Buckle up for this wild ride.
Seriously — or at least per the “Worldwide Leader in Sports”:
Barcelona are searching the market for a defensive midfielder and two full-backs as they step up their planning for next season, sources have told ESPN. Coach Xavi Hernandez wants two players for each position in the squad and feels competition is needed for Oriol Romeu at the base of the midfield.
Barça are also eyeing a full-back for each side of the back four to improve on Sergi Roberto and Marcos Alonso, who are the backups to João Cancelo and Alejandro Balde. However, Barça’s financial position means they have to target players who are either without a club or who are moving into the final years of their contracts.
Sources told ESPN that Joshua Kimmich was also offered to Barça in the summer. The Catalan club could not afford a deal at the time but continue to monitor the Germán midfielder’s situation in the belief Bayern Munich could negotiate a transfer at the end of the campaign with his contract expiring in 2025.
Xavi is a big fan of Kimmich, with Arsenal’s Jorginho, Liverpool’s Thiago Alcantara and Real Betis’ Guido Rodríguez some of the other names on the table.
It would be kind of funny if FC Barcelona brought in both Kimmich and Thiago to compliment Robert Lewandowski, but that seems very unlikely.
And while this report regarding Kimmich actually being “offered” to Barca last summer seems absurd, it is just more noise indicating Kimmich’s status — and happiness — under Thomas Tuchel might be in question.
Kimmich and Tuchel are at odds over who the No. 6 of the team will be moving forward and things could get tense during the January transfer window when the Bavarians are expected to bring in a new midfielder for the role.
Kimmich is also being closely linked to a reunion with Pep Guardiola at Manchester City.
Kingsley Coman earned a spot on WhoScored.com’s Europe’s Top 5 Leagues Team of the Week (don’t kill the messenger):
Europe's Top 5 Leagues Team of the Week pic.twitter.com/eqn5a00J0z— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) October 9, 2023
Eden Hazard’s once great career is over. The Belgian has retired on his own terms:
Eden Hazard announces his retirement from professional football.— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) October 10, 2023
"You must listen to yourself and say stop at the right time."
"After 16 years and more than 700 matches played, I have decided to end my career as a professional footballer."
"I was able to realise my dream,… pic.twitter.com/ko5ZIOsaIo
Eden Hazard announces his retirement from professional football.
“You must listen to yourself and say stop at the right time.”
“After 16 years and more than 700 matches played, I have decided to end my career as a professional footballer.”
“I was able to realise my dream, I have played and had fun on many pitches around the world.”
“During my career I was lucky to meet great managers, coaches and teammates — thank you to everyone for these great times, I will miss you all.”
“I also want to thank the clubs I have played for: LOSC, Chelsea and Real Madrid; and thanks to the RBFA for my Belgian Selection.”
“A special thank you to my family, my friends, my advisors and the people who have been close to me in good times and bad.”
“Finally, a huge thank you to you, my fans, who have followed me for all these years and for your encouragement everywhere I have played.”
“Now is the time to enjoy my loved ones and have new experiences.”
“See you off the field soon my friends.”
Hazard’s career is a great “what if?” One of the most dynamic players in the world during his time at Chelsea FC, Hazard just did not have the commitment to fitness needed to extend his playing life even further, which is sad.
However, Hazard’s career should be celebrated as — during his peak — he was one of the dynamic and devastating players in the game for his generation.
As Bayern Munich heads into another international break, the Bavarians will face a stiff test from SC Freiburg, but also have the opportunity to quiet some of noise surrounding the team.
Thomas Tuchel has the fanbase at each other’s throats and while the team is winning, things are not as pretty as most would like. There are transfer rumors and A LOT to talk about with the squad. So, let’s get to it! Here is what we have on tape for this episode:
- A preview of the Bayern Munich vs. SC Freiburg match where we take a look at the form of each team, the potential starting lineup for Bayern, and give a prediction on the match.
- Discussing the uneasy feeling that Bayern Munich’s wins are covering for a lot of flaws with the team.
- Bayern Munich is not getting the most out of Harry Kane...but why? Let’s talk about it.
- Leroy Sané, Serge Gnabry, Alphonso Davies, Matthijs de Ligt, and Joshua Kimmich are just some of the names that have already been linked with a transfer away for next summer. Asr these just baseless rumors or is there a brewing problem on the squad?
- Addressing those Jerome Boateng rumors.
Chelsea FC is taking a close look at RB Leipzig attacker Lois Openda:
Chelsea are tracking RB Leipzig’s Lois Openda and could make a significant offer in the next few months as they search for a new striker. Openda only joined the Bundesliga side in July.
Victor Osimhen and Napoli appear to beheaded toward “irreconcilable differences” territory and Arsenal FC could be willing to offer Gabriel Jesus to the Italian side to make a deal work:
Calciomercato claims Arsenal could be in the driving seat to sign Napoli striker Victor Osimhen, as they have a player coveted by the Italian club.
Osimhen, 24, looks set to leave Napoli after the club’s social media made fun of him. The Nigeria international has suitors around the world but Arsenal might be best placed as Napoli would want to sign Gabriel Jesus as a replacement.
The report claims Jesus and Osimhen could be involved in a swap deal, plus cash presumably, with Napoli’s valuation of their star man standing at around €150m.
Arsenal have shown little interest in letting Jesus leave, however, so Napoli may turn to Atletico Madrid’s Alvaro Morata or Lille’s Jonathan David instead.
So Bayern Munich beat SC Freiburg, a rather decent team, 3-0 without breaking a sweat. For once, a Thomas Tuchel coached Bayern side have demonstrated a performance that is both dominant and convincing. In the meantime, Julian Nagelsmann announced his first list of call-ups for Germany, with some notable names on the list. Plenty to talk about from the past week.
In this episode, INNN and Schnitzel discuss the following:
- Schnitzel recounts his visit to watch Bayern Munich away at Copenhagen.
- How Thomas Müller made the entire team click versus SC Freiburg.
- Is Leroy Sane the best player in the world right now? INNN and Schnitzel have differing views.
- Why Harry Kane maybe needs to be more selfish.
- Are performances like these enough to keep Thomas Tuchel’s job safe?
- Moving onto the national team — highlights from Nagelsmann’s callups.
- Is Mats Hummels the answer in attack?
- Should Nagelsmann go with a strikerless setup for Germany?
- What kind of lineup can you make with the players Nagelsmann called up?
- How things can go very wrong against the USA and Mexico.
Inter Miami missed the MLS playoffs and Lionel Messi will be out of action until 2024. Knowing that, the Saudis want to bring the Argentine legend in on a loan:
Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund will attempt to lure Inter Miami CF forward Lionel Messi to the Saudi Pro League on loan, suggests Rudy Galetti. Following Inter Miami’s failure to reach the MLS playoffs, Messi will not play for the club between Oct. 21 until late February 2024, leaving the door open for a possible loan deal to be struck.
RB Leipzig believes that it is well-positioned to challenge Bayern Munich’s Bundesliga dominance:
With significant expectation placed upon RB Leipzig on matchday seven, they would fail to walk away with all three points at home to struggling Bochum. Two penalties, a total of 17 shots and 77% possession was not enough for Die Roten Bullen to find the back of the net as they were left frustrated by Thomas Letsch’s side on Saturday afternoon.
Nevertheless, while this was still a massively missed opportunity for Leipzig, they remain just five points behind Bayer Leverkusen – meaning that they are not out of the title picture just yet. This is a belief that is also reverberating around the Leipzig camp as Kevin Kampl would explain after the game:
“The result doesn’t set us back. We don’t have to badmouth anything, we’re really close to each other and we’re in a great mood. The boys are all motivated. And that’s how it has to be. Of course, we would have liked to win the game. We were in a situation that wasn’t entirely easy with a few injuries and a lot of games. We have done well up to this point, both in terms of performances and results, if we exclude the City game.”
One of the names floated as a potential successor to Manuel Neuer at Bayern Munich has been Borussia Dortmund goalkeeper Gregor Kobel. However, the Switzerland international has inked a contract extension with BVB:
⚫️ Gregor #Kobel has extended his contract until 2028 without a release clause or any exit options! Confirmed from all parties involved ✔️— Florian Plettenberg (@Plettigoal) October 9, 2023
Clear commitment from the player to #BVB!
➡️ Price valuation for potential interested clubs in summer 2024: €50-60m - but Kobel has no… pic.twitter.com/uhO5D9XHTR