Salihamidzic sees no need for further transfers (AZ)
Bayern Munich is very unlikely to make additional signings in the winter transfer window after acquiring Álvaro Odriozola from Real Madrid and Nicolas Kühn from Ajax on loan. When sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic was asked whether Bayern might pursue any additional players, he replied,
If you see how the situation on the roster has developed, the coach has options again. I view that very relaxed.
He declined to rule out further transfers altogether, though. He said, “The transfer window is open until January 31; we’re simply keeping calm.”
Kimmich discusses his contract extension and future (kicker)
Kicker’s Monday edition includes a full-length interview with Joshua Kimmich in which the young dynamo discusses his ambitions at Bayern Munich, his decision to extend his contract two years ago, and whether he would do so again in the future.
Kimmich said, “it is my goal to shape an era with Bayern Munich — with the really big goal of winning the Champions League.” Kimmich decided to extend his contract two years ago, he said,
because I had the very clear feeling and conviction that it was right to extend at this moment, because we have the chance to shape an era with a new generation — and do so at a club that, with its prestige, belongs among the top five or six clubs in Europe.
But would Kimmich extend with Bayern again, when his contract nears its term (2023)? Kimmich replied,
The question definitely is raised. But I can’t answer it at all right now, because I don’t know what will be best for my career in two or three years.
Thomas Müller still hoping to be called up (back) for Euro 2020 (AZ)
Thomas Müller is in outstanding form, and he knows it. After scoring his 100th goal for Bayern Munich this past weekend, Müller now has 7 goals and 14 assists across competitions for Bayern this season. In the Bundesliga alone, he has 2 and 10 respectively.
Müller said in light of his performance,
Of course I’m staying on the pitch longer again; I perhaps now have a bit more responsibility and confidence from the coach.
Speaking on ZDF, Müller let slip that he still sees the Euro as a major goal. He hesitated to say whether he might join Germany’s Olympic team, explaining:
First of all there are still many other major events in soccer, whether it’s the Bundesliga championship, the DFB-Pokal final, Champions League, or the Euro. There are still some things in between. Let’s see what happens later.
Jogi Löw, of course, has thus far stood silently by his decision to drop Müller from the team. Despite very strong performances by himself and Dortmund’s Mats Hummels, Löw has insisted he intends to rely on younger players. Müller is 30, Hummels 31.
Renato Sanches rebuilding at Lille (Daily Mail)
The Daily Mail certainly surprised me with a sympathetic and even uplifting story about Renato Sanches — cheers to the author, Daniel Davis. The article retraces Sanches’ trajectory upward at Benfica and the Euro 2016 before his disappointing debut at Bayern, his horrific loan to Swansea City, and beyond.
Sanches’ coach Christophe Galtier has praised him. He said, “He has a capacity to play. He has personality, his balance is excellent. He’s a high-level player who needs to apply his qualities in service of the team.”
The Mail gave an example of Sanches’ rebuilding process from a performance against Montpellier last month:
The unstoppable forays forward that earned him a big-money transfer to Bavaria in 2016 have crept back into his repertoire, and the confidence worthy of the highest accolades at an international tournament also appears to have returned.
An example of Sanches’ restored audacity came against Montpellier in December, when the star drifted beyond Arnaud Souquet after feigning one direction before heading in the other.
Leaving his opponent flailing in his wake, Sanches’ delivery was poor and struck the first man, but the desire to entrance spectators once again is a clear indication the player has rediscovered his footing in the French top division.
It’s strange how, sometimes, a player just doesn’t work out at one place and thrives at another. Anyone remember how Ciro Immobile was totally useless during his ill-fated stint at BVB? He’s now one of the leading scorers in Europe, with 23 goals and 5 assists for Lazio. Sometimes, the environment makes all the difference.
Big Dog and Little Dog sign for Celtic FC...
If you don’t know the children’s series I’m alluding to, this will fill you in. Anyway, Karamoko Dembele is 16 going on... 8? Actually, the diminutive forward is already 5’3” and his center-back teammate Christopher Jullien below is a whopping 6’5”.
No this isn't photoshopped, yes they play on the same team— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) January 26, 2020
16-year-old Karamoko Dembele and 26-year-old Christopher Jullien showed the club supporters some love after a W! pic.twitter.com/5I948f3wPL
We rounded up many of the players’ reactions to the tragic news of Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna’s death in a helicopter crash. You can find them here.