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Daily Schmankerl: The ballad of Bouna Sarr plays on at Bayern Munich; Liverpool might really want Ryan Gravenberch; Germany needs goalkeepers; Josko salesman?; FC Barcelona’s Robert Lewandowski still paying off for Bayern; & MORE!

Bayern Munich vs. Union we go!

FC Bayern München v Borussia Mönchengladbach - Bundesliga Photo by Roland Krivec/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Sarr still kicking (Sport1’s Kerry Hau via @iMiaSanMia)

In your downtime, you might wonder to yourself, “What the hell ever happened to Bouna Sarr?”

Well, he is still alive and kicking at Bayern Munich — and still getting paid quite handsomely to do so. However, Sarr still has very little prospects of ever being a contributor in Bavaria and the club really has no way to unload him.

What does that all mean? Sarr should probably get his own “Not going anywhere for a while?” Snickers commercial:

Bayern offered Bouna Sarr to various clubs abroad in January, but things weren’t concrete due to the lack of willingness from the player to move. The club will try again in the summer, but Sarr may not want to leave. Running down his contract (2024) is a possibility.

There’s no buyer in sight, and Sarr is not making any particular plans to leave Munich - knowing that he would hardly get such a well-paid contract anywhere else. The Senegalese earns up to €2.5m per year depending on bonuses.

Sarr trains diligently and does not cause any trouble. He gets along very well with the French contingent at Bayern and is an important contact person for Mané. But that doesn’t change the fact Bayern would do without him from a sporting and economic point of view.

Look, it’s a fantastic gig if you can get it. You get paid well, have an active lifestyle, work at world class facilities, and have a group of co-workers who are among the best at what they do. The fringe benefits are probably ridiculously good as well.

I can’t even hate on the situation, Bouna Sarr has the life.

Klopp might be very serious about Gravenberch (Football 365)

The whispers have been there for a while (including in Saturday’s Daily Schmankerl), but there might be some real validity to Liverpool FC’s interest in Bayern Munich midfielder Ryan Gravenberch:

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has added Bayern Munich midfielder Ryan Gravenberch to his summer shortlist, according to reports in Germany. The Dutch international impressed for Ajax and left them when his contract expired, but has struggled for the German giants.

Gravenberch has made 22 appearances across all competitions, which isn’t too bad, until you realise he has only started four times. With Liverpool’s midfield struggling this term, reinforcements are required in the summer window.

Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham is their top target, as everyone knows, but it is unlikely the Reds will stop there, if they do indeed get their man. Every Reds fan is calling for a whole new midfield with Fabinho struggling, Jordan Henderson past his best, and Thiago too injury prone.

According to SPORT1, Liverpool are ‘closely following’ Gravenberch’s situation at the Allianz Arena. Chief reporter for the German website, Kerry Hau has said: “Liverpool are interested. They want to rejuvenate their midfield in the summer and can well imagine bringing in two new eights – another player next to desired player Jude Bellingham. His name has been mentioned more often by those responsible.”

Bayern Munich’s willingness to part with Gravenberch is questionable at best, but the midfield will be getting RB Leipzig’s Konrad Laimer during the summer transfer window. With Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka already entrenched as starters in the central midfield, along with Jamal Musial as the team’s attacking midfielder, Gravenberch’s prospects for playing time might not be much better next season.

Bavarian Podcast Works: Weekend Warm-up Podcast Season 2, Episode 33 (Bavarian Football Works)

If you want storylines, Bayern Munich has those in bunches.

The club is embroiled in a crazy title race and also came out with some extremely strong public support for its manager to continue to be its leader for the foreseeable future.

Those two topics generated a lot of buzz these week, plus we heard a couple of juicy transfer rumors, which always make for good conversation.

Check out what we on tap for the Weekend Warm-up Podcast’s latest edition:

  • The Julian Nagelsmann Era is in full force and won’t be be derailed.
  • Neymar’s injury and the impact it will have on Paris Saint-Germain’s chances against Bayern Munich.
  • A contract extension for Benjamin Pavard?
  • Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, FC Barcelona all competing for Bayer Leverkusen’s Florian Wirtz? Or will Bayern make a move for Napoli’s Victor Osimhen.
  • Thoughts on the latest episode of The Last of Us.

Germany needs goalkeepers (@dw_sports)

When looking at the current crop of available goalkeepers for the German national team, your eyes will likely first wander to Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer, FC Barcelona’s Marc-André ter Stegen, and Eintracht Frankfurt’s Kevin Trapp.

Even after those established “top three” goalkeepers, the next name you might consider is Bernd Leno, who has had a strong season for Fulham.

But...what about the future state of things? If you are worried about that, you are not the only one:

Alexander Nübel does seem to be the “next one” — for whenever that times comes, but who else will bolster the ranks? Andreas Köpke might be on to something.

Money for nothing, kicks for free (Catalunya Radia via @iMiaSanMia)

I’m going to admit this right now, I just heard the Dire Straits song on the radio and wanted to use the mini-headline:

Seriously, though, Lewandowski is having a typical “Lewy” season. The Polish Hitman has 25 goals and six assists in 30 games across all competitions. Those numbers will get Bayern Munich more money, which does help soothe the pain of losing the striker just a bit (although, not completely).

Bavarian Podcast Works: Preview Show — Bayern Munich vs. Union Berlin (Bavarian Football Works)

A title race in the Bundesliga?

Yup, that is exactly what we have and when Bayern Munich and Union Berlin square off this weekend, two of the three league leaders will do battle in a match that will have major championship implications.

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

  • A look at where each team is in the Bundesliga table and what their current run of form is.
  • Examining the fighting spirit of Union Berlin and why the match up is not as absurd as it might appear to be on paper.
  • A look at Bayern Munich’s potential starting XI and why Julian Nagelsmann is like to leave some fan favorites on the bench once again.
  • A prediction on the match.

Gvardiol almost became a fish salesman...he made the right choice (Sport1)

Imagine you are one of the most sought after young football players in the world.

Also imagine that you almost wound up as a fish salesman instead (not knocking the profession at all, but one lifestyle is likely yields a whole hell of a lot more money than the other).

That is RB Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol, who — yes — almost went into the field of selling fish at a market with his old man:

Josko Gvardiol wanted to end his football career early to help his father sell fish at a local market in Zagreb. The reason for his mind game was the lack of playing time that he got in the youth team at Dinamo Zagreb. Back then, Gvardiol had to get up at 4 a.m. every day to help his father sell fish at the market. The Leipzig native almost retired from football completely to take part in the family business full-time.

In the meantime, the Croatian should be happy to have taken a different path. Gvardiol is currently one of the top performers at RB Leipzig and is even repeatedly associated with Chelsea due to his strong performance.

That is a pretty cool story of someone who won out by sticking with his passion. Gvardiol has been closely linked to clubs like Chelsea FC, Real Madrid, and FC Barcelona.

This video is awkward (@Sky_Thorben)

I totally get that Manuel Neuer was trying to avoid eye contact (it has to feel weird when some some is videoing you at this range), but he looks lost, right?

Neuer appears to be walking pretty well all things considered. It’s definitely not 100%, but we can see he has made progress in his rehab for sure.

Also, I am fascinated that Neuer has decided to bring back my exact look from 1995. It’s like he has a time machine and raided my closet (maybe he found a stashed six-pack of “Red Wolf” beer, too).

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