Silly season just came early: the prestigious Mirror, rivaled only by the likes of the Daily Mail and Don Balon, now reports that Chelsea FC has a plan to sign a new left-back to replace Marcos Alonso in the Blues’ starting lineup: throw cash at Bayern for David Alaba! Would £60 million (about €70 million) suffice?
Of course, there’s a catch — or a few dozen: Alaba’s contract expires in 2021, but and of course Bayern would sooner employ Alaba as their in-house sausage-seller than let him force a move out of the club.
Then there is also the fact that Bayern’s defense is a complete mess at the moment. Alphonso Davies has flourished at left-back, Alaba’s usual place, but Bayern is still without their two starting center-backs and are already scrambling to find a long-term replacement for Joshua Kimmich at right-back, so Benjamin Pavard doesn’t have too. It would be pretty preposterous to make their defensive woes worse by dropping their starting left-back mid-season for any sum of money, let alone Chelsea’s.
Alexander Nübel stripped of his captaincy — next the bench? (Bild)
He probably saw it coming: Schalke’s head coach David Wagner elevated Alexander Nübel in a nakedly transparent effort to persuade the star goalkeeper, still only 23 years old, to remain at the club. Now that Nübel’s impending transfer to Bayern Munich is official, the utility of that gesture is at an end.
Schalke has acted accordingly. Wagner stated, “We jointly reached an understanding that Alex would give up his captain’s office.” Schalke’s new captain is 26-year-old Omar Mascarell.
Could Nübel now have played his last game for Schalke? Wagner declined to say one way or the other. Second keeper Markus Schubert (21) will play at least Schalke’s first two games of the Rückrunde because of Nübel’s red-card suspension.
Nübel reportedly will earn €5.5 million annually at Bayern, less than the €7 million Schalke offered him.
Kahn to continue as ZDF commentator (SportBild)
Oliver Kahn might be Bayern Munich’s new executive board member, but German broadcaster ZDF is not prepared simply to let Kahn out of his contract. Their sports director Thomas Fuhrmann explained, “Kahn offers added value for the spectators and can separate his roles.” ZDF still views Kahn as an independent expert, but Fuhrmann added that, “He will not be employed for Bayern games.”
Kahn will commentate Schalke vs Gladbach on January 17, an international match in March, and Euro 2020, after which his contract expires. At the same time, Bastian Schweinsteiger will commenting at the event for ARD.
Bayern’s first day of optimal training conditions in Doha
I’m not joking: Bayern’s press release even reads, “Optimal conditions for the best possible preparation.” Head coach Hansi Flick will conduct a dozen training sessions before the team returns to Germany for a friendly against 1. FC Nürnberg.
Bayern (and Dortmund) contacts Birmingham over 16-year-old Jude Bellingham (Mirror)
Bayern and Dortmund have been in touch with Birmingham about 16-year-old central midfielder Jude Bellingham. Bellingham has already played almost 1400 minutes in the Championship, the English second division. Because of Bellingham’s age, the club cannot even yet offer him a professional contract.
Besides Bayern and Dortmund, Arsenal and Manchester United have been scouting Bellingham regularly too. Bellingham’s father, however, “recognises that as long as his son is happy and developing by playing first-team football that there is no need to chase big money.”