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Daily Schmankerl: Appreciating the World Cup finale despite only two Bayern Munich players taking part; Real Madrid, Manchester United, and Newcastle United lead on Cody Gakpo; Chelsea, Manchester City, and PSG sparring over Joško Gvardiol; & MORE!

That was about as good as it gets.

Argentina v France: Final - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022

That was a hell of a game (Bavarian Football Works)

The World Cup finale between Argentina and France only saw Dayot Upamecano and Kingsley Coman represent Bayern Munich on the pitch, but even for the impartial observer, it was a marvel.

Argentina’s first half was sensational, but France’s ability to pull itself off of the canvas in regulation and in extra time was nothing short of incredible. We were witness to otherworldly performances from both Argentina’s Lionel Messi and France’s Kylian Mbappé — one of the few times that a true heavyweight battle between two superstars lived up to its billing.

The flip side of this is that each team was a bit unlikable. Argentina was obnoxious throughout the tournament and France is, well, France. Regardless, watching the match made the viewer — even the most casual of fans — put aside any ill thoughts about any individual players or the teams themselves. It was one of the few sporting events that provided high quality, drama, superstars, and an amazing punch-counterpunch back-and-forth that kept the audience enthralled for the entirety of the game.

Yup, that was an amazing performance, the likes of which we might never see again. The game was just that good.

And yeah, it did come with a tinge of sadness when — if you are a Germany fan — you thought about how far away from looking like that Die Mannschaft is. There will be plenty of time for lamenting that, though. Now, it is just time to appreciate what we all just witnessed and file that memory away for the next time we are watching Schalke 04 slog out a 1-1 draw with VfL Bochum.

The World Cup finale was truly football, the way it was meant to be played.

Madrid, United, NUFC lead the way on Gakpo (

Real Madrid, Manchester United, and Newcastle United are among the top contenders for PSV Eindhoven winger Cody Gakpo, who was one of the breakout stars of the World Cup:

Manchester United have been tipped to launch a bid worth €50m for PSV Eindhoven star Cody Gakpo once the January transfer window opens. However, Real Madrid and Newcastle are now also rumoured to be showing interest in the Dutchman following his impressive performances at the World Cup.

Bayern Munich appears to be “out” on Gakpo, which is a good thing. The last thing Julian Nagelsmann is another winger on his roster. Nagelsmann will have enough trouble trying to find playing time for the wingers that he already has.

Bavarian Podcast Works — Weekend Warm-up Podcast: Season 2, Episode 23 (Bavarian Football Works)

Bayern Munich’s season is unraveling. Germany got booted early from the World Cup. Argentina and France are set to duke it out in the World Cup finale.

Things have clearly not been coming up BFW lately, but here we are — still grinding away.

With so much going on, you know there is a ton to talk about, so let’s get to it. This is what we have on tap for this week’s episode:

  • Germany’s task force/advisory council and what impact can they really make?
  • The crazy transfer rumors we heard this week: Konrad Laimer’s potential positions? Marcel Sabitzer out? Marcus Rashford over Harry Kane?
  • A look at Manuel Neuer’s injury, what it means for Bayern Munich, and why replacing him has become such a debacle. Alexander Nübel, Dominik Livaković, Yann Sommer, and Keylor Navas all have been mentioned as solutions.
  • Babbling about the backline: Injury clauses in a contract proposal to Lucas Hernandez? Benjamin Pavard is definitely out, but the coaches want to keep him, and MORE!
  • Why the second half of this season will be Julian Nagelsmann’s biggest test as a coach.

Getting Gvardiol won’t be easy for anyone (Sport1)

Bayern Munich was recently among the clubs reportedly eyeing RB Leipzig defender Joško Gvardiol. Gvardiol, of course, was having a splendid World Cup for Croatia until he became one of the latest victims of Lionel Messi.

For any club not steered away from Gvardiol after Messi gave him fits, acquiring the 20-year-old will not be cheap. His release clause is allegedly €112 million — and won’t kick in until 2024:

If Josko Gvardiol leaves Bundesliga club RB Leipzig before his contract expires, he could become the most expensive defender in the world. The Croatian defensive giant finally played his way into the limelight at the World Cup in Qatar. Various top clubs have already been linked to the 20-year-old, who is tied to RB until 2027.

Chelsea FC, Real Madrid, Manchester United, Manchester City, and Paris Saint-Germain are the most recent clubs to be linked to Gvardiol:

Chelsea FC is always traded as a candidate, but Real Madrid, Manchester United, City and PSG are also said to be very interested. As the Bild newspaper now reports, there is no fixed transfer fee for Gvardiol next summer. Unlike the following year, in 2024 the defensive man should be available for 112 million euros. So far, Leipzig has shown no interest in letting the gifted player leave early.

Kvaratskhelia is another difficult transfer target (

Napoli’s 21-year-old sensation Khvicha Kvaratskhelia was another player linked to Bayern Munich at one point, but now it appears as if Newcastle United is most interested in the Georgian, who is also going to be very difficult to pry away from his club:

Newcastle United are among several clubs with an interest in Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, but Napoli are not interested in selling for anywhere near a recently touted price of £50m, 90min understands. The 21-year-old has enjoyed a superb debut campaign at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona, already registering eight goals and ten assists in all competitions since signing from Dinamo Batumi.

90min reported earlier this week that the Serie A side are intent on keeping the Georgian winger for at least one more season and are confident of agreeing terms on a bumper new contract. Kvaratskhelia has been linked with a move to Newcastle by the English press in recent days, but sources have told 90min that Napoli’s stance remains unchanged.

Schlotterbeck to Bochum? (kicker)

SC Freiburg defender Keven Schlotterbeck could be on his way to VfL Bochum:

Keven Schlotterbeck would like to leave SC Freiburg in winter. “He didn’t play much, you can understand that,” says SC coach Christian Streich. “If we find a good solution, we’ll do it.” Loan or sale are possible. The 25-year-old defender wants to stay in the league - one track leads to VfL Bochum.

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