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Daily Schmankerl: FC Barcelona and Bayern Munich both reluctant to swap talent for Robert Lewandowski; Liverpool waiting on Serge Gnabry; What would Konrad Laimer-to-Bayern look like?; Filip Kostic to Inter Milan?; and MORE!

Bayern Munich seems determined to hang on to Robert Lewandowski.

FC Bayern Muenchen v RB Leipzig - Bundesliga Photo by Boris Streubel/Getty Images

Barca not keen on swap proposal for Lewy (Barca Universal)

FC Barcelona might be hot for Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski, but maybe not hot enough to consider a swap deal involving midfield phenom Gavi:

And, SPORT is now reporting that Bayern Munich would be reluctant to accept any Barça player as part of the deal in an attempt from the Catalans to reduce the asking price for Lewandowski.

The report claims that the Bavarian giants feel that the wage structure at Barça is ‘crazy’ and that some of the players are way too overpaid by the club, which they cannot afford due to their more disciplined and stringent wage structure.

However, the only player that Bayern are interested in is midfield prodigy Gavi. The 17-year-old’s breakthrough season at Camp Nou has attracted a lot of eyeballs from across Europe, with Die Roten among his admirers.

However, Gavi is not for sale and Barcelona are working on tying the Spanish international down to a long-term contract. So, the possibility of the La Masia graduate being a part of the Lewandowski deal is not on the table.

Another Barcelona player that Bayern held an interest in was Sergino Dest. While the USMNT star could be allowed to leave, the Bavarian giants are unlikely to accept him either, as they are closing in on the capture of Noussair Mazraoui from AFC Ajax.

With Mazraoui considered to be a done deal, it is doubtful Bayern Munich would still hold much value in picking up Dest.

Also, there is spicy nugget from Sport (as captured by @iMiaSanMia):

Meanwhile, Sport Bild’s Christian Falk says that Bayern Munich will, indeed, consider selling Lewandowski for €40 million if the Poland international does not sign a contract extension this summer:

LFC given boost on Gnabry pursuit? (Caught Offside)

Liverpool could be lying in wait to pounce on Serge Gnabry if Bayern Munich cannot lock down the Germany international:

Liverpool has been handed a major boost in their pursuit of Bayern Munich attacker Serge Gnabry. That’s according to a recent report from kicker, who claims the former Arsenal winger is struggling to agree a contract extension with his current employers.

Although former goalkeeper and CEO Oliver Kahn recently revealed the Bavarians are in talks to extend Gnabry’s stay at the Allianz Arena, a decision is not expected yet.

A look at Laimer (@cfbayern)

With the recent news that Bayern Munich could reignite it’s pursuit of Austrian midfielder Konrad Laimer, it is probably fair to look at what that means:

It is no secret that Nagelsmann likes — and wants — Laimer, but where does he fit? Here are some options:

  • The third wheel in a two-man central midfield: For most, Laimer would be insurance for injuries to Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka. If Bayern Munich waits until Laimer is available on a free transfer in 2023, the move would make financial sense and would help the squad’s depth...but would Laimer want to be a substitute? That role has certainly not worked out for his ex-teammate, Marcel Sabitzer.
  • A replacement for Goretzka: One of the more physically dominant central midfielders in the world, Goretzka has the size, strength, and speed to play as a box-to-box threat. Unfortunately, Goretzka is starting to earn the title no one wants: “oft injured.” Benching Goretzka for Laimer would allow Kimmich push up higher and play a more offensive role as well.
  • A replace for (gasp!) Kimmich: Okay, Kimmich is one of the least likely players to take a seat from the starting XI, but let’s just play the game. Laimer is known for his tackling and ball-winning skills, something that Kimmich does well, but maybe not at the level of Laimer. While he has been excellent throughout his career for Bayern Munich, Kimmich has struggled this season and not looked the same. Why, though? Is he not fully recovered from a bout with COVID-19? Is he worn down from a crazy desire to stay on the field and never — and we mean never — come off? Whatever the case, Kimmich has not been the same and maybe the front office is worried about his form moving forward?

It is hard for me to fathom why Laimer would want to move to Bayern Munich and take on a reserve role. I do, however, see why the club is toying with the idea of bringing in a defensive-minded presence in the midfield to help cover for injuries and provide a better option than what Marc Roca was able to show over the past two seasons.

Bavarian Podcast Works: Preview Show — Bayern Munich vs. Borussia Dortmund in Der Klassiker (Bavarian Football Works)

It is almost as if the Bundesliga scripted the season to reach this point: Bayern Munich vs. Borussia Dortmund at the Allianz Arena. Should the Bavarians win, they’ll wrap up a 10th consecutive league crown.

Even with a draw, Bayern Munich would be in a prime spot to win the league barring a blockbuster collapse given that Dortmund would need to win the rest of the matches, hope for the Bavarians to lose the rest of their matches — and make up a pretty massive goal differential in the process.

This is what we have on tap for this episode:

  • A look at where each club resides in the the table (Hint: The top).
  • A glance at the form and recent storylines surrounding each team.
  • A guess at Julian Nagelsmann’s lineup.
  • A prediction on the match.

As always, we love your feedback and appreciate all the support!

Union fans take a stand (@ultras_ger)

Union Berlin might have dropped its DFB-Pokal semifinal against RB Leipzig, but the club’s fans took a hardline stance against the Red Bull organization to start the match:

Kostic moving to Inter? (@Plettigoal)

Serially-underrated Eintracht Frankfurt winger Filip Kostic could be on the move this summer:

Inter Milan fans will be delighted if this move happens. For Eintracht Frankfurt, it would be a tough blow to absorb.

Özil to LAFC? (Sky)

Mesut Özil wants to stay at Fenerbahce, but LAFC could be an option for the former Germany international:

What’s next for Mesut Özil? The ex-international has been with Fenerbahce since winter 2021 but was recently left out of the squad. According to ex-pro Ridvan Dilmen, the 33-year-old still wants to stay at Fenerbahce. His contract in Istanbul runs until 2024.

But allegedly there are also inquiries from the MLS: “I know of an interest from Los Angeles. I’ve already seen a written message about this,” reports Dilmen on the Turkish TV station TRT . The 59-year-old is considered a close confidant of the 2014 world champion. The Özil prospect for the American metropolis is not LA Galaxy, but city rivals Los Angeles FC.

Lukaku playing for Chelsea career? (Sky)

Romelu Lukaku could have to pack his bags if he cannot sort himself out in the next few weeks:

Romelu Lukaku’s Chelsea future is in the balance and he could have just six weeks to save his career, according to former Blues midfielder Joe Cole. Lukaku, who became Chelsea’s record signing when he returned to Stamford Bridge this season, missed a golden opportunity to end his goal duck in Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final win over Crystal Palace.

And Cole said the Belgium international is running out of time in west London, telling ITV Sport: “Lukaku has six weeks to save his Chelsea career. Lukaku wants to be that focal point but he missed a chance. When it’s not going for you, it’s not going for you. People saw Lukaku as the missing piece of the jigsaw. It didn’t happen but it can come back as quickly as it goes. Football can change in one game.”