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Daily Schmankerl: Arsenal, Bayern Munich square off on Sergino Dest; FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester United battle for Kingsley Coman; Team of the Hinrunde; Renato Sanches back at Bayern?; and MORE!

This winter break is really dragging, eh?

CA Osasuna v FC Barcelona - La Liga Santander Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

Arsenal to challenge Bayern on Dest (HITC)

Bayern Munich has long had an interest in FC Barcelona right-back Sergino Dest, but the Germans are not the only club with an eye on the USMNT star.

Arsenal FC could be poised to do battle with the Bavarians:

Rumoured Arsenal target Sergino Dest is not reportedly on the radar for German giants Bayern Munich ahead of the January transfer window.

According to Spanish journalist Gerard Romero via Twitch, the Bundesliga leaders will reignite their interest in the United States international after failing to sign the defender in the summer of 2020.

Bayern went toe-to-toe with Barcelona 18 months ago to sign the former Ajax defender, with the La Liga side winning the battle for Dest for a reported fee of £24m. However, it appears that the Catalan giants are already plotting on selling the youngster.

As per Romero, Dest is one of many players Barcelona are open to selling ahead of January. The 21-year-old has made just four appearances for the club since the arrival of Xavi Hernandez. However, most of these absences have been down to injury.

We know how skirmishes between Bayern Munich and Arsenal typically end up, so…

Bayern places five players on Team of the Hinrunde (@WhoScored)

Bayern Munich stars Robert Lewandowski, Thomas Müller, Leroy Sane, Serge Gnabry, and Alphonso Davies were recognized for their respective first half performances with a spot on WhoScored.com’s Team of the Hinrunde:

Gnabry eyeing deal with Miami? (Instagram — bayern_munchen43)

This Instagram user captured Serge Gnabry at a Miami Heat game (it could have been from Tuesday’s game against Indiana Pacers) and he’s wearing overalls. Our own Mike Lynch speculated that Gnabry could have secured a new deal with OshKosh B’gosh.

Well...it’s a look I guess:

United, Madrid, Barca battle for Coman (International Business Times)

Manchester United, Real Madrid, and FC Barcelona are all readying themselves for the possibility that Bayern Munich star Kingsley Coman will hit the transfer market during the summer window:

Bayern are hoping to reach an agreement before the end of the season. If not, they could look to sell him as they have no intention of letting Coman walk on a free transfer when his contract expires in June 2023. According to Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona and Real are monitoring the situation and are ready to make a move to take him to Spain next summer, if he becomes available.

Xavi Hernandez has made no secret of his desire to sign wide forwards to compliment his preferred playing style, and is already targeting a move for Manchester City winger Ferran Torres in January. Coman could also be looked at as an ideal replacement for Ousmane Dembele, who could leave Barcelona on a free transfer next summer after rejecting their offer of a new deal.

Bayern, however, are not ready to give up on tying Coman down to a new deal and are expected to renew talks with the player’s father in the coming weeks. The Bayern star is said to have demanded around €20 million, while the German giants are only willing to sanction a contract worth €15 million.

It is unclear if they can reach a compromise, but both sides seem inclined to continue talks in order to find a solution. Coman was recently asked about his future, and the France international left the door open to a potential move by suggesting that the ball was in Bayern’s court at the moment.

Apart from Barcelona and Real, Premier League giant Manchester United are also interested in signing the French wide attacker. They will be able to match the wage offer made by Bayern and other interested clubs, and will be able to trump their rivals if necessary.

Upamecano, Gnabry honored (@WhoScored)

Dayot Upamecano and Serge Gnabry were recognized by WhoScored.com for their efforts last week:

Bavarian Podcast Works Season 4, Episode 19 (Bavarian Football Works)

The Hinrunde is over and Bayern Munich are officially the winter champions! Borussia Dortmund’s loss to Hertha Berlin means that Julian Nagelsmann is officially 9 points clear at the top of the table after his first half-season in charge of the club — one of the best starts to a new season since Pep Guardiola. Still, there’s plenty to address regarding the circumstances of this Hinrunde, which we took the liberty of doing.

In this episode, Ineednoname and Samrin discuss:

  • What the hell happened to Borussia Dortmund this season?
  • The general decline in the quality of the Bundesliga this season.
  • Why losing great coaching talent has cost the league dearly.
  • We start talking about Nagelsmann 10 minutes in if you can’t listen to discussion about other teams.
  • What grade do we give Nagelsmann?
  • Samrin explains her reasoning first.
  • Can Bayern Munich compete with the top teams in the Champions League right now?
  • Should Nagelsmann have been given a 5-year contract?
  • How the coach is finding a better balance in recent games.
  • Similarities between Nagelsmann and Pep Guardiola, especially with regard to Thomas Muller.
  • Should Bayern make January transfers? (Includes a healthy dose of clowning on Cuisance.)
  • INNN explains his reasoning for Nagelsmann’s rating.
  • Final comments: Being fair to Nagelsmann and why we will keep backing him despite criticism.

Lewandowski had a crazy good Hinrunde (@WhoScored)

Take a gander at those numbers:

Bayern eyeing Sanches return? (ESPN)

Is Bayern Munich really thinking of reliving the Renato Sanches Experience? It seems so:

Bayern Munich are interested in Lille midfielder Renato Sanches, writes Calciomercato. The 24-year-old has publicly spoken about an exit from the Ligue 1 champions, with a number of clubs linked with a potential move.

Bayern are now said to be pursuing a return for the Portugal international, who played for the Bavarians between 2016 and 2019. In that time, he made 53 appearances, winning the Bundesliga twice, the German Cup and three German Super Cups.

I’m happy Sanches has revived his career, but I do not think a reunion is what either party needs.

I mean...it’s his team (@LiamBradford)

Oldham Athletic’s owner wants to ban anyone who doesn’t like him: