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Daily Schmankerl: Juve all out to land Pep Guardiola, Ballack backs Bayern over Chelsea, Schalke fined for racist incident, and more!

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Juventus Turin think the time is right to throw as much cash as it takes to land Pep Guardiola. Former Bayern and Chelsea midfielder Michael Ballack takes sides. And Schalke will pay for its fans’ ugly behavior. That and more!

Manchester City Training Session and Press Conference Photo by Matt McNulty - Manchester City/Manchester City FC via Getty Images

Sarri, not Sarri: Juve want Pep Guardiola at any cost (The Sun)

An exclusive by The Sun claims that Juve’s president Andrea Agnelli wants to throw as much money at Pep Guardiola and Manchester City to bring the Catalan to Italy. The Sun claims, “he will let Guardiola name his terms if he wants to move to Italy’s ‘Old Lady’.”

Guardiola, who was also obviously heavily linked to Bayern Munich after and even before Niko Kovac’s departure, has said he intends to see out his contract with City, which runs until 2021.

But perhaps Juve will get lucky. An “insider” said,

Andrea has never hidden his interest in Guardiola. Andrea thinks Guardiola will want to come to Italy when it is time to leave England. The question is whether this is the time but he will do everything he can to make it possible.

Could they tempt him with 1,000 Dybalas?

Stay healthy out there, folks

DFB-Pokal quarterfinals schedule released

Bayern Munich will play Schalke 04 on March 3 at 8:45 pm local time or 2:45 pm on the east coast of the USA.

Michael Ballack backs Bayern Munich over Chelsea (Metro)

Bayern and Germany midfielder Michael Ballack, who also played for Chelsea — a club he remains close to — believes Bayern has a clear advantage in their upcoming Champions League tie. Ballack said,

Bayern are favourites, for many reasons. Experience speaks strongly in their favour. Chelsea’s transfer ban has compelled them to put their faith in young players. Their manager is new and inexperienced in his job, and that is a big advantage for Bayern.

The performance levels of Bayern’s players are another plus for them. They are more stable than they were last autumn. Chelsea have a young team, which has the potential to explode. They have mostly young players, a bit like Borussia Dortmund.

Hansi Flick’s impressive Bundesliga start (Opta)

Bayern Frauen player Melanie Leupolz rejects equal pay for female soccer players — at the club level (BR24)

In comments made in Bayern Munich’s 51 magazine, Frauen star Melanie Leupolz rejected the notion of equal pay for female soccer players. She said,

People simply have to see that men bring in the money. They have many more spectators, provide for more merchandising revenue and sponsors. So you can’t demand the same pay. You have to look for parallels with other female sports — and there we’re doing well.

In the Bundesliga, there are only two or three clubs in which mostly pros play. All the other players have to work on the side. That hurts the competitive level of the league. If people would like to bring the women’s Bundesliga forward, they have to make it so all the players can play the sport professionally. But for that, of course, greater income is needed.

Leupolz’s comments seem directed toward club soccer rather than the international stage, where the US Women’s National Team has made headlines by demanding equal pay with their far less successful male counterparts.

Romelu Lukaku cured of “malfunctioning digestive system” after moving to Inter (ESPN)

What on earth am I writing? Some of the websites that picked up this story actually went with that in their title, not to mention “dodgy digestive system” (The Sun, of course).

Manchester United couldn’t wait to get rid of Lukaku, but it turns out that they might have probed a little deeper...

As soon as Lukaku arrived in Milan, Conte sent him to a nutritionist for a consultation so detailed that it included a study of the decomposition of his body waste. Within hours, the determination was made that something was wrong. “Normally I have a fine digestive system,” Lukaku said. “I digest everything very quickly. That’s how it had been my entire life. But what the nutritionist said to me was, it had stopped working.”

Ta da! After going on a very rigorous, low-carb diet, Lukaku dropped almost ten pounds in less than two weeks. When Inter measured body fat in the first week of September, Lukaku’s was one of the lowest. “I’m good now,” Lukaku said. “My body is in the zone.”

Schalke fined €50,000 for racist insults hurled at Jordan Torunarigha (Sport1)

The racist monkey calls intended for Hertha Berlin player Jordan Torunarigha will cost Schalke some €50,000. That was the amount that the sporting tribunal of the DFB assessed as a fine for Schalke in punishment. Schalke can use €16,000 of that amount “for specific measures in the fight against racism and discrimination,” which it must demonstrate by September 30, 2020.

ICYMI: Jürgen Klinsmann quits after Hertha refuses to make him all-powerful technical director

Check out Jake’s full rundown here:

Lenglet channels his inner Alaba on this nice pass

AC Milan keeps digging that hole

Bayer Leverkusken admin shuts down a Manchester United fan

Klopp wants Werner @CFBayern

According to SportBild journalist, Christian Falk, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp would like to add long-time Bayern possibility Timo Werner to his roster. The RB Leipzig forward apparently has a release clause of around 60M Euros in his contract.