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Daily Schmankerl: Former Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski the odd man out at FC Barcelona?; Bayern, Chelsea, Arsenal, Newcastle battle for versatile defender; Bayern options open for midfielder?; Donyell Malen to leave BVB?; & MORE!

What if Robert Lewandowski never left Bayern Munich?

FC Barcelona v Atletico Madrid - LaLiga EA Sports Photo by Jose Breton/Pics Action/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Lewandowski wants to stay at Barca, but time could be ticking (Sport1)

Former Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski has tallied eight goals and four assists in 17 games across all competitions for FC Barcelona this season, which is exceptionally off-pace for the normally high-scoring attacker.

According to recent report, FC Barcelona’s management is getting anxious about the Poland international and now there have been consistent rumors that the club could be looking to unload him by selling him (or via other nefarious methods):

The striker confirmed this impression in the 1-0 win against Rojiblancos - and was harshly criticized by the Spanish press afterwards, as has been the case recently. José Álvarez, Barca expert on the popular football television show El Chiringuito , even claimed: “The club is seriously thinking about selling Lewandowski in the summer.” Several clubs from Saudi Arabia are interested in the 35-year-old.

Do Barca want to get rid of Lewandowski? The rumors surprise the striker, as SPORT1 learned from those around him. Although he is by no means satisfied with himself and his tally of just 8 goals from 17 competitive games in the current season, he would like to stay in Barcelona beyond the summer of 2024 and has not heard anything to the contrary from his employer.

Lewandowski has a contract with FC Barcelona through 2026, which might seem like an eternity if the Catalans are truly unhappy. The Polish Hitman could be be a bit disgruntled, too:

Lewandowski complained and argued more often in recent games — and was even confronted with ego accusations because he refused to shake his young teammate Lamine Yamal’s hand during a game against Deportivo Alavés. However, Lewandowski immediately made it clear: “Something like that happens on the pitch. It’s a normal situation between two players. There is no bad blood or ill intentions between me and Lamine. Everything is OK!”

Lewandowski’s decision to leave Bayern Munich might have — initially — been personally fulfilling, but — from an outside perspective — looks like a total mess. The team has been less than stellar in European competition and Lewandowski’s brand has not exploded like he probably thought it would.

Worse, at 35-years-old, Lewandowski looks like he might have a lost a step or two, which is really hurting his ability to score. Is MLS in his immediate future or will Lewandowski take the money and run to Saudi Arabia?

Diomande getting interest from several clubs (Record via 90Min.com)

Bayern Munich has been linked to Sporting defender Ousmane Diomande, but getting him could prove difficult. Chelsea FC, Newcastle United, and Arsenal FC are also keeping an on the 20

Sporting CP centre-back Ousmane Diomande has attracted interest from Chelsea and Newcastle United, but Arsenal remain favourites to sign the 20-year-old.

Hainer keeping options open for midfield (BildTV via @iMiaSanMia)

Bayern Munich president Herbert Hainer does not hide just how far down the road got with Fulham FC midfielder João Palhinha last summer, but he also offered no guarantees for what might happen in January.

“Everyone knows that we were interested in Palhinha. He was here for the medical check but in the end his club didn’t give the green light, which we regret. But as I said we’re looking at the market to see what’s feasible and what makes sense for us,” Hainer told Bild TV.

Bayern Munich’s interest in Palhinha does not appear to be as strong as it was last summer. Right now, the club seems more intent on adding a quality, versatile defender. Leon Goretzka and Joshua Kimmich have each had strong seasons and Konrad Laimer has been...adequate, so maybe the one-time pressing need is just not as important as once thought.

We will find out for sure in a few weeks.

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.

Malen might want out of BVB (@Plettigoal)

Borussia Dortmund attacker Donyell Malen might want to try something new:

Malen has 24 goals and 16 assists in 91 games across all competitions during his time with BVB, which is not horrible production, but probably not exactly what Dortmund thought it would get out of the Dutchman.

LFC eyeing Zielinski move (Calciomercato via 90Min.com)

Liverpool could be looking at Napoli attacking midfielder Piotr Zielinski to help bolster what could ne a new-look offense next season:

Liverpool are ready to open talks with Napoli over a deal to sign midfielder Piotr Zielinksi. The 29-year-old, who is in the final year of his contract, has been targeted by Jurgen Klopp ever since his first year at Anfield.

Mbappé wants to play under Ancelotti (Defensa Central via 90Min.com)

Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappé has been linked with a move to Real Madrid for just about his entire career, but one thing that makes the prospect of a transfer to Spain extra sweet is the Frenchman’s desire to player for former Bayern Munich coach Carlo Ancelotti:

Kylian Mbappé hopes to work under Carlo Ancelotti next season after fellow Frenchmen Eduardo Camavinga, Aurelien Tchouameni and Karim Benzema gave glowing reviews of the Real Madrid manager.

Bavarian Podcast Works — Flagship Show: Season 6, Episode 21 (Bavarian Football Works)

With Bayern Munich’s Bundesliga game against Union Berlin standing postponed due to poor weather conditions, Schnitzel and Rayyan had time to discuss plots outside the weekly drama that Bayern experience on the pitch.

With the winter transfer window looming, and with some big games coming thick and fast, now is a good time to re-assess the squad situation. Besides, Germany’s Euro 2024 group stage opponents have been revealed, and it doesn’t look great.

Included in this podcast:

  • Do Bayern Munich really need to strengthen this winter? If so, where exactly?
  • Is João Palhinha really the guy for this team?
  • Have Bayern Munich actually improved under Thomas Tuchel?
  • A reaction and preview of Germany’s opponents in the group stage for the upcoming European Championships in 2024.

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