuer, Müller).

And that Bild story (which we more or less ignored here with the exception of Coutinho) is almost entirely speculative. So that’s the “news.” I leave you with this:

Hertha BSC v FC Bayern Muenchen - Bundesliga
Thiago’s goal vs Hertha. That’s him half-hidden on the right.
Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images

Arsenal “keen on” Jerome Boateng as “quick fix” (Mirror)

You know it’s serious when British journalists say a club is “keen on” somebody. Right? Right?! Maybe, maybe not. Be that as it may, the Mirror claims,

Arsenal are keen on doing a loan deal for Bayern Munich veteran Jerome Boateng.

Gunners boss Mikel Arteta has limited funds to spend in January and the 31-year-old Germany defender could be a quick fix solution.

The notion of a loan seems very improbable, given Bayern’s thinness on defense and reports that Bayern will not allow Boateng to leave this winter for that reason.

“Thomas Müller in the Most Bavarian Interview EVER” (FCBayern.com)

We all had a good laugh when Phil Quinn told us that Google Translate had rendered the title of one of Bayern’s articles “Thomas Müller in the most Bavarian interview ever.” We all assumed Google had mangled the German title on Bayern’s homepage. We all are used to working with German websites and sources through translation services until I or one of our other German speakers can translate the original.

Well, we had an even bigger laugh when I discovered that the translation was accurate! Bayern published an interview with Müller about a variety of Bavarian quirks and customs, including Müller’s comments about eating Weißwurst from a recent episode of “Da schau hi!”

Unsurprisingly, the club has not, and probably will not, produce an official English version, but if you read German, take a look. Müller’s takes on the card game Schafkopf, Lederhosen, Wolpertinger (something like a jackalope — but even more scrambled), and Fensterln, the old Bavarian custom of wooing your sweetheart by going up to her window — potentially with a ladder. Has Müller ever done that? “Definite no. I’m also not sure whether that’s still so up to date,” he adds.

Müller teases 1860 while raising €601,000 for Nicolaidis YoungWings charity (Sport1)

Speaking of Schafkopf, Thomas Müller, FC Augsburg’s Florian Niederlechner, and former Bayern president Uli Hoeness were all on hand to play some Schafkopf in support of Müller’s beloved Young Wings Charity. The event raised a total of €60,000, but Müller was not thrilled with the look of that number when he presented the check. You can see him holding a finger over that first 0 in the photographs below:

A total of €60,000? 60?! Neeee, das geht gar nicht! Rather than leave an ill-omened 60 on the massive check, Müller donated €1,000 of his own, making the sum €61,000. You can see him proudly posing with the check in its final form below — crossed-out 0 and all!

The YoungWings charity supports grieving children and young people after the loss of loved ones.

Away Day Joe off to Freiburg next!

Nils Petersen gave Joe Bryant, the British boy building Lego versions of the Bundesliga stadiums, a special thank you on behalf of SC Freiburg. Joe has been invited to their game against Bayer Leverkusen, where the club will officially receive his Lego re-creation.

Lukas Podolski and FC Köln to collaborate (FUMS)

Effzeh couldn’t make a Poldi comeback happen after Lukas Podolski left Kobe Vissel, and so their wayward son took a year and a half deal with Antalya. But they both want a reunion and have apparently taken steps to make it happen. Köln issued a press release confirming furture collaboration with Poldi:

FC President Dr. Werner Wolf and FC CEO Horst Heldt and Alexander Wehrle held a detailed discussion with Lukas Podolski and his agent Nassim Touihri today, Tuesday. They agreed to under take both a short-term collaboration and the integration of Lukas in the club after his active career.

Podolski thanked the club bosses and expressed his enthusiasm for his future involvement. He said, “Köln was, is, and remains my home, and the FC is my club.”

St. Pauli listed on official British counter-terrorism “Left Wing Signs and Symbols Aid”

Well, St. Pauli is pretty radical, even for Germany.

Nantes remembers Emiliano Sala