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Daily Schmankerl: Discuss the Champions League HERE!; Manchester United could pry Benjamin Pavard away from Bayern Munich; Rodri says Manchester City needs to improve two things; Marco Reus to renew with BVB; Arsenal scopes Ryan Gravenberch; + MORE!

The day is finally here: Bayern Munich vs. Manchester City!

Sport-Club Freiburg v FC Bayern München - Bundesliga Photo by Harry Langer/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

United taking lead on Pavard? (Football Insider via ESPN)

Manchester United could be setting itself up to make a play for Bayern Munich defender Benjamin Pavard, whose future at the club seems uncertain at best:

Manchester United are looking at Bayern Munich defender Benjamin Pavard and Celta Vigo midfielder Gabri Veiga, as has been reported by Football Insider.

The report states that the Red Devils are looking for a right-back, and while Bayer Leverkusen’s Jeremie Frimpong is the priority target to sign, Bayern Munich also hold an interest in the 22-year-old Frimpong. If the Man United are beaten to the signing of Frimpong, the Premier League club could instead throw all their efforts behind signing Pavard.

With the 27-year-old Pavard’s standing in the Bayern team likely to be under added threat upon Frimpong’s arrival, that could create a suitable Plan B for Man United, with various outlets already reporting that Pavard could leave the Allianz Arena.

There are a lot of uncertainties with the future of Bayern Munich right now. The “go forward” defensive alignment (back three or back four) and what happens with Benjamin Pavard during the summer transfer window are chief among the issues that will need to be addressed.

Pavard has been stellar this season and badly wants a permanent move to center-back, but it remains to be seen what Thomas Tuchel plans to do with his formation and Pavard.

Losing the Frenchman would definitely hurt the team’s depth and flexibility along the backline.

Rodri pinpoints two areas of improvement for City ahead of Bayern tilt (Manchester Evening News)

Manchester City star Rodri says his team will need to get off to a fast start and be more aggressive against Bayern Munich than it was against Southampton over the weekend.

“Very happy. We came here [to Southampton] to win, and we won it,” Rodri said. “I think we struggled a little bit in the first half — the first 20 minutes weren’t very good. We struggled a little bit to find the spaces. “The goal made us calm for the second half and gave us confidence and we played much better. It was important because we weren’t as strong and aggressive as we were in the second half. We were a bit slow and needed to move the ball quicker. Looking ahead to the Bayern game, we have to start better and be more aggressive. We’re on a great run and we want to keep it going.

“We look ahead with a lot of emotion and happiness to want to face them. A big, big rival in Europe and we will have to show the best of ourselves if we want to have a chance against them. We have to fix some things. The goals are important because you never know at the end,” Rodri added. “If we are drawing on points, the goals are important, so it was good to score four today.”

Bavarian Podcast Works: Postgame Show — SC Freiburg 0-1 Bayern Munich (Bavarian Football Works)

Bayern Munich and SC Freiburg hooked up again, this time it was in the Bundesliga, but it sure looked and felt a lot like a rehash of what happened on Tuesday.

SC Freiburg was extremely disciplined and Bayern Munich was very disjointed, which led to a shaky 1-0 victory for the Bavarians — thanks to a laser of a goal from Matthijs de Ligt.

Here is what we have on tap for this episode:

  • A rundown of the scoresheet — Bayern Munich’s terrible finishing prevented this game from being a blowout on the scoreboard.
  • A look at the lineup, what changed for Thomas Tuchel, and some thoughts on why he might have made the changes (Dayot Upamecano was suspended, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting was hurt, and some other benching that were probably deserved).
  • Is Jamal Musiala getting Scottie Jetpacks’d? (Deep cut you might want to hear).
  • De Ligt was the savior.
  • The near brawl at the end whistle and where to go from here.

Reus nearing extension with BVB (Bild via @RaeComm)

Marco Reus is reportedly nearing an agreement on a contract extension with Borussia Dortmund:

Gunners scoping Gravenberch (@Plettogoal)

According to Sky Sports journalist Florian Plettenberg, Arsenal FC could be toying with the idea of making a move for disgruntled Bayern Munich midfielder Ryan Gravenberch:

Bavarian Podcast Works: Weekend Warm-up Podcast Season 2, Episode 39 (Bavarian Football Works)

Bayern Munich and SC Freiburg are turning into a Rocky-type franchise at this point.

The teams battled in the DFB-Pokal and will now carry the fracas over to the Bundesliga in what amounts to a very key game for Bayern Munich’s title hopes. That game, however, is just one of several talking points to emerge from this week.

Let’s dig in. This is what we have on tap for this episode:

  • A preview of the Bundesliga match between Bayern Munich and SC Freiburg. Tensions should be high after Freiburg’s upset win in the DFB-Pokal on Tuesday.
  • The terrible optics of Thomas Tuchel’s decision to start Joao Cancelo against SC Freiburg.
  • Reports say Tuchel wants a new striker.
  • Why Tuchel’s job is going to get a lot harder in the coming days and weeks.

PSG to make bid on Bastoni? (Tuttosport via

Paris Saint-Germain could enter the bidding fray for Inter Milan defender Alessandro Bastoni:

Coming in at PSG could be Inter centre-back Alessandro Bastoni, but the Ligue 1 giants will have to fend off competition from Manchester City for the Italy international.

Chelsea-PSG renewing talks for Ziyech? (@RudyGaletti)

Chelsea FC and PSG could be set to finally get the deal done for Hakim Ziyech. If you remember, a transfer proposal between the two clubs fell apart at the very last minute of the winter transfer window:

Meanwhile, Football Insider is reporting that Tottenham Hotspur also would like to bring in ZIyech:

Leaving Chelsea could be Morocco winger Hakim Ziyech, with Tottenham lodging their interest in getting a deal done.

At one point before his Chelsea move, Ziyech was linked closely to Bayern Munich.

Bavarian Podcast Works — Flagship Show: Season 5, Episode 40 (Bavarian Football Works)

There’s never a dull moment at Bayern Munich (unless you watched the first half of Saturday’s game versus Freiburg). This week could be crucial for the outcome of the entire season as the club gear up to face Manchester City in the first leg of the Champions League quarter finals. After the coaching shakeup and the elimination from the Pokal last week, confidence seems to be at an all time low at the BFW podcasting department.

In this episode, INNN and Samrin talk about the following:

  • Establishing the tone (not positive) for the rest of the podcast.
  • How should Thomas Tuchel line up his team against Manchester City?
  • Which duels will be key for Bayern vs City? Davies, Haaland, Upa, etc.
  • An outside-the-box solution to the striker problem due to Choupo’s absence.
  • How will Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka set up versus Rodri, Gundogan, and the like?
  • Why a counterattacking approach could be the best and worst option for Bayern Munich.
  • Why starting Joao Cancelo against his former team may not be the best idea.
  • Finally talking about Sadio Mane and the source of his problems at Bayern.
  • Harsh criticism of the board’s transfer policy and their “support” of Julian Nagelsmann.
  • Comparing the squad construction in offense vs defense and the huge mismatch between the two.
  • Does Bayern Munich need to sign a new striker in the summer? Who’s available? Kane, Kolo Muani, Vlahovic, etc.
  • Signing off in an attempt to be positive for once.

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