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Daily Schmankerl: The aftermath of Bayern Munich vs. Lokomotiv Moscow; Erling Haaland’s release clause revealed; Julian Nagelsmann to take over Manchester City?; and MORE!

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Well...that was close.

Lokomotiv Moskva v FC Bayern Muenchen: Group A - UEFA Champions League Photo by Oleg Nikishin/Getty Images

Die Folgen: Bayern’s shaky 2-1 victory Lokomotiv Moscow (Bavarian Football Works)

Bayern Munich was not at its best against Lokomotiv Moscow and frankly looked unmotivated at times. Thankfully, a late goal from Joshua Kimmich gave the Bavarians a 2-1 victory. Bayern was not sharp offensively and was lethargic defensively. It was an ugly game by all accounts, but here are some quick hitters on the match:

  • Kimmich’s game-winner on a half-volley was thrilling, but what he did just a few minutes later in sliding to break up a pass near his own goal showed exactly why he is the future captain of the club.
  • Leon Goretzka’s game-opening goal was just superb. The acrobatic assist from Benjamin Pavard made the play happen, but Goretzka had such a deft header finish there. It’s been a thrill-ride watching the 25-year-old develop into a world-class player. Too bad that both he and Thomas Muller were subbed off at halftime with injuries.
  • For a guy that is supposedly on the hot seat, Pavard played confidently and almost picked up a second aerial assist as he went airborne to set up Kingsley Coman. Coman’s attempt clanged off the post unfortunately, but Pavard still made the play happen.
  • Manuel Neuer was solid once again. His anticipation and ability to read the opposition’s break is a huge advantage for Bayern Munich even if it makes everyone hold their collective breath. He did have a scary moment around the 41st minute of the first half as a Lokomotiv Moscow shot went wide of goal. Lokomotiv’s goal was the result of a defensive breakdown...one of many in the second half.
  • At least Robert Lewandowski’s animated discussion with Kingsley Coman in the 42nd minute didn’t result in another scrap between the two. Coman later missed a wide-open Lewandowski near the net, which leads me to believe that the duo had some trouble getting on the same page yesterday.
  • David Alaba was poor...very poor. From positioning to decision-making, it was not a banner effort for Alaba.
  • Credit to Lucas Hernandez; he took a lot of punishment and kept fighting.
  • In the end, it’s just good to get out of Russia with a win when the team was clearly not at its best. Credit to Lokomotiv Moscow, who fought and clawed for the entirety of the contest.

If you missed our Match Awards or Observations, give them a look:

United firmly watching Haaland (The Athletic)

Manchester United is going to eventually sign a promising player, but will it be Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland? If Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has any say, the Red Devils would already have the 21-year-old phenom in his camp.

The Athletic states that there is no bad-blood between Haaland and club despite negotiations reportedly falling through last year:

Manchester United’s contract negotiations with Haaland’s agent Mino Raiola may have ended fractiously last year, but bridges are said to remain in tact between Solskjaer and the player.

Kroos talks offers, but probably won’t move (Sport Bild)

Any thoughts that Real Madrid midfielder and Germany international Toni Kroos might some day return to the Bundesliga to end his career

“I always enjoy returning to Germany, it is my home country and my language. But I really enjoy life in Madrid and playing for Real. I had offers, but my idea is to end my career at Real Madrid,” Kroos told Sport Bild.

Haaland has no release cause...yet (@FabrizioRomano)

Last week, the BFW staff and community all “embraced debate” about Haaland’s reported lack of a release clause in his contract. As it turns out, that report was factually correct...for now. According to Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano, Haaland’s contract has a release clause starting in 2022 that would be €75 million (still an absolute bargain!):

Sabitzer negotiating with Leipzig (kicker)

For all of the reasons people have to dislike RB Leipzig as a club (and there are many), one of the benefits of watching them play is Austrian midfielder Marcel Sabitzer. According to kicker, the stellar 26-year-old is looking at a contract extension with Die Roten Bullen:

Marcel Sabitzer’s contract with RB Leipzig will run until 2022, and Markus Krösche has long since started talks about a contract extension. “Of course we are dealing with the topic. Our goal is always to act early,” said the sports director to kicker. Sabitzer, who scored the 2-1 winner against Hertha BSC as a joker on Saturday after a four-week injury break, has been playing for Leipzig since 2015. “He has matured into a leading player and become a real leader,” said Krösche. “He plays very intelligently and always makes the right decisions.”

Is Nagelsmann the succession plan for Pep? (Foot Mercato)

Foot Mercato had a nice piece of speculation that Manchester City could be looking at RB Leipzig coaching phenom Julian Nagelsmann as a potential successor to Pep Guardiola. With just eight months left on his deal, Manchester City is reportedly looking at two potential candidates should Guardiola move on: Nagelsmann and former Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino.

Gündoğan makes tremendous statement to people in need (@cfbayern)

Manchester City midfielder and Germany international İlkay Gündoğan spent his 30th birthday spending some time visiting some folks living in homes for those who need full-tie care. If you have ever spent time volunteering or visiting a home for people with dementia, you know how difficult that can be. Big credit to Gündoğan for doing something so thoughtful: