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Daily Schmankerl: Barca denies lowering Coutinho’s price, Bayern freezes extension talks, ManUtd deal for Tolisso, Boateng talks Germany and racism, and more!

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So many hypothetical transfers, so little time. Bayern has decided to see how Thiago, Thomas Müller, and others perform against Chelsea before offering any extensions, and Coutinho is now virtually certain to return to Spain.

FC Bayern Muenchen v RB Leipzig - Bundesliga Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images

Bayern freezes all extension talks until after Chelsea (Bild)

With the exception of Manuel Neuer, with whom the club is apparently about to open serious extension talks, Bayern Munich has decided to freeze other ongoing extension talks until at least mid-March, after Bayern’s Champions League showdown with Chelsea.

“We will certainly have talks, but we are concentrating on sporting matters in the coming weeks,” said Hasan Salihamidzic.

That means that Thiago Alcantara and Thomas Müller have an added incentive to perform in the critical tie. Bild thinks it is a make-or-break affair particularly for Thiago, who has played very strongly thus far in the Rückrunde. If he delivers against Chelsea, “he will be rewarded with a new contract, probably rise up to the top salary class in Munich,” Bild writes. If not, though, Bayern may move on and use funds from a sale to pry Kai Havertz away from Leverkusen. So Bild, anyway.

As for Müller, he allegedly can still envision a transfer to England or Italy. A good offer would put a stop to that, though. The same goes for Alaba, who has been extremely important to the club. Javi Martinez and Jerome Boateng, as well as backup keepers Sven Ulreich and Ron-Thorben Hoffmann, all will presumably depart.

Last but not least, Philippe Coutinho is expected to return to Barca, probably to be sold on to a third party, and Bild stands by their speculation that Bayern may also sell erstwhile record-transfer Corentin Tolisso to get even more money for summer purchases.

Barcelona denies lowering transfer fee for Coutinho (SPOX)

If there was a glimmer of hope that Philippe Coutinho might stay in Munich beyond this season for a much reduced transfer fee, that hope is probably gone. A Barcelona spokesman has denied Bild’s claim that the club has reduced Coutinho’s transfer free to €80m, a full €40m less than his current purchase option.

SPOX further reports that Bayern had originally wanted to take Coutinho on loan for two years, as they did with James Rodriguez, to give him time to integrate with the team. The high fee demanded by Coutinho’s agent Kia Joorabchian for a two-year deal, however, ultimately dissuaded Bayern from pursuing a longer loan further.

Since Coutinho’s departure from Bayern for parts unknown seems now all but certain, he might want to rethink his representation.

Bayern rejected loan request for Tolisso from Manchester United (kicker)

Bayern Munich apparently had an offer from Manchester United for Corentin Tolisso just this past January. Kicker writes,

The power-brokers at ManUnited first imagined a transfer limited to half a year on the basis of a loan, but the Bayern front office declined. They had no choice; the available squad was too thin. The French World Cup champion of 2018 had to stay.

Bayern interested in Arsenal 19-year-old Bukayo Saka (Daily Mail)

Bayern Munich is reported to be one of three major clubs currently courting the versatile 19-year-old left-wing and left-back. Saka is halfway through the penultimate year of his contract. The other two contenders for his signature are Liverpool and Manchester United.

Saka has played primarily as a left-back for Arsenal this season, racking up 922 minutes in the Premier League and assisting one goal. Saka has had more scoring luck in the Europa League, scoring 2 and assisting 3 goals.

Boateng on racism in the Bundesliga (kicker)

Jerome Boateng spoke about the latest racist incident to shock the Bundesliga, the abuse directed in Gelsenkirchen at Hertha player Jordan Torunarigha. He said,

That shocked me, and that hurts. I’m in touch with Jordan, see him now and then when I’m in Berlin. To see a young man crying on the pitch in Germany because he’s been the target of a racist attack, that is very sad.

Boateng confirmed that he has had similar experiences:

Yes, it has happened to me too in the Bundesliga now and then, during warm-up, by the corner flag.

In his case, Boateng could not locate the offenders from his position on the pitch, “But that is obviously not nice to hear,” he added.

You need help from the fans who are standing nearby, for them to stand up and identify those people.

Simply accepting such insults without being able to do anything about it, “That is a really bad feeling,” Boateng said. He also expressed concerns for his children:

You think about the future. I have children in Germany after all. I thought we were farther along already. We once were, too. But we’ve unfortunately regressed a bit, which is very sad and harmful for many people.

Boateng content to move on from the national team (AZ)

Never rule anything out in soccer, but Jerome Boateng is not counting on any miracles bringing him back to the German national team. In a recent interview, he explained his contentment to move on:

I think that the national coach has very clearly stated that he wants to go to the Euro with young players. You have to respect that; that’s his line. But you never know in soccer: if there is a chance at some point, I’m not disinclined.

Boateng denied that there is any bad blood between himself and Jogi Löw. He said,

I talked it out with the national coach. I value him absolutely as a person and coach. We had great success with the national team together, and I grew as a player under him. So everything is fine in that regard.

Exit, stage left

Dardai from downtown!