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Daily Schmankerl: Bayern Munich alum Philippe Coutinho running out of time at FC Barcelona; Chelsea’s pursuit of Federico Chiesa is heating up; Ivan Perisic on the move?; Manchester United’s Ralf Rangnick eyeing more RB Leipzig talent; and MORE!

Is anyone at Bayern Munich actually healthy for Der Klassiker?

Villarreal CF v FC Barcelona - La Liga Santander Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images

Coutinho’s days numbered at Barca? (Transfer Market Web)

Former Bayern Munich midfielder Philippe Coutinho could be running out of time at FC Barcelona. The Brazilian start reportedly has a month to show Xavi that he can play:

According to Diario Sport, Philippe Coutinho has a month to persuade Xavi to join his Barcelona team. During Blaugrana’s 3-1 defeat of Villarreal at La Ceramica on Saturday evening, the Brazilian won and scored a penalty, playing with confidence and conviction we haven’t seen from him in a long time.

Coutinho moved to Barcelona from Liverpool in January 2018, but has struggled to replicate the form that won him his big-money move in the first place.

However, Xavi’s return to Camp Nou marks the start of a new era, and Coutinho appeared to be in high spirits over the weekend. Late in the game, he even attempted a flair-filled overhead kick that came close to landing.

Klassiker trivia? (YouTube — FC Bayern)

Test yourself and see how the players did:

Chiesa to Chelsea is legitimate (Sport Bild)

Chelsea FC is reportedly ready to pounce on Juventus star Federico Chiesa:

Will the Chelsea FC European champion Federico Chiesa (24) grab from Juventus Turin? The interest of the “Blues” is not new, but now the Italian international is apparently fueling the transfer rumors himself.

Chiesa is now following the social media accounts of Chelsea FC as well as some players from coach Thomas Tuchel’s club, including Kai Havertz, Christian Pulisic, N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic and Saul Niguez. Some media take this as a sign of a possible change.

According to reports in Italy, Chelsea are ready to pay up to € 100m for Chiesa. The winger, who made a significant contribution to the Italians’ title win with top performances at the European Championships, is on loan from Fiorentina to Juve until the end of the season. However, there is a purchase obligation of 40 million euros should certain sporting goals be achieved: Turin must reach at least fourth place in the league and Chiesa either score ten goals and ten assists or complete 60 percent of all matches over at least 30 minutes.

Juventus, of course, can alleviate all of this concern by turning its season around. If the Italian club cannot do that, Chelsea, Bayern Munich, and a host of others could be poised to throw heaps of cash at Chiesa.

Perisic back to the BuLi...or not? (Sport1)

The talk of Inter Milan’s Ivan Perisic making a move back to the Bundesliga is heating up, but the reality is there might not be a market for him. Tottenham Hotspur is also a potential option:

Is Ivan Perisic returning to the Bundesliga?

The Gazzetta dello Sport had recently reported the 32-year-old think of a renewed commitment in Germany, where he played for Borussia Dortmund (2011-2012), VfL Wolfsburg (2013 to 2015) and Bayern (2019-20).

According to SPORT1 information, there is nothing to be said about the rumors. The Croatian’s contract with Inter Milan expires in the summer, and there are talks about a possible extension. Perisic can also imagine going to Tottenham, where he would play under his former coach Antonio Conte.

While Perisic is getting a little older, I wouldn’t be opposed to Bayern Munich bringing him back if the overall price is right.

ICYMI: Bavarian Podcast Works: Preview Show — Borussia Dortmund vs Bayern Munich (Bavarian Football Works)

As another eventful year in football comes to a close, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund once again gear up for a game which is undoubtedly the biggest in German football. People may not like the name Der Klassiker because, technically, this game isn’t a classic derby — but you can’t deny that the fixture has a compelling enough history to be its own thing at this point. There’s never been a game between Bayern and BVB that is considered low-stakes, which is good for the fans because things never get boring.

Here are our talking points ahead of the game:

  • The situation with ghost games in Germany, and reports that the Klassiker may end up with limited capacity.
  • Key absentees for both Bayern Munich and BVB, especially the situation with Joshua Kimmich.
  • The return of Erling Haaland, and problems he could cause Bayern defense.
  • Bayern’s issues with the midfield for this game, including reports that both Goretzka AND Kimmich could be out — who replaces them and what should we worry about?
  • Why gegenpressing is Bayern’s kryptonite and how BVB could exploit that weakness.
  • How Dortmund has fared this season, including the disappointing performance of Marco Rose (especially in Europe).
  • A final scoreline prediction for the game.

Rangnick chasing Nkunku and Haidara, too (@cfbayern)

Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick is really intrigued by RB Leipzig’s talent, including Christopher Nkunku and Amadou Haidara:

Eriksen back training on his own (Sky)

In some awesome news, Inter Milan star Christian Eriksen is back doing individual training:

Christian Eriksen has begun working out at the training ground of his youth club in Denmark following his rehabilitation after suffering a cardiac arrest at Euro 2020, a spokesperson for the club said on Thursday.

Eriksen, 29, has not played since suffering the cardiac arrest while running near the left touchline during Denmark’s opening game of Euro 2020 against Finland in June and received life-saving treatment on the pitch.

“It’s natural for him since he played here in his youth and lives around the corner. We are very happy to be able to provide training facilities for him,” he said.

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