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Daily Schmankerl: The aftermath of Germany vs. Italy; Serge Gnabry wants move to Real Madrid; Manchester United plotting Frenkie de Jong heist; What other big clubs are eyeing Liverpool’s Sadio Mane; and MORE!

That was...anticlimactic.

Italy v Germany: UEFA Nations League - League Path Group 3 Photo by Emmanuele Ciancaglini/Ciancaphoto Studio/Getty Images

Die Folgen: Germany’s 1-1 draw with Italy (Bavarian Football Works)

Led by its Bayern Munich contingent, Germany skulked out of Bologna with a 1-1 draw against Italy in a match that probably did not rev up the respective fan bases of either side.

Here are some quick hitters on the match:

  • I liked almost all of Hansi Flick’s line-up, but I’m not feeling Thilo Kehrer and Benjamin Henrichs as starters. Give me Hoffenheim’s David Raum and Borussia Mönchengladbach’s Jonas Hofmann in the starting XI...for now.
  • I do think, however, that Antonio Rüdiger and Niklas Süle were a very steady pairing at center-back. Rüdiger has really matured as a player and has developed into a leader on the backline. Earlier in his career, he was nowhere near as consistent or dependable, but he has proven himself.
  • I thought Germany did an excellent job of possessing the ball and created a decent amount of opportunities, but the quality of those chances was not exactly great. The weakest points within the attack were Leroy Sane and Serge Gnabry. Sane still seems to be plagued by whatever funk infected him in the Rückrunde for Bayern Munich. Gnabry, as we know, can be great or just meh depending on the day.
  • I liked how Thomas Müller and Timo Werner played honestly. Ditto for Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka.
  • Just a minute after Jamal Musiala flubbed a potential goal, Italy fired back and took the lead on a goal from Lorenzo Pellegrini. Italy sub Wilfried Gnonto as really the person made the play happen, though.
  • Regarding Musiala, it just feels like he will do some great things during the World Cup as a super-sub.
  • Kimmich knotted the game at 1-1 shortly thereafter. It was a huge swing of momentum for Germany to be able to tie the match at that point.
  • Overall, it was a bit choppy of an effort, but Italy is an awkward opponent, whether it was an A-team or B-team for Roberto Mancini. Admittedly, this wasn’t the kind of effort that permeates hope, but sometimes games just sideways. I think this is one of those cases. I expect more from Germany moving forward.

If you missed our Initial Analysis, Match Awards, or Observations, give them a look:

Mane’s five options if Bayern move falls through (Daily Express)

Liverpool attacker Sadio Mane has been closely linked to Bayern Munich, but if that move should fall through, Jurgen Klopp’s club reportedly has five potential back-up transfer partners to make a deal with:

Bayern are determined to sign Mane this summer but Liverpool have whacked on a valuation of £42.5million. That might be out of the German club’s remit as they rarely make such deals in the transfer window.

The Senegal international’s options could be limited after already telling the Reds that he has no intention to sign a new contract. That would mean he could leave Anfield for nothing next year.

The five options Mane would have include:

Bavarian Podcast Works: Weekend Warm-up Podcast Season 1, Episode 52

Typically when you hit up the Weekend Warm-up Podcast, you will hear some analysis and positivity — but we threw that out the window this week.

It is not time to panic yet, but it is time to wonder if anyone knows what the hell is going on at Bayern Munich these days.

After a crazy week of news, this is what we have on tap:

  • A look at Robert Lewandowski’s verbal cutting of ties to Bayern Munich.
  • Examining the potential move for Sadio Mane.
  • How Serge Gnabry’s rejection of a €19 million offer shows there is something bad brewing at Bayern Munich.
  • Why Julian Nagelsmann’s job is going to be a lot harder in year two.
  • A look at the lack of direction and reactionary action from the Bayern Munich front office.

Gnabry pushing for move to Madrid? (The Hard Tackle)

According to a report from Spain, Bayern Munich star Serge Gnabry would like to move to Real Madrid:

Serge Gnabry has reportedly handed Real Madrid a major boost in his pursuit, with the 26-year-old German international intent on joining Los Blancos.

According to a report by Spanish outlet Fichajes, Serge Gnabry wishes to move to La Liga if he leaves Bayern Munich in the summer transfer window. And the 26-year-old German international is prioritising a move to Real Madrid over his other prospective suitors.

Serge Gnabry has come a long way since struggling to establish himself as a promising young attacker in the Premier League. The former Arsenal attacker has become one of the best forwards in the Bundesliga in the last few years, going from strength to strength at Bayern Munich.

We have heard so much about Gnabry of late, but it does seem like he might stick around for one more season and then bolt — or re-up his deal — on his own terms.

United ready to strike on De Jong? (@FabrizioRomano)

Manchester United looks ready to capitalize on FC Barcelona’s financial problems by getting Frenkie de Jong for a decent deal:

I still can’t buy into those rumors linking De Jong to Bayern Munich. If they were legitimate, it would seem like things would be a lot more serious about involving him in a swap for Robert Lewandowski would be a no-brainer at this point.

We saw that a deal like that could be on the table...but the story died on the vine pretty quickly. De Jong has also been linked to Manchester City as well.

LFC wants Pulisic to succeed Mane (EuroSport)

Liverpool could be thinking about Chelsea FC attacker and USMNT star Christian Pulisic to replace Sadio Mane:

Liverpool have identified Chelsea forward Christian Pulisic as a potential replacement for Sadio Mane, who is expected to leave Anfield this summer. The Senegal international has reportedly announced his desire to leave Liverpool and is linked with a move to Bayern Munich. The Star report that the Reds’ boss Jurgen Klopp is interested in signing Pulisic, who would be open to leave Chelsea in search of first-team football. The west London club are unsure about selling the 23-year-old to a direct rival but accept that he has failed to produce a consistent level of form during his time at the club.

I still would not mind seeing Pulisic at Bayern Munich at some point (runs for cover).

Barca eyeing Lukaku (Sports Mole)

FC Barcelona could be looking at Chelsea FC’s Romelu Lukaku as a contingency plan if they cannot get Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski:

Barcelona may reportedly move for Chelsea forward Romelu Lukaku if they fail to get a deal over the line for Robert Lewandowski. For a number of weeks, speculation has persisted that the Poland international is eager to wrap up a switch to Camp Nou before the start of 2022-23.

The legendary frontman, who has just a year remaining on his contract, has stated on more than one occasion that he wants to depart the Allianz Arena after an eight-year stint. However, negotiations are expected to be complicated, partly due to Barcelona allegedly not being in a position to register the free transfers of Andreas Christensen and Franck Kessie. Furthermore, Bayern officials have insisted that they will not part ways with Lewandowski unless they receive a suitable fee and are able to find a like-for-like replacement.

Gunners urged for quantity over high-priced quality star Gnabry (HITC)

Arsenal FC alumni Ray Parlour thinks the Gunners would be better served spending money on multiple players rather than just Serge Gnabry:

Ray Parlour is a big fan of Bayern Munich star Serge Gnabry but says Premier League giants Arsenal should look elsewhere as they look to strengthen Mikel Arteta’s squad this summer, speaking to talkSPORT.

But Parlour has a point. A rather sobering one at that.

Surely, rather than investing a huge sum in one top-class player, Arsenal would be better served splitting their transfer budget across a number of different positions, with competition required at left-back and defensive midfield.

“He’s a good player. A very, very good player. But there’s other positions that they really need to concentrate on,” says a member of Wenger’s 2004 Invincible squad. “A striker. They’ve got to get another striker. (Alexandre) Lacazette (is going), (Pierre-Emerick) Aubameyang has gone, (Eddie) Nketiah is a player to come off the bench. I wouldn’t say he starts every week, though he might play in the Europa League. Certainly left-back is a bit of a problem, for me. (Kieran) Tierney has had a lot of injuries and they need a bit more cover there. And central midfield. I think they definitely need a ball-player in there. (Thomas) Partey’s had his injury problems as well. So I think those are the three positions they’re looking at.”