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Daily Schmankerl: Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski wants to join FC Barcelona?; Chelsea’s Antonio Rüdiger too old for Bayern?; Atletico Madrid closing in on Boubacar Kamara; Barca, Liverpool battle for Raphinha; Hulk ref?; and MORE!

Is FC Barcelona about to go all in on Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski?

FC Bayern München v 1. FC Union Berlin - Bundesliga Photo by Stefan Matzke - sampics/Corbis via Getty Images

Lewy eyeing Barca move? (Forbes)

In a report from Sport that was captured by Forbes, the word is that Bayern Munich superstar Robert Lewandowski is ready to make the move to FC Barcelona:

Robert Lewandowski wishes to join FC Barcelona, who have an offer ready for the striker according to reports. The reigning two-time FIFA The Best winner is a free man in June 2023, which perhaps forces his current club Bayern Munich to offload him before next season so as not to lose their second all-time top scorer on a free transfer.

According to Sport, Barca will offer the Poland international a four-year contract until 2026 as they believe that the model professional can still perform at the top level despite already being aged 33.

Barca don’t think that reaching an agreement with the Ballon d’Or hopeful will be a problem either given president Joan Laporta’s strong relationship with the player’s agent Pini Zahivi - who has represented Lewandowski since 2018 when he left the man that took him to German football, Cezary Kucharski, in 2010.

Lewandowski’s contract situation and negotiations are allegedly up in the air at this point, but we do know that there is mutual interest in getting a deal done in Bavaria — and also that Bayern Munich CEO Oliver Kahn has recognized that he needs to take a more hands-on approach in dealing with his star players.

There have, however, been some hard feelings built up on Lewandowski’s end that have left him feeling a bit disrespected. How this all plays out when the two sides finally meet remains to be seen.

No country for old men? (@cfbayern)

Jeez...they better take me out back and put me down then!

Per a report from Sport Bild’s Christian Falk, Chelsea FC defender and Germany international Antonio Rüdiger is too old for the Bavarians to heavily invest in at this point.

Rüdiger is 29-years-old.

Anyway, Bayern Munich would need the player to lower his wage demands to make an acquisition more palatable from a risk standpoint, given his geriatric age.

It would seem that the defender probably has four to five productive years left, but his wages are definitely an issue for the cost-conscious Bavarians.

Manchester United might be interested in Rüdiger, though:

Falk, it seems, is all over this one:

Bellingham edges Musiala, Wirtz for NXGN Award (Bundesliga.com)

Borussia Dortmund star Jude Bellingham was honored by Goal with the 2022 NXGN Award. Bellingham was rated the top U-19 player in the world ahead of players like Bayern Munich’s Jamal Musiala and Bayer Leverkusen’s Florian Wirtz:

Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham has topped Goal.com’s list of the best 50 players under the age of 19, claiming the 2022 NXGN award. Bellingham is not the only laudable youngster on the books of a Bundesliga club. Bayer Leverkusen’s Wirtz and Bayern Munich’s Jamal Musiala ranked second and fourth quarter respectively in the NXGN standings, while Dortmund’s Youssoufa Moukoko placed eighth and Augsburg’s Ricardo Pepi 10th.

Borussia Mönchegladbach’s Luca Netz (15th), RB Leipzig-owned duo Ilaix Moriba (17th) and Caden Clark (24th), and VfB Stuttgart’s Wahid Fagir (38th) also made the top 50.

Atleti closing in on Bayern target Kamara (@iMiaSanMia)

Atletico Madrid seems to be closing on rumored Bayern Munich transfer target Boubacar Kamara:

This ref might be able to fight both teams…and win (@GabeHurl)

The referee for the Uruguay-Peru match probably takes zero guff from players:

Bavarian Podcast Works Season 4, Episode 27 (Bavarian Football Works)

The draws are in, and Bayern Munich will face Villarreal in the Champions League quarter-finals, setting up a potential meeting with Liverpool in the semis (if we make it that far). Meanwhile, the club secured a solid 4-0 win over Union Berlin in the weekend, which was a welcome boost for Julian Nagelsmann following consecutive draws in the league. Plenty to talk about, transfer rumors included.

In this episode, Tom and Ineednoname discuss:

  • What has been working and not working for Julian Nagelsmann in recent weeks?
  • Is the back-three system on its way out at Bayern?
  • Why Alphonso Davies is the most crucial element of Bayern Munich’s Champions League campaign.
  • Does Leon Goretzka immediately return to the team setup after his injury?
  • Which Bayern midfield would Tom field against Liverpool?
  • Talking about potential transfers — Matthias Ginter, Ryan Gravenberch, Mazraoui and the Raiola connection, Djed Spence, Pedro Porro, and more.
  • Why Julian Nagelsmann should’ve given more chances to guys like Tanguy Nianzou and Omar Richards.
  • Closing thoughts with the national team, how we want to see Germany line up with possibly David Raum added to XI and a strike partnership between Thomas Muller and Kai Havertz.

Brekalo to Italy permanently? (Transfer Market Web)

It looks like Torino is going to exercise its purchase option on Wolfsburg loanee Josip Brekalo:

Torino are ready to redeem Josip Brekalo from Wolfsburg. The Croatian arrived in Turin on loan with the right to buy back within the 30 March of the German club, which they will now exercise. As stated on La Gazzetta dello Sport, after the redemption Brekalo will sign a 4-year contract with Torino FC.

Raphinha wants Barca move (Football 365)

Leeds United star Raphinha is reportedly pondering offers from Liverpool, Bayern Munich, and FC Barcelona:

It now seems increasingly likely that he will leave this summer after reports claimed that he recently rejected a new contract over the size of his release clause. There are an increasing number of clubs interested in buying Raphinha with his current release clause dropping to around £25m if Leeds were to be relegated from the Premier League. And now Sport (via Sport Witness) claim that Liverpool, Barcelona and Bayern Munich have all submitted their first offers to sign Raphinha.

It is claimed that Liverpool ‘need to hurry’ if they want to get to the front of the queue for the Brazil international with Barcelona currently ‘ahead of Liverpool and Bayern’.

Barcelona have ‘decided to play their cards to try to close the operation’ before Liverpool and Bayern Munich ‘enter with everything’ after their initial offers.

Sport adds that Raphinha has ‘already seen the project that Xavi is building, as more attractive than the one that Liverpool or Bayern can offer him’.

There is some doubt as to whether or not Bayern Munich is still pursuing Raphinha. It seems like the price would be prohibitive for the Bavarians, leaving Barca and Liverpool as more realistic options.