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Daily Schmankerl: Bayern in touch with Thomas Tuchel, Alex Nübel torched by Leipzig, Bundesliga excitement, and more!

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Thomas Tuchel seems increasingly isolated at PSG. He and Bayern Munich have been in touch as they deliberate who will coach the team next season.

Borussia Dortmund v Paris Saint-Germain - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: First Leg Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

Thomas Tuchel on Bayern’s radar as PSG seems ready to part ways (Get French Football)

Thomas Tuchel was one of the top candidates for Bayern Munich’s coaching job after Jupp Heynckes stepped down in 2018, but Tuchel signed with Paris Saint-Germain in May before Bayern had reached a decision, ultimately settling on Eintracht Frankfurt’s Niko Kovac instead.

Almost two years later, Kovac is gone and Bayern is again deliberating who will coach the team next season. According to a report by L’Equipe, Bayern and Tuchel have remained in touch, and Tuchel “feels increasingly isolated” at PSG.

That status seemed epitomized by the recent scene when Kylian Mbappé was visibly irritated to be taken off by Tuchel, who was annoyed in turn:

It was not the first time.

Tuchel’s current contract expires in June, and if Borussia Dortmund knocks PSG out — they beat them 2-1 in Dortmund — Tuchel seems destined to go.

PSG’s sporting director Leonardo is also supposedly uninterested in extending Tuchel under any circumstances. Ergo, Bayern Munich could plausibly pursue the German, should they decide against signing Hansi Flick permanently as head coach.

Javi Martinez a week away from rejoining team training (Bild)

Javi Martinez put in a 45-minute individual training session with rehab coach Simon Martinello on Saturday.

Martinez is still recuperating from a muscular injury he suffered in December. While the team regenerated inside on exercise bikes, Javi worked on a variety of drills on the pitch. Bild says he did sprints, coordination exercises, runs through obstacles, and some practice with a ball.

Javi is projected to rejoin team training at long last next week.

Alexander Nübel torched by RB Leipzig in 5-0 loss

RB Leipzig crushed Schalke in Gelsenkirchen on Saturday. The energy-drink powered Saxons scored five goals past Alexander Nübel. First blood was drawn in the first minute by this spectacular goal by Austrian international Marcel Sabitzer. Check it out:

The goal went down as an error by Nübel on sites like Whoscored.com. Like the commentator in Fox’s video clip says, “Middle of ze goal, you have to save ze ball.”

But let me say one thing in Nübel’s defense: this goal by Sabitzer is the second goal of the season he’s hit this season. Sabitzer has an amazing ability to make the ball break *right* off his right foot. But if you watch, it breaks right slightly at last second, ending up in the “middle of ze goal” and not in the corner where Nübel expected it.

You can see the same technique in Sabitzer’s other “goal of the season,” this incredible shot in the Champions League against Zenit:

Shots like these mess with goalkeepers’ judgment like breaking balls in baseball. You think you know where it is going to land, but the ball has other ideas.

Things got no easier for Nübel after that, as Christopher Nkunku provided four assists to four different players for all four of Leipzig’s subsequent goals. Dig it:

Köln goes Super-Saiyan on Hertha Berlin

One of these teams spent more than literally every other club in Europe in the winter transfer window, and the other was a relegation candidate until matchday 15. Köln bounced back from their 4-1 loss to Bayern last weekend in style, crushing Hertha 5-0, including this delightful direct free kick goal by Mark Uth. Thanks, Klinsi?

The Hakimi-Haaland connection

Cue Neo: “Whoa.”

Borussia Dortmund had a good day, a “very grownup game” against Werder Bremen to quote Emre Can’s assessment. Zagadou finally opened the scoring off a corner kick early in the second half and then Hakimi and Haaland did their thing. Werder has fallen now to 17th place, They are, in kicker’s estimation, “historically bad.” For the first time in their history, they have lost six home games in a row. They have not scored a home goal for 461 minutes.

Gladbach drops points

Ginter came — and went. Matze Ginter put Gladbach ahead off a corner kick, but things went awry later. Plea missed a penalty for a handball and minutes later VAR nullified what he thought was finally the 2-0. Hoffenheim rallied late, as Lucas Ribeiro scored in stoppage time, his Bundesliga debut!

The game was also notable for a brief interruption on account of a poster featuring Hoffenheim’s owner Dietmar Hopp shown in crosshairs. Felix Brych suspended the match until the offensive poster was removed.

Last but not least, Fortuna Düsseldorf secured just its second away win of the season by beating SC Freiburg 2-0

Real Madrid is “that guy” at the gym

What even is this?