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Daily Schmankerl: Manchester United honing in on Bayern Munich transfer target Konrad Laimer; Chelsea still eyeing Man City’s Raheem Sterling; More disbelief over Sadio Mane’s move; #TimoTime in LA?; Real Madrid pursuing Erling Haaland in 2024; and MORE!

Konrad Laimer is a wanted man.

RB Leipzig - Olympique Marseille Photo by Sebastian Kahnert/picture alliance via Getty Images

United to challenge Bayern on Laimer? (The Hard Tackle)

Manchester United could be lining up a serious proposal to challenge Bayern Munich on RB Leipzig defensive midfielder Konrad Laimer:

Manchester United are set to be rivalled by Bayern Munich for the signing of RB Leipzig midfielder Konrad Laimer. According to journalist Rudy Galetti, Manchester United are not ready to give up on the chase of RB Leipzig midfielder Konrad Laimer as Bayern Munich push for a move as well. The Austrian international has a €25 million price tag, which should not be a problem for either of the interested clubs.

Ralf Rangnick, who managed Manchester United on an interim basis, suggested Laimer’s name to the club’s board, who are now eager to complete a move for the 25-year-old. The Red Devils need reinforcements in the midfield, having lost both Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba this summer. A sure-shot starter since the 2019/20 season, the midfielder is known for his versatility and is well-versed with the high-pressing system as well, and could be a good fit into Erik ten Hag’s side at Old Trafford.

However, Bayern Munich are also said to be showing interest in the Austria international, who has just one year left on his contract with Leipzig. The Bavarian giants lost Marc Roca and Corentin Tolisso this summer, while Marcel Sabitzer could be sold as well. So even though they have signed Ryan Gravenberch, another midfielder would be welcome, making Laimer a viable target. However, as per Rudy Galetti, RB Leipzig would rather sell Laimer to a foreign club, which puts Manchester United in the pole position for his signature.

According to Abendzeitung, Bayern Munich is still pursuing Laimer — largely at the behest of manager Julian Nagelsmann:

Konrad Laimer continues to be heavily courted by FC Bayern officials. However, groundbreaking talks are still pending because the midfielder from league rival RB Leipzig traveled directly after the Cup victory to the Austrian national team and from there on vacation. As transfer insider Fabrizio Romano reports, Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann is pushing for a commitment of the 25-year-old.

This is despite the fact that the starting position is not necessarily in favor of the Munich team: firstly, the Leipzigers probably do not yet have a concrete offer for Laimer, and secondly, according to information from “kicker,” the player himself has not yet approached the RB management with the desire for an immediate transfer. However, Laimer has rejected an initial offer to extend his contract, which expires on June 30, 2023.

Chelsea getting close with Sterling? (Sport1)

Chelsea FC is reportedly getting serious about Manchester City star Raheem Sterling:

According to transfer insider Gianluca DiMarzio, Chelsea are close to signing City striker Raheem Sterling. The transfer fee should be relatively low at 40 million euros. After all, the market value of the 27-year-old is 70 million euros, but his working paper expires next year.

However, the blues are obviously not unrivalled. Real Madrid should also be on the Englishman’s turn. In Madrid, he could join the offensive squad alongside Karim Benzema and Vinícius Júnior. Sterling has been playing for the Sky Blues since 2015. With 131 goals from 339 games, the 27-year-old earned legendary status with the Citizens.

ICYMI: Bavarian Podcast Works: Weekend Warm-up Podcast Season 1, Episode 54 (Bavarian Football Works)

There is a lot of moving and shaking these days Bayern Munich and we’re covering it all here at BFW. This week, though, some of the biggest pieces of news were not necessarily always revolving around transfers. Take a look at the big topics we have on tap for this episode:

  • A deep dive into the relationship between Joshua Kimmich and Julian Nagelsmann.
  • A look at Leroy Sane’s extended slump and why 2022/23 might not be so kind to the sometimes dazzling attacker.
  • The latest transfer reports on Robert Lewandowski, Sadio Mane, and Serge Gnabry.
  • Ryan Gravenberch’s arrival at Bayern Munich.
  • Some sad news on some of our favorite prospects.

Leeds to use Roca in a double-pivot? (Sports Mole)

Leeds United now has Marc Roca, but how will the club use him? Speculation is that Roca will be a part of a double-pivot in a 4-2-3-1:

Spanish midfielder Marc Roca then completed his move to West Yorkshire from German giants Bayern Munich on Friday, taking Leeds’ total spending to a figure in the region of £45m. Further additions are set to be made by Marsch, although star players Raphinha and Kalvin Phillips could be heading for the exit door amid links with a number of top European clubs.

Here, Sports Mole takes a look at how Leeds could line up next season with Aaronson, Kristensen and Roca in their first XI, along with the current group of players at the club. When Jesse Marsch took over from Marcelo Bielsa in February, the American began his reign with a 4-2-2-2 formation – a system he used frequently during his time with Salzburg – but towards the end of the campaign he switched to a 4-2-3-1 formation, which could be used again on a regular basis in the new season.

Some reports in the media have suggested that Roca – a left-footed deep-lying playmaker – has been signed as a replacement for Phillips, but as things stand both players could play together in Marsch’s midfield. Mateusz Klich and Adam Forshaw, however, will battle for a place in centre-midfield if Phillips does decide to seek pastures new.

McCoist also thinks Mane took the easy way out (Liverpool World)

Former Rangers star Ally McCoist is perplexed as to why Sadio Mane is leaving Liverpool in favor of Bayern Munich:

“It seems clear Sadio Mane has his heart set on a move to Bayern Munich but I can’t for the life of me see why. The grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence and there are no guarantees that he will be as successful in Germany as he has been with Liverpool,” McCoist said (as captured by Liverpool World). “Since his arrival from Southampton six years ago, Liverpool have played a way that suits his game and goals could dry up in a different set-up and a different league. It is a brave move to make if he wants a fresh challenge and is backing himself to make a success of it. His relationship with Klopp and the club has been so good that the club will have known about this for a while and they will have been planning to recover and renew up front.”

ICYMI: Bavarian Podcast Works Flagship Show — Season 4, Episode 35 (Bavarian Football Works)

We’ve reached a point where there’s a bit of a lull in competitive matches for both club and international football, but there’s been plenty of news to follow in terms of Bayern Munich’s activity in the transfer market. They’ve already secured the signing of both Noussair Mazraoui and Ryan Gravenberch from AFC Ajax while Sadio Mane’s move from Liverpool is a done deal pending his medical later on this week. The trio of players have certainly been positive additions to Julian Nagelsmann’s squad, though we still don’t know what the near-term futures hold for both Robert Lewandowski and Serge Gnabry.

Germany also had a slew (four to be exact) of UEFA Nations League matches that gave Hansi Flick a chance to make some adjustments to his squad and get a good look at some players that he hasn’t had the chance to do so for in recent international breaks. They finished their slate of matches with a draw to Italy, a draw with England, a draw with Hungary and then an emphatic win over Italy to close out that round of fixtures.

In this episode of Bavarian Podcast Works, Tom and Teddy discuss:

  • The arrival of Noussair Mazraoui
  • The arrival of Ryan Gravenberch
  • The anticipated arrival of Sadio Mane
  • How the three signings will fit into Nagelsmann’s systems
  • How often we think the signings will play
  • Bayern’s added depth
  • Germany’s results in the Nations League matches
  • Germany’s future Nations League matches in September ahead of the World Cup

Madrid to pursue Haaland in 2024? (Sport1)

Real Madrid has a long-term plan in mind to get Manchester City striker and former Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland:

Not so long ago it was considered possible that Real Madrid could bring in two world stars this summer. We’re talking about Kylian Mbappé and Erling Haaland. While the former unexpectedly extended at Paris Saint-Germain, the other went to Manchester City. The royals got nothing - at least for the time being.

Because, as reported by As in Spain, Haaland is still on Real’s list. The Madrilenians can imagine getting the Norwegian in 2024 if a certain exit clause applies. According to As information, this is 150 million euros in that year. Such a strategy would make sense in that Real President Florentino Pérez recently stated that Haaland would only have been on the bench at the moment anyway.

The reason: striker Karim Benzema is in outstanding form, probably better than ever in his career. But the Frenchman is already 34 years old and will be 35 this year. He won’t be able to play at world-class level forever either. Haaland would then be the ideal successor for Real. According to As , Real is said to have asked the 21-year-old to wait another season until 2023 before his move. But Haaland really wanted to change - especially since the late advisor Mino Raiola was no longer able to intervene. This is said to have sought a real change. After his death, however, Haaland and his father quickly decided to move to Manchester. The future will show whether the outgoing BVB star wants to correct his decision in 2024.

Werner in LA...is he staying at Leroy Sane’s place? (@dw_sports)

Timo Werner is in California...I am heading to California (probably as you read this)...could there be a secret meeting in the works? People are asking...(not sure who, but somewhere, someone is asking):

Check out who ol’ Timo is hanging out with Los Angeles (Hint: It’s Konrad Laimer — yes, that same guy from the first note of this Schmankerl):

Seriously, I wonder how many people recognized them?

ICYMI: Bavarian Podcast Works: Postgame Show — Germany 5-2 Italy (Bavarian Football Works)

For anyone fretting Germany’s recent performances, former Bayern Munich boss Hansi Flick had quite a way to make people feel a little bit more assured.

Germany smacked Italy 5-2 in a match that really was not even that close.

Die Mannschaft was dominant from the outset and never let up. Here is what we have on tap for this episode:

  • A look at how the scoring went down.
  • What looked different in this match for Germany as compared to some previous games.
  • The offensive explosion fueled by Timo Werner, Thomas Müller, and others.
  • A good showing from the squad’s outside backs.
  • Why Leroy Sane needs to catch a break of some sort to get back in gear.