Barcelona planning to raid Bayern Munich in the summer (Don Balon x2)
Brace yourselves, mortals. Today we have the ultra-rare Don Balon double-header. According to Spain’s most accredited and reliable source for transfer news, Barcelona President Josep Maria Bartomeu has set his sights on a contingent of three Bayern Munich players to strengthen his side this summer.
Who are these players? Well, the first report tells us that the Catalans are looking for someone versatile and can take the place of Sergio Busquets, who has been under-performing for some time now. According to the Don, that means Joshua Kimmich and Javi Martinez are on Barca’s radar.
The second report alleges that coach Quique Setien wants a player who can replace Arturo Vidal and Ivan Rakitic. That player is apparently Corentin Tolisso. The Frenchman currently finds himself on the outside looking in as far as Bayern’s first XI is concerned, but Setien apparently sees a place for him with the Spanish giants.
Now, despite this being Don Balon, there are some grains of truth in these rumors. Joshua Kimmich isn’t going to leave, so let’s leave that aside for now. But Javi Martinez’s contract runs out in 2021, and it’s looking increasingly unlikely that he’ll get an extension. There’s a very good chance that he could leave in the summer. Tolisso, meanwhile, has been the subject of reports claiming that Bayern want to sell him off to free up money and roster space for new arrivals. So maybe Barca aren’t planning a raid, but some of these players might not be wearing red come next season.
Pep Guardiola considering his future at Manchester City (The Telegraph)
Things are going from bad to worse for Man City. After UEFA just handed them a 2 year ban from the Champions League, the club faces the exit of its most decorated manager.
Pep Guardiola will consider his future as manager in the summer, Telegraph Sport understands, unless the club is able to overturn a verdict which condemns “serious breaches” in payments by executives.
If City are unable to overturn UEFA’s punishment in the Court of Arbitration for Sport, then Pep might not be the only one to leave club in the summer. Could Bayern Munich swoop in and grab him AND Leroy Sane in the same window? It would be an amazing turn of events, considering how last summer went.
Speaking of Leroy Sane ...
Bild reporter Tobias Altschaffl tells us what we already knew — that Sane still wants to transfer to Bayern, and the UCL ban only makes things easier for the Bavarians.
Sané wäre gerne bereits im Winter nach München. Sein Wunsch zu gehen besteht weiter, sein Ziel ist München - unabhängig davon, ob City in der Champions League starten darf. Aber natürlich spielen die Entwicklungen dem #fcbayern in die Karten. @SPORTBILD @BILD_Sport— Tobias Altschäffl (@altobelli13) February 15, 2020
Sané would like to go to Munich in the winter. His desire to leave continues, his goal is Munich - regardless of whether City can play in the Champions League. But of course the developments play #fcbayern into the cards.
City face potential points deduction following UEFA ban (The Independent)
We’re not done! According to The Independent, City’s breach of UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules also represents a breach of the Premier League’s regulations, and the Blue half of Manchester could be hit with a points deduction as a result.
However, an expulsion from the EPL and relegation to the 4th tier of English football (confusingly named League Two) is seen as unlikely, even though the Football League changed their rules to say that any club in such a situation must start over from the bottom.
Now hopefully, the CAS upholds this ban so we can watch the chaos unfold.
Julian Nagelsmann talks about rejecting Real Madrid (Marca)
In an interview with The Independent (via Marca), Julian Nagelsmann explained why he rejected the coaching job at Real Madrid:
I was surprised at first. I weighed it up and I didn’t feel comfortable with a decision to go there.
I want to improve. If you go to Real Madrid, there’s no time to improve as a manager. You don’t have a chance to be a better manager, you already have to be the best.
I’m not the best now, but I can admit I want to be one of the best in future. If you go to Real Madrid or Barcelona, the fans, the media and the decision-makers don’t give you the time to grow into that. They only want to see victories every game, titles, Champions League trophies. If you don’t win, you can’t say ‘but I’m still young, I’m still developing’.
It’s not that easy in football to plan a career, because it is so unpredictable, but you have to try. The main thing is to make the right steps, not the biggest steps.
Frank Lampard refuses to confirm Kepa’s return to the starting XI (Goal)
Less than two weeks before Bayern Munich face Chelsea in the Champions League, the Blues still haven’t got their keeper situation sorted. Speaking to the press, Chelsea coach Frank Lampard refused to confirm the return of Kepa Arrizabalaga to the starting XI, saying:
It doesn’t matter when you came to the club, I don’t take into account the fee. It’s the training that counts.
Okay Frank, you do you.