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Daily Schmankerl: Real Madrid giving up on Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski; Tottenham Hotspur, Newcastle United to battle AS Roma for Corentin Tolisso; Borussia Dortmund closing in on Denis Zakaria; Chelsea inking new defender?; and MORE!

Here we go! It’s a Champions League match day!

FBL-EUR-C1-REAL MADRID-BAYERN MUNICH Photo credit should read CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP via Getty Images

Madrid losing on hope on Lewy dream (The Hard Tackle)

Real Madrid has had its eye on Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski for quite a while, but Bayern Munich’s recent declaration that it wants to retain the services of the Polish Hitman, has Los Blancos feeling empty:

Real Madrid have been dealt a blow in their pursuit of Robert Lewandowski as Bayern Munich plan to retain the Poland international’s services.

According to a report from Defensa Central, Real Madrid’s hopes of securing the signing of Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski have suffered a blow with the German club’s chairman, Oliver Kahn, admitting that they intend to keep hold of him for a long time.

Lewandowski has firmly established himself as one of the deadliest strikers in the game during his time in the Bundesliga, first with Borussia Dortmund and then Bayern. The 33-year-old has played an integral role in the success that Die Roten have achieved since joining the club in 2014, winning several personal accolades along the way.

As of now, it seems like there is mutual interest from both Lewandowski and Bayern Munich in sign an extension, but Pini Zhavi will no doubt make this painful.

Spurs still in lead for Tolisso (HITC)

AS Roma is making a play for Bayern Munich midfielder Corentin Tolisso, but Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United could make a play for the French midfielder now as well:

Corentin Tolisso is open to leaving Bayern Munich in January with his Bundesliga side ready to sell the reported Newcastle and Tottenham transfer target, according to Foot Mercato.

FCB are keen to offload the Frenchman during the mid-season market to avoid Tolisso leaving for free next summer. His contract at the Allianz Arena will expire in June and there are no plans from either side to extend.

Tolisso’s departure is inevitable as things currently stand in Bavaria, so Bayern hope to earn some form of compensation. The midfielder became their club-record arrival at the time of his capture from Lyon in 2017 for €41m (£35m).

Prediction: Bayern vs. Barca (Bavarian Football Works)

Bayern Munich will face-off with FC Barcelona at the Allianz Arena in a match that features one team with nothing to gain against a team with everything to lose. One would normally think that kind of desperation would bring out the best in squad like Barca...but I’m going to say they’ll fold like an accordian.

Julian Nagelsmann is holding the cards here...and it is the Bayern Munich boss who can determine if he wants to do his part to send Barca packing from the competition. Of course, Benfica could still choke and keep FC Barcelona alive, but that should not keep Nagelsmann from doing the right things and trying to bury Barca.

Prediction: Bayern Munich 3-1 FC Barcelona

(Don’t screw this up Benfica!)

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

The final matchday of the Champions League group stage is here, but Bayern Munich have nothing but pride to play for. That’s a good motivator for sure, but not compared to the stakes at play for FC Barcelona. The Catalans NEED a win because it would likely guarantee them qualification to the Round of 16 — an almost existential necessity given their financial issues. Of course they could also bank on Benfica losing in the other game, but their new coach seems like a more courageous type. Should be an interesting contest.

Here are our talking points ahead of the game:

  • The major problems at Barcelona, starting with their basic setup.
  • How things have changed since Xavi took over from Ronald Koeman.
  • What is it that Barcelona need at the moment? The answer will shock you!
  • Should Bayern Munich rest players against Barca?
  • Why Bayern’s performances in the Champions League are more important than ever.
  • Is it finally time for Niklas Sule to start a game again? Should he be in for Upamecano or Benjamin Pavard?
  • Jamal Musiala — who should he bench in the lineup and why is it Leroy Sane?
  • How Barca’s new playstyle under Xavi could actually help Bayern break them down.
  • Who is actually Barca’s most dangerous player right now? Hint: There’s actually a correct answer this time!
  • Closing thoughts on the irony of Bayern triggering an identity crisis at Barca.

BVB getting close with Zakaria? (Sport1)

We saw on Tuesday that Bayern Munich was going to get serious about a pursuit of Borussia Mönchengladbach midfielder Denis Zakaria, but Borussia Dortmund remains the frontrunner:

Denis Zakaria from Borussia Mönchengladbach has been associated with a transfer since the summer. The 25-year-old’s contract expires next summer. The Swiss national player aroused a lot of interest in Europe and the Bundesliga with his good performances.

According to Sky, concrete interest should now come from Dortmund. According to this, Borussia Dortmund have already had “very good talks” with Zakaria and are even in agreement with the midfielder “in key points”. At Dortmund Zakaria, who has been flirting with a move to the Premier League lately, would meet his former coach Marco Rose.

Foal sports director Max Eberl is repeatedly combative at the press conference before the game against SC Freiburg: “I fight for these players as I have always fought for this club.”

If Eberl cannot convince Zakaria to extend his contract, it is also an option to give Zakaria over in winter. It would be the last chance to generate a transfer with the midfielder.

Frauen honored with Team of the Week selections (@ElfenMagazin)

Bayern Munich Frauen players Lea Schüller, Maximiliane Rall, and Giulia Gwinn were named to Elfen Magazine’s Frauen Bundesliga Team of the Week:

Chelsea to sign Hungarian defender as contingency for Rüdiger exit (Sport1)

Chelsea has reportedly signed Hungarian defender Attila Szalai, though nothing official has been announced. If true, it appears that the London club is partially addressing its contingency plan should Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rüdiger leave the club:

According to the Hungarian national coach Marco Rossi, Chelsea have secured the services of Fenerbahce professional Attila Szalai. The Hungarian center-back is expected to join the Blues in January and sign a long-term contract.

“Obviously he has been followed by a lot of big clubs but it looks like his move to Chelsea is a done deal. He would have been a great player for Italian football too, ”the 57-year-old was quoted by Calciomercato as saying.

Chelsea would have reacted early on to the uncertain contractual situation of a central defender duo. The contracts of the ex-Gladbacher Andreas Christensen and the German national player Antonio Rüdiger expire next summer.

The contract talks with both players are difficult and have been dragging on since the summer. The Rüdiger case in particular is apparently complicated, the main reason being the enormous differences in salary expectations.

Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel still hopes that both players will extend their contracts. Tuchel recently said of Rüdiger: “For me he is a great player and he is exactly in the right place. He’s in the most competitive league in the world and part of a club where winning is important, so let’s be a little patient and hopefully we’ll have a happy ending.”

ICYMI: Bavarian Podcast Works Flagship Show Season 4, Episode 18 (Bavarian Football Works)

Another week of Bayern Munich related action has passed us by, and it’s provided plenty of food for thought. Julian Nagelsmann is hitting the first speedbump of his tenure, as injuries and absentees pile up while the performances get increasingly more desperate. Meanwhile, Robert Lewandowski was once again robbed of a deserved Ballon d’Or award, and the Bundesliga isn’t allowed to have spectators again. Not great news, all things considered.

In this episode, Ineednoname and Samrin discuss:

  • Why Julian Nagelsmann is doing his best Carlo Ancelotti impression at the moment.
  • The problems with Bayern’s tactical setup — starting from Alphonso Davies’ positioning and the consequences of the pseudo back-three.
  • Thomas Muller’s strange role, and how it negatively affects the rest of the system.
  • The problem with Leroy Sane right now — is it fatigue or another slump?
  • Where are the young players? Why doesn’t Musiala play more often?
  • Nagelsmann vs Flick — there’s something missing from this Bayern Munich team.
  • Changing topics, talking about the impact of the return of ghost games on the Bundesliga.
  • Why having closed stadiums just doesn’t make any sense (includes a rant by INNN).
  • Closing the chapter on the Ballon d’Or — how Robert Lewandowski was robbed, and why Champions League performances matter more than ever to the club’s image.