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Daily Schmankerl: Arsenal and Chelsea interested in Chris Richards, Pochettino rejected Coutinho at Tottenham, and more!

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Bayern Munich’s young American starlet just turned 20 and is already catching eyes around Europe. Also, Tottenham Hotspur was very interested Philippe Coutinho, but Pochettino nixed the transfer.

FC Bayern Muenchen Doha Training Camp - Day 6

Chris Richards attracts interest from Arsenal and Chelsea (Express)

BFW’s own favorite American talent at Bayern Munich celebrated his 20th birthday just two days ago, and look who’s calling: according to the Express, “Arsenal and Chelsea are preparing to battle it out” over Richards this summer, whenever the window finally opens.

The report tells it like it is:

The 20-year-old American is being tipped to be a star player in the future and has been impressive playing for Bayern’s Under-19 and Under-23 sides.

Richards, who stands at 6’2”tall, is a versatile defender and while his natural position is a centre-back, the American is also comfortable playing as a right-back too.

The English have their hopes up because Richards has not yet played for Bayern’s first team yet: “it is believed the youngster would consider a move to the Premier League if he was guaranteed game time.”

But there’s little reason think that Bayern will let Richards leave for the island on such short notice. Ricahrds is under contract until 2023 and, as the Express notes, Bayern has already turned down loan offers from Bundesliga clubs.

But the interest is very good news, and Barcelona and Valencia are also reportedly monitoring Richards’s progress at Bayern — just like all of us.

Pochettino rejected Coutinho at Spurs (Mirror)

The Mirror recently revealed that Philippe Coutinho nearly joined Tottenham Hotspur when Barcelona made him available last summer. The Spurs chairman Daniel Levy was eager to bring Coutinho on board, but Mauricio Pochettino ultimately decided against the loan:

And the reality is that Tottenham were ready to push ahead with a hugely ambitious deal — but it was ultimately Mauricio Pochettino who decided against it.

Levy was willing to do the Coutinho deal and it was not him who decided against it and the player could have ended up in a Spurs shirt which would have been a hugely popular move with the fans.

The Mirror claims “the deal with Barcelona was worth up to a staggering £142m,” but Pochettino supposedly put a stop:

The Coutinho deal fell down because Pochettino was keen to keep the dressing room equilibrium as he has always preferred to work with young players, develop players and has made his reputation as a manager without big names.

Hence Coutinho ended up available on a last-minute loan to Bayern Munich. It’s interesting to wonder how Coutinho might have affected Pochettino’s tenure at Spurs.

Flick and Kahn film video to encourage Bayern employees (Bild)

Coach Hansi Flick and board member Oliver Kahn appeared together in an internal video message for Bayern Munich’s employees — pointedly standing 1.5 meters apart. The message: “We stand together, even if we maintain a safe distance!”

The duo confirmed the 20 percent pay-cut that the executives and players had voluntarily accepted to ensure that the employees would continue to receive their own salaries.

Bild describes the message of the video as follows: “We are a family, we stick together, and we all have to do our part for the good of the club and its employees.” Bild says this “great action” by Flick and Kahn was very well received.

Berni just begging to be photoshopped...

Qatar Airways helping to bring stranded Germans home... (FCBayern.com)

Bayern posted a brief press release yesterday about the club’s official partner Qatar Airways on its German home page (so far, not yet on its English mirror): The Qatari company is coordinating directly with the German Foreign Office’s staff to help fly German citizens home via routes over Asia and also with flights from Australia and New Zealand.

Bayern recently declined to speak with Associated Press journalist Ciarán Fahey regarding their continued engagement with Qatar for a recent feature on the objections of fans, Munich city councilors, and human rights organizations.