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Daily Schmankerl: Manchester United might be getting serious on cost-efficient Bayern Munich star Thomas Müller; Liverpool making its move for Xabi Alonso?; Thomas Tuchel pushing for Raphaël Varane move?; Chelsea scuffling through striker search; + MORE!

Another Champions League week is upon us?

1. FC Köln v FC Bayern München - Bundesliga Photo by Rene Nijhuis/BSR Agency/Getty Images

United could be getting serious pursuit of inexpensive Müller (CaughtOffside)

Bayern Munich star Thomas Müller has been chained to the bench under Thomas Tuchel and Manchester United could be ready to pounce on an inexpensive acquisition:

Bayern Munich forward Thomas Müller is in the final year of his contract with the German club and he will be a free agent at the end of the season. The 34-year-old is yet to sign an extension with the Bundesliga champions and that has led to speculations surrounding his future. According to a report from Bild, Manchester United could look to make a move for the German international if he does not renew his contract with Bayern Munich.

It will be interesting to see if the Red Devils look to sign him on a free transfer at the end of the season. They could make a move in January as well and Muller could be available for a nominal price.

The German international has been a key player for Bayern Munich over the years and he is versatile enough to play in the wide areas as well as a striker. The 34-year-old will add goals and creativity to the Manchester United attack. In addition to that, his winning experience, mentality and leadership qualities could prove to be invaluable as well.

He has won major trophies with club and country and he could prove to be a quality short-term acquisition. Signing a player of his pedigree on a free transfer could prove to be a shrewd investment as well.

The big factor for Müller — in whatever he decides — will likely come down to just how much he wants to upset his personal life at this stage of his career. The 34-year-old — allegedly — does not want to take a pay cut from Bayern Munich, but questions remain on whether or not the club will want to pay upwards of €20 million for a seldom-used backup.

Decisions..decisions...

Pennant says LFC should make play for Alonso (King Casino Bonus)

Former Liverpool FC player Jermaine Pennant thinks the club should pursue Bayer Leverkusen’s Xabo Alonso should take over for Jürgen Klopp when the proper time comes.

“Klopp isn’t leaving anytime soon, but Alonso should be great at Liverpool. He knows the game. We always think that top players make good managers, but we’ve seen plenty of examples to prove that isn’t always the case. Xabi was a master of the game, though, and he has his own style that seems to be working. I don’t think many people would moan if he was touted to be the next Liverpool manager,” former Pennant told King Casino Bonus.

“Liverpool won’t get the big guys like Pep or Carlo Ancelotti, but that’s fine. I think the fans would appreciate someone who’s young and hungry for success. I think Xabi is doing great things in Germany, and he’d bring that attitude to Liverpool. Klopp came from the Bundesliga, and there’s no reason why Xabi can’t replicate that.”

Bavarian Podcast Works — Postgame Show: Bayern Munich 1-0 FC Köln (Bavarian Football Works)

A Friday night tilt after an international break against a desperate opponent could have been disastrous for Bayern Munich, but like they have done so many other times this season, the Bavarians fought through some uneven play on both ends of the pitch to claim a 1-0 victory.

Let’s take a look at what is on tap for this episode:

  • A gander at Thomas Tuchel’s odd starting XI and what that might mean for some of the players who were passed over in favor of Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting.
  • A public service message that you do not need to watch this mess.
  • A rundown of the scoring (LOL) as Harry Kane just keeps producing, even though he sometimes appears to be an afterthought in the attack.
  • Steffen Baumgart will likely get sacked soon, but he has nothing to work with. That said, he had his team prepared and they fought hard. This really just a Billy Goats team that lacks talent.
  • Some final thoughts on Bayern Munich as the team heads into the stretch run of the Hinrunde.

Is Tuchel pushing for Varane move? (The Peoples Person)

Reports are circulating that head coach Thomas Tuchel might be the person pushing to bring Manchester United’s Raphaël Varane to Bayern Munich:

Manchester United’s defence has been in a constant state of flux with manager Erik ten Hag forced to shuffle his deck ahead of every match due to the number of injuries.

The Dutchman has hardly had the luxury of picking his strongest back four this season with last season’s centre-back partnership of Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez both getting injured for separate durations.

The Argentine has recently resumed individual training and the hope is he can be ready to play games in the new year. As for the Frenchman, his constant injuries have meant the manager has not trusted him as much as last season. That is also partly because of the form showcased by replacements like Harry Maguire, Jonny Evans, and Victor Lindelof who have all performed admirably despite the injury crisis.

The former Real Madrid superstar is said to be unhappy with his descent down the centre-back pecking order and is considering a move away in January. FCB Inside have claimed that there are quite a few positives going for the deal including the low price that United have put on the Frenchman:

With Varane, Bayern would get an experienced central defender who knows how to win big titles. At 30, he is also the perfect footballer’s age and he would strengthen the Munich team exactly where they have the greatest need to catch up – sounds like a win-win situation. Another reason why a transfer could be a win for Munich: Varane already knows Dayot Upamecano from the French national team. Varane should also fit in extremely well with coach Thomas Tuchel. The fact that the 2018 world champion is being talked about at Bayern is probably due not least to the FCB coach.

United have reportedly slapped a €20-30 million price on the former France international and Bayern have €75 million to spend and while it could work out in terms of the price, his wages will prove to be a huge stumbling block. Varane earns close to €17 million at United and the Bavarian giants cannot afford that. His poor injury record is another major concern with the player missing 38 games since his arrival in Manchester.

Gundo already wants out of Barca? (Asharq Al-Awsat via 90Min.com)

Germany international İlkay Gündoğan is in his first season with FC Barcelona, but there are some reports that indicate that he might already want to leave:

Ilkay Gundogan is open to his own move to the Middle East just six months after rejecting Saudi Arabia in favour of a move to Barcelona.

It seems very doubtful that Gündoğan would want to leave Catalonia so soon, but who knows how tempting a vault of cash from Saudi Arabia might be to a person.

Bavarian Podcast Works — Weekend Warm-up Podcast: Season 3, Episode 20 (Bavarian Football Works)

What a mess of an international break that was.

Germany is a disaster under Julian Nagelsmann, but at least Bayern Munich is coming back this weekend. Given all of that, there is plenty to talk about, so let’s get to it. Here is what is on tap for this week’s episode:

  • Assessing why Germany is a clown show these days (Hint: The answer is pretty simple).
  • Looking at why Julian Nagelsmann cannot help himself and is proving all of his critics right.
  • Break out the torch, it is time to light some folks up.
  • A preview for Bayern Munich vs. FC Köln.
  • Transfer rumors on Bayern Munich stars Thomas Müller and Leroy Sané.
  • What to be thankful for during this Thanksgiving season.

Chelsea frustrated in striker search (Sky)

Chelsea needs a striker, but is not having much luck in figuring out who can fill that role:

Chelsea may have to wait until next summer to sign a marquee striker for Mauricio Pochettino, according to the Sunday Mirror. Napoli have already made it clear that Victor Osimhen is not for sale in January, despite his interest in a move to Stamford Bridge.

Brentford are also prepared to take the same stance over Ivan Toney, even though the England international is ready to make the next step in his career. Chelsea could therefore be forced to consider alternative names such as Feyenoord’s Santiago Gimenez, Bayer Leverkusen’s Victor Boniface and RB Leipzig’s Benjamin Sesko.

Brighton’s Evan Ferguson is also firmly admired but has just signed a new long-term deal at the Amex, while Lautaro Martinez is set to commit his future to Inter Milan.

Tel happy to be producing after “formative year” (Bundesliga via @iMiaSanMia)

Bayern Munich youngster Mathys Tel did not play on Friday vs. FC Köln, but he credits the success he is having this season to soaking up everything he could during the 2022/23 campaign.

“It was a rewarding season for me because I learned a lot. Munich was new to me, as was the Bundesliga. So it was a year of adaptation. And this year is an opportunity to show what is expected of me. Last year was formative for me, and now I think I’m ready.”

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