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Daily Schmankerl: Bayern Munich’s Thomas Müller unfazed by Niko Kovac’s comments; Man City already eyeing Joao Cancelo replacement?; Arsenal scoping Chelsea loanee; Man United got its man in Marcel Sabitzer; & MORE!

Bayern Munich vs. Wolfsburg on Sunday!

VfL Bochum v Bayern Muenchen - DFB Cup Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images

Müller not fazed by Kovac’s statement (Sport1 via @iMiaSanMia)

Just a few days ago, former Bayern Munich coach Niko Kovac remarked that it might be easier to play in Bavaria these days than in Berlin. Of course, Kovac’s rejuvenated Wolfsburg side was preparing to play Die Eisernen, who pulled out a 2-1 victory over the Wolves in the DFB-Pokal.

Word spread back to his old players at the Rekordmeister pretty quickly, but Thomas Müller said things were not as inflammatory as some have perceived.

“The statements are certainly taken a bit out of context. But regardless of that, he’s right, of course. They (Union) are not doing badly — they’ve won all games and we’ve drawn twice (at home),” Müller said.

The teams will meet at Wolfsburg this weekend, so Kovac’s theory will not necessarily get tested on Sunday, but it is clear that both sides will ready for what should be a very interesting match.

City eyeing Robinson as Cancelo replacement? (Transfer Tavern)

Manchester City could be looking at USMNT and Fulham defender to play a role in replacing Joao Cancelo if he moves on to Bayern Munich — or somewhere else — permanently:

Man City are lining up a summer bid for Fulham defender Antonee Robinson as Pep Guardiola already ‘finds’ his heir to Joao Cancelo.

In perhaps one of the shocks of the January transfer window, Cancelo, a Sky Blue mainstay and star player of the last two years left Eastlands – joined Bayern Munich on loan with a €70 million (£62m) option to buy.

Reports suggest that the Portugal international had a fall-out with Guardiola behind-the-scenes though this is categorically denied by the player himself.

City supporters have been left surprised and disappointed by Cancelo’s exit given his importance and status in Guardiola’s first team since 2020/2021. The 28-year-old’s technical ability and flair out wide will be sorely missed, but according to The Sun, club chiefs are already lining up a summer bid for his possible heir.

The outlet states City ‘will’ make a bid for USA international Robinson in the summer as Guardiola already ‘finds’ his replacement for Cancelo.

Members of the press have called the defender ‘magnificent’ after seeing him shine in Qatar and City have apparently been quoted a reasonable £20m fee. His status as an English top flight regular with international pedigree could make £20m seem like a bargain.

Ten Hag pumped for Sabitzer’s arrival (United in Focus)

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag got his man in Marcel Sabitzer.

“I know the player already a long time from [RB] Salzburg. Especially from [RB] Leipzig. He performed fantastically, so I expect that he will do the same here. I think he has a great attitude; he is at the right age, and I am sure this opportunity will motivate him greatly and he will perform strongly for us,” Ten Hag said.

From Sabitzer’s point of view, everything appears to have been a no brainer:

For the record, that collar is AWFUL.

Bavarian Podcast Works: Weekend Warm-up Podcast Season 2, Episode 30 (Bavarian Football Works)

Since the last edition of the Weekend Warm-up, Bayern Munich had another draw (this time against Eintracht Frankfurt), closed out its winter transfer in a scintillating fashion, and picked up a convincing win in the DFB-Pokal over Mainz 05.

In between all of that, there was a ton of news.

In other words, there was a hell of a lot to talk about before we even get to all of the normal drama (questions about Alphonso Davies, different questions about Julian Nagelsmann, etc). So...let’s get to it. This is what we have on tap for this weekend’s episode:

  • A preview of Bayern Munich vs. Wolfsburg, including Niko Kovac’s dig at his old club.
  • Grading the winter transfer window.
  • What has been up with Alphonso Davies?
  • The world of Julian Nagelsmann, his interactions with the squad, his use of a back three, and more!

Rangers-Bayern agreed on Tillman fee? (Vital Rangers)

It seems like Bayern Munich and Rangers FC might already have a fee in mind for Malik Tillman to make a permanent transfer to Scotland:

The front three grabbed the headlines, however, Malik Tillman put in another display that shows he is learning and getting better with every appearance. Not only did he take his goal well but he linked play and could easily have had a couple of assists himself.

Getting the Bayern Munich midfielder in on a loan-to-buy deal has been a shrewd bit of business by Ross Wilson and, with six goals and four assists in 22 league games, he is already well on track to surpass Joe Aribo’s numbers – even if Beale isn’t happy with direct comparisons.

Speaking after the game, as reported by The Herald, Beale revealed that it is pretty much just a case of dotting “i’s” and crossing “t’s” if Rangers want to make Tillman’s move permanent and, on this form, you’d have to think that they would be mad not to.

“Yeah. Of course, we can. There’s a fee agreed. Everything is in place. You get the season out of the way then you sit down and talk to everybody and try and get it done. If it was on my decision and Rangers’ decision we would have him here for the long term. He’s a player that we like and a boy that’s settled in really well at our club. At 20 years old he’s got a really exciting future.

On whether or not Tillman himself can intervene, he said: “Not so much. I think it’s up to the two clubs.”

The fee, said to be between £5-6million, for a 20-year old, is a lot of money but we have seen since he joined how much he has improved already in and out of possession. Given his development at Bayern and his status as a USA international, at such a young age, on a long-term contract, this would be money well spent.

Tillman is proving himself as a viable player in Scotland and there is really no room for him on the Bayern Munich first team, so unless the Bavarians think they can get a better deal elsewhere, it seems like the attacking midfielder could have landed in a good spot for his career.

Seven players that Chelsea wants to dump this summer (Sport1)

If you like looking into the future, here are seven players that Chelsea FC could unload this summer. Some names might intrigue you:

Chelsea FC’s excessive transfer policy is making waves in the football business. In this winter transfer window alone, the Blues spent around 330 million euros. The squad is currently bloated, despite Jorginho’s departure to Arsenal.

The British tabloid The Sun now names seven players who are said to be on the hit list at Chelsea. These are substitute goalkeeper Édouard Mendy (30 years old), France world champion N’Golo Kanté (31), the two Englishmen Conor Gallagher (22) and Ruben Loftus-Cheek (27), Hakim Ziyech, whose transfer to PSG burst on the home stretch, as well as the two defenders Kalidou Coulibalay (31) and Marc Cucurella (24), who only switched to Stamford Bridge in the summer.

Have any preferences?

Gunners eyeing Hudson-Odoi (The Guardian via

Remember when Callum Hudson-Odoi-to-Bayern Munich was all the rage? It seems like Arsenal FC might be ready to make a move on the Chelsea FC man once his loan at Bayer Leverkusen is over:

Arsenal are tracking the progress of Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi, who is expected to be sold by the Blues once his loan with Bayer Leverkusen comes to an end in the summer.

Bavarian Podcast Works: Postgame Show — Mainz 0-4 Bayern Munich (DFB Pokal)

They say a wounded animal is the most dangerous, and Bayern Munich proved that tonight. Coming into this must-win game vs Mainz in the notoriously tricky DFB Pokal, the team proceeded to vanquish the demons of recent games by producing a wonderful 4-0 win.

Here are our talking points from the game:

  • A review of the starting XI and the strange back three setup.
  • Why left wingback might be a perfect position for Kingsley Coman.
  • A quick recap of how the game went and how the setup performed.
  • The intangible and tangible benefits of Thomas Muller + his partnership with Jamal Musiala.
  • Another example of the second-half syndrome and another drop in intensity that went unpunished.
  • The potential problems with the back-three setup and how Mainz adjusted to it.
  • An overall review of Joao Cancelo and why he seemed perfectly in sync with the rest of the attack.
  • How the benefits of this setup could be translated to a 4-2-3-1.
  • Why Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting is good enough for Bayern’s goals this season.
  • A note on the pitch, the referee, and how passing is trained at this club.

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