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Daily Schmankerl: Arsenal inquires about Thiago, Kimmich ready for Mbappé, Mbappé clears air about Tuchel

Olympique Lyonnais v Bayern Munich - UEFA Champions League Semi Final Photo by Michael Regan - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

Arsenal inquires about Thiago (Daily Mail)

Arsenal has evidently joined the Thiago sweepstakes. The Daily Mail reports that the Gunners have inquired about signing the will-away Spanish midfielder. The Daily Mail reports:

Arsenal are among the clubs to have checked on experienced Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara.

Liverpool also hold an interest but are reluctant to pay Bayern’s asking price of around £23million on top of high wages as he is 29 and will be free to discuss a Bosman from January.

Bayern thus far has not budged from their minimum asking price of €30 million for the 29-year-old midfielder. Bayern will presumably revisit the question of Thiago’s future after the final.

“We have a plan”: Kimmich ready for Mbappé and Neymar (Bild)

“We have a plan,” said Joshua Kimmich at Bayern Munich’s pregame press conference ahead of their clash with PSG in the final. Kimmich said, “Against Leipzig, Mbappé played more at striker and Neymar on the left. They have pace, so we have to be careful. Perhaps somewhat more than usual.”

But Bayern does not plan to sit back and let PSG do all the attacking. “I don’t think we’ll ball up like a hedgehog (einigeln) at the back,” Kimmich said.

Flick also basically confirmed that Benjamin Pavard is not yet ready to return to the starting lineup. “I have not had complete confidence thus far that he’s already at 100 percent in order to play from the start,” he said.

PSG coach Thomas Tuchel said, “I don’t expect any more changes after training. Beforehand I was eyeing Benjamin Pavard, that he’d play and Joshua Kimmich on the 6. Not anymore now that I’ve seen the pictures. I don’t think purpose of the training session in the stadium is to confuse us. We will nonetheless prepare for both variants.”

Bayern Munich’s hard-workers

Mbappé sets the record straight about Tuchel (Bild)

Kylian Mbappé appeared at PSG’s pregame press conference yesterday and set the record straight about persistent rumors of conflict between himself and head coach Thomas Tuchel. Mbappé said:

The players stand behind the coach! I’ve also heard many things — that he does not have the locker room under control, that he can’t deal with the stars. The truth, though, is: it’s the club’s best season!

There are always highs and lows. That happens to every coach. And in Paris, you see it perhaps somewhat more clearly. But he is a great coach in whom we believe. Of course we are also playing for him!

Tuchel shows respect for Bayern (Bild)

Thomas Tuchel candidly paid respect to Bayern Munich’s incredible season at the press conference ahead of the final. Tuchel said:

They are on a unique and crazy run under Hansi Flick. They have a good mix of experienced players, who want to repeat winning the Champions League, and young players who are hungry for this title. That is the highest level in Europe! It will be a hard piece of work.

Robert Lewandowski “the Nutty Professor” (The Guardian)

The United Kingdom has discovered the joy of “dessert before dinner.” The Guardian ran a great feature about Robert Lewandowski’s fitness-driven lifestyle and match preparations.

One of Robert Lewandowski’s many quirks is that at mealtimes he insists on eating his dessert first. Then the starter. Finally, the main course. It is a habit that has drawn more than a few curious looks from his Bayern Munich teammates, yet one derived not from superstition but his wife Anna, a nutrition expert.

The Guardian’s somewhat humorous verdict about Lewandowski:

Perhaps it helps to think of Lewandowski as a sort of nutty professor, concocting an ever-more daring series of scientific experiments in an attempt to discover the outer limits of himself.

Although much of the article will be familiar to readers of BFW, the Guardian also found a few new details from the Pole’s past:

“When we went on vacation, he was reading books on breathing,” remembers Ivan Djurdjevic, a former teammate at Lech Poznan. “Even then, it was obvious that he was different, that he wanted something more from this world.”

Today Lewandowski will give his all to bring the Champions League trophy home to Munich. This is what he lives for.

Also: belated Happy Birthday to our beloved Stormtank!

The stage is yours, Thiago

Robben happy with his first minutes back with Groningen (RTVNoord)

Arjen Robben hit the pitch for the first time after coming back out of retirement for Groningen in a 1-1 friendly match against Almere City.

Robben said after the match,

I’m happy that I could do it and came back with a good feeling. It’s nice to feel the thrill of competition again. The first step has been taken and now it’s time to keep building. Hopefully I can play more minutes soon.

Robben said he is focused on getting the “general feeling” back and is not particularly concerned with what went well or not in the friendly.

“It was just fun,” Robben said. Asked whether he was annoyed by his teammates, who apparently did not play like the superstars Robben used to play with at Bayern Munich, Robben said, “Of course there’s a difference in quality, but it it’s also of course not the case that I’m at an amateur club now.”

Keep having fun, Robben!

Ribery: We will win the Champions League!

Ribery sent his team a confident message:

Servus, men! Championship, DFB-Pokal, and Champions League like 2013. Auf geht’s, Jungs! I’m crossing my fingers for you. Packma’s! Your Franck

1860 Munich creating women’s team (Kicker)

After four decades, 1860 Munich is about to have a women’s team once again. The women’s program over at 1860 will be run by Silke Dehling and is already planning on beginning to play in the 2021/22 season. As required, they will start in the amateur divisions in order to work their way up to, hopefully, the Frauen Bundesliga one day.

1860 joins an ever increasing number of “traditional” men’s clubs starting and/or spending more money on their women’s teams.

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