Barca aiming high with sights set on Lewandowski, Haaland (Forbes)
FC Barcelona’s pecking order for its next striker has cleared up and this is what the Catalans have going:
- Plan A: Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland
- Plan B: Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski
- Plan C: Real Sociedad’s Alexander Isak (22), Inter Milan’s Lautaro Martinez, Red Bull Salzburg’s Karim Adeyemi.
FC Barcelona is clearly aiming high:
FC Barcelona will go all in for Erling Haaland this summer and pull out all the stops to land a striker that could form part of club history for the next decade or so. While in Norway figures such as Jan Aage Fjortoft put the youngster closer to a move to Manchester City, where his father Alf-Inge once played in the Premier League, the Catalan media insist that Haaland has been “seduced” by Barca following a Munich meeting with first team coach Xavi Hernandez last week.
In any event, Barca need a Plan B in case the 21-year-old does indeed choose the Etihad or elsewhere as his next destination after Borussia Dortmund and they cannot pull off the $340mn coup. According to Sport on Friday, the Catalans’ search will stay in Germany and head over to Bavaria where back-to-back winner of FIFA’s The Best award Robert Lewandowski is a free man next year.
While the Blaugrana would of course have to wait until the summer of 2023 to pick up the Pole for nothing, his contractual situation could force current club Bayern Munich to sell him for a cut fee. Despite being arguably the best targetman in the world and in impeccable shape, however, Lewandowski is no spring chicken at 33 and would be just a stop gap for a season or two.
Unfortunately for Bayern Munich, the longer Lewandowski goes without at least having discussions with the club, the more these kinds of stories will crop up. We might not see 2018 levels of nonsense, but it is already starting to heat up.
As for Haaland, the Daily Mail is reporting that the Norwegian star is headed to Manchester City:
Manchester City have a deal in place to land the blockbuster signing of Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund this summer.
Sources in Germany close to the move have told Sportsmail they now expect the 21-year-old to choose a switch to the Etihad Stadium. They say personal terms have been discussed and the framework of the transfer is ready to be signed off by City chiefs.
Haaland has a £63million release clause in his Dortmund contract, while the player’s agent, Mino Raiola, is also set to earn a substantial payment. Those fees, plus a signing-on bonus, are likely to take the total outlay towards £100m.
Klopp wants Bellingham (Sky)
Liverpool Jurgen Klopp reportedly has his eye on Borussia Dortmund star Jude Bellingham:
Jurgen Klopp believes Jude Bellingham will soon become the best midfielder in the world and has told close friends and contacts that he wants the Borussia Dortmund teenager at Liverpool.
Bellingham will extremely tough to pry away from Dortmund, but if anyone can coax that situation into happening, it might be Klopp.
Bavarian Podcast Works: Weekend Warm-up Podcast Season 1, Episode 40 (Bavarian Football Works)
Bayern Munich’s week was filled with craziness. A lackluster effort against Bayer Leverkusen was followed by a thoroughly dominant win over Red Bull Salzburg in the Champions League.
The news for the club followed a similar up-and-down pattern. The word on injuries was great, but the transfer news was...surprising. Here is what we have on tap to discuss this week:
- The bad break that Bayern Munich’s Plan A in the transfer looks like it has failed: Chelsea center-back looks like he’ll sign with FC Barcelona.
- The Plan B options are not necessarily going to excite many fans as Gleison Bremer and Matthias Ginter could be the next men up.
- It seems like Bayern Munich has some squad planning and budget issues that are weighing on the folks at Säbener Straße.
- The tricky situation surrounding Robert Lewandowski.
- Why thew rumored replacements for Lewandowski probably won’t come to fruition.
United could make a play for Dybala (Sky)
Manchester United could be set to make a bid on Juventus star Paulo Dybala, whose name is never not in the transfer rumor mill:
Manchester United have been placed on red alert after it became apparent that Juventus and Paulo Dybala were still some way apart in contract talks, which are reported to be “at crisis point”.
Dybala has been consistently in the rumor mill forever. He is either serially unhappy or just very easy to speculate about.
Olmo not feeling pressure on future (Sport1)
RB Leipzig star Dani Olmo is likely going to leave the club at some point in the near future, but he is not ready to talk about exactly when just yet:
Dani Olmo has opened up about his future at RB Leipzig.
“I’m not in a hurry! I’m very happy here and I still have a contract until 2024. I see no reason to leave this summer and change clubs. I just realized how fast it can go. I’ve had a tough six months and I’m happy to be able to play again. I only concentrate on the games and not on anything else,” the Spaniard told Sport Bild.
His goal is also to be back in the Champions League with RB next year. “I would like to play the Champions League, that’s clear and everyone here feels the same way. We have that goal and I’m sure we’ll achieve it this year.”
Olmo has been linked to Bayern Munich in the past and has a big fan in Bavaria — Julian Nagelsmann. It would seem unlikely, however, that Bayern Munich would add another attacker who will cost a relatively significant amount to obtain.
Bavarian Podcast Works: Preview Show — Bayern Munich vs. Hoffenheim (Bavarian Football Works)
Bayern Munich shook off a disappointing draw with Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga last weekend by throttling Red Bull Salzburg in the Champions League.
Next up is a very good Hoffenheim squad, led by former Bayern Munich II boss Sebastian Hoeneß. Hoffenheim, of course, also features Bayern Munich loanee Chris Richards. The Alabama native is battling a foot injury and probably will not play, but the USMNT defender has made the most of his loan assignment.
Here is what we have on tap for this episode:
- A look at where both teams sit in the Bundesliga table.
- A show of respect for what Hoffenheim has done this season.
- A look at why Bayern Munich might look to sell Richards despite his great progress.
- A somewhat educated guess at how Bayern Munich might align itself this weekend.
- A probably not educated prediction on the match.