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Daily Schmankerl: Manchester City eyeing FC Barcelona star over Alphonso Davies?; Liverpool could have lead in pursuit of Bayern Munich’s Joshua Kimmich; Bayern re-thinking management of loanees; Khvicha Kvaratskhelia eyeing Real Madrid move?; + MORE!

Definitely missing the Bayern Munich match this weekend...

FC Bayern München v F.C. Copenhagen: Group A - UEFA Champions League 2023/24 Photo by Sebastian Widmann/Getty Images

City could have cheaper alternative to Davies...from Barca (Esteemed Kompany)

Manchester City is rumored to have interest in Bayern Munich left-back Alphonso Davies, but Pep Guardiola’s club could have a less expensive option from FC Barcelona — Alejandro Balde:

Is a left-back in Manchester City’s future transfer plans? After Fabrizio Romano reported via his exclusive Kick channel that the European champions sent scouts to watch Alphonso Davies recently, reports have surfaced of the treble winners having an interest in Barcelona full-back Alejandro Balde.

Spanish publication Fichajes has reported that Manchester City are monitoring Balde. They further report that Bayern Munich and Chelsea have an interest in the full-back. Furthermore, they add that Barcelona have attempted to negotiate a new contract for the young defender, but are pessimistic of a new deal being agreed. They also add that Balde’s agent Jorge Mendes is handling the youngster’s contract negotiations.

Even if this is true (surely, City does not have to worry about money), eliminating the Citizens would only take one potential landing spot off of Davies’ list. Real Madrid is rumored to be the favorite to land the Canadian star.

More noise on Kimmich-to-LFC (Anfield Watch)

The whispers are getting louder regarding a potential transfer away from Bayern Munich for Joshua Kimmich.

Manchester City, Liverpool FC, Real Madrid, and FC Barcelona have all been loosely linked to the Germany international, but Liverpool boss Jürgen Klopp is “massive fan” of Kimmich and could be very influential in convincing the 28-year-old to make a move to England:

Liverpool want an elite defensive midfielder, while Klopp is also a massive fan of versatile players. Kimmich fits the bill - in fact, it would be quite shocking if the Reds didn’t try and get involved in any transfer race.

If Kimmich does want a move, it will happen next year. There’s little to no chance that Bayern would let him run his contract down and leave on a free in 2025. He could well be available at a reduced price - though, that could change if enough major clubs want him.

Bayern’s new approach to loanees should help (Sport1’s Kerry Hau via @iMiaSanMia)

Bayern Munich wants to give a little extra care to the young players it has loaned out across Europe, so sporting director Christoph Freund brought in Richard Kitzbichler to help the club’s development plans:

Several Bayern youngsters are currently on loan abroad to gain match practice in professional football that they cannot get with the first team due to the high level of competition. And this is exactly where Freund and his new concept come into play. Freund hired Richard Kitzbichler in the newly created position of “talent development coordinator”, who’ll take care of the players out on loan, a task that had been ignored for a long time.

Kitzbichler is in close contact with the agents and families of youngsters such as Paul Wanner, Malik Tillman or Arijon Ibrahimović, asks about them and gives feedback. Freund himself is also available to offer advice and support.

In general, you can feel there is more and more movement in terms of youth work at FC Bayern. Freund is determined to bring to life President Herbert Hainer’s clearly formulated demand at the annual general meeting that “more players made by FC Bayern” are needed again.

Bavarian Podcast Works: Weekend Warm-up Podcast Season 3, Episode 21 (Bavarian Football Works)

It has been a bit of a crazy week for Bayern Munich.

There was a boring win, followed by a more boring draw, but there was a whole of news in between, so in short, we have plenty to discuss.

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

  • Why is Bayern Munich struggling right now. Is it Thomas Tuchel’s fault? Are the players underperforming? Is the squad flawed? Maybe...maybe not, but there is some reason to think it is bound to look better soon.
  • Does this version of Bayern Munich have a poor mentality?
  • Bayern Munich has been closely linked to Bayer Leverkusen ace Florian Wirtz and could be the leader in the clubhouse to land the star....but does it make sense? Is he worth it? Let’s discuss.

Kvaratskhelia has Madrid on his mind (90Min.com)

Napoli’s Khvicha Kvaratskhelia is one of the most sought after talents in Europe, but he already might know where he wants to go — Real Madrid.

At least that is what his own dad is insinuating:

The father of Napoli winger Khvicha Kvaratskhelia has claimed his son dreams of a move to Real Madrid in the future. Kvaratskhelia has been a revelation since joining Napoli in the summer of 2022, racking up 18 goals and 22 assists in 60 games and attracting interest from most of Europe’s elite.

Premier League giants Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United and Newcastle United all recently sent scouts to watch Kvaratskhelia in action during the international break, but the English group have all been handed a blow as the winger’s father believes his preference is to join Madrid.

“For Khvicha, playing against Real Madrid was special,” his father Badri told Geo Team after Napoli’s 4-2 defeat to the Spanish side in midweek.

“He has always dreamed and I am convinced that he still dreams of playing for Real Madrid. In my family, everyone is a fan of Los Blancos - except for me. For this reason it was a very special match.”

ICYMI: Stanišić shows talent vs. BK Häcken (@WhoScored via @iMiaSanMia)

Bayern Munich loanee and Bayer Leverkusen defender Josip Stanišić had himself a day against BK Häcken. Die Werkself picked up a 2-0 win and Stanišić was the star per WhoScored:

Podolski says Gnabry’s tenure with Gunners was just unlucky (Daily Mirror)

When Lukas Podolski thinks about Serge Gnabry’s ill-fated time with Arsenal, he thinks it was all of matter of not being in the right place at the right time.

“He was unlucky and had a few injuries. He did well in training,” Podolski told FourFourTwo magazine. “Off the pitch we spent a lot of time together, going for dinner. But sometimes football is like that, or you find a manager who gives you more confidence. Serge can shoot with both feet, and he is powerful and quick – a bit like me, only I don’t have a right foot like him! I’m really pleased that he’s doing well at Bayern.”

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

Bayern Munich and FC Copenhagen battled to a 0-0 draw in the Champions League in a game that no one really seemed to put much effort into.

For the second consecutive match, Bayern Munich did not have too much pep in its step. The Bavarians had trouble getting going offensively against the compact and conservative approach from the Danish side.

It would have been nice to Bayern Munich find a way to breakthrough FC Copenhagen. but it was not meant to be on this day. Let’s just get down to it...this is what we have on tap for this podcast:

  • A look at the starting XI and what Tuchel did differently in this match.
  • A rundown of the scoring, err, substitutions — what did you think about the non-handball call?
  • Some thoughts on why the game was sooooo boring and a reminder that Manuel Neuer is the best in the business.
  • Where does Bayern Munich from here?

If you missed our Initial Analysis, Match Awards, Observations, and/or Postgame Podcast, give them a look and/or a listen:

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