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Daily Schmankerl: FC Barcelona to make blockbuster transfer move for Bayern Munich’s Matthijs de Ligt; Arsenal unhappy with Kai Havertz; AI seeks to take out the real Terminator — Erling Haaland; & MORE!

Game day! Bayern Munich vs. RB Leipzig.

FC Bayern München v VfL Bochum 1848 - Bundesliga Photo by Marcel Engelbrecht - firo sportphoto/Getty Images

Barca eyeing up De Ligt? (The Hard Tackle)

Bayern Munich center-back Matthijs de Ligt has been out of action and battling a couple of different injuries this season, but when the Dutchman has been healthy, he has often been left on the bench by head coach Thomas Tuchel.

FC Barcelona is reportedly examining the situation and could potentially look to launch a bid for De Ligt in hopes of securing yet another talented Dutch player for its roster:

Barcelona will reportedly consider signing disgruntled Dutch centre-back Matthijs de Ligt from Bundesliga club Bayern Munich next year.

According to a report by Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo, Matthijs de Ligt is the subject of interest from Barcelona. The Dutchman is unsettled at Bayern Munich after losing his spot as a regular for the Bundesliga club. But Barcelona might have to break the bank to sign him in 2024.

Recent reports have claimed that Tuchel does not rate de Ligt highly, unsettling the Dutchman at the Allianz Arena. So, it is hardly surprising that a move away from the Bundesliga club might be on the cards. And Barcelona will look to prise him away from Bayern Munich next year.

The Blaugrana wanted to sign him four years ago when they landed Frenkie de Jong from Ajax. But a move failed to materialise, and he moved to Juventus. Meanwhile, Barcelona’s renewed interest in the player is hardly surprising.

De Ligt’s case is certainly curious. After a 2022/23 campaign, where he was widely regarded as the club’s best center-back, De Ligt’s future could now be uncertain in Bavaria. It would not be a shock if De Ligt is unhappy with the way that things have shaken out so far this season, but has the situation been dire enough for him to contemplate a move away from Bayern Munich already?

Really? Who could have seen this coming? (Fichajes via

In what can only be described as a shocking turn of events, Arsenal FC is reportedly unhappy with Germany international Kai Havertz:

Arsenal are ‘starting to get fed up’ with summer signing Kai Havertz after his slow start to life at the Emirates, while fellow former Chelsea man Jorginho is close to leaving the club in the January transfer window.

Havertz might need some guidance with his career.

Haaland killed off by AI? (Sport1)

It was bound to happen.

With Erling Haaland dominating Europe at Manchester City, Skynet sent a Terminator back into the past to take out the Norwegian star.

Not plausible you say? Well, to Artificial Intelligence, anything is possible, even shooting Haaland — which was reported by Norwegian newspaper Verdens Gang:

What a scandal! The Norwegian newspaper Verdens Gang accidentally announced the death of Erling Haaland due to a mistake in the handling of artificial intelligence (AI) . What happened? The tabloid reported on its website that the Scandinavian country’s national striker had been shot.

What was a complete false report, after all, Haaland is in good health and is currently showing strong form again at Manchester City in the Premier League, scoring eight goals in six league games.

What a boner (great time to rip out a seldom-used term from the 1940s, eh?)! Let’s get more info:

The fake news was due to a misinterpretation by artificial intelligence, which tests Verden’s process when creating articles. The AI ​​in the form of the software known as ChatGPT had misinterpreted a previous photo shoot by Haaland and subsequently only referred to the “shooting” part, which can be translated as both “take a photo” and “shoot”.

It literally said: “The photographer David Yarrow took unique photos of the footballer Erling Braut Haaland (23), who was shot on the property of the billionaire Arne Fredly in Lysaker.”

There was a lot of excitement and ridicule online. The newspaper reacted immediately, rewrote the article and regretted the incident.

Sports director Frode Buanes tried to put a good face on the bad game, is quoted in Dagbladet: “I have to apologize to Erling Braut Haaland. Although Haaland tears apart and destroys the opposing defense almost every week in England, it was by no means the intention to kill him in print.”

What did we learn? Not even AI knows how to stop Haaland.

Bavarian Podcast Works — Weekend Warm-up Podcast: Season 3, Episode 12 (Bavarian Football Works)

Bayern Munich has had great success so far this season, but not everything has been peachy keen for the boys from Bavaria.

Moreover, some fans have drawn lines on Thomas Tuchel and have evolved into warring factions on just about any matter involving the manager. We will talk about why that is and a whole lot more for this episode of the Weekend Warm-up Podcast. Check out what we have on tap:

  • A look at the injury to Serge Gnabry, what it means for the club, and how the transfer rumors linking the Germany international to Manchester United and Real Madrid could be impacted.
  • Assessing the small roster.
  • Manchester City is linked to both Jamal Musiala and Florian Wirtz.
  • Diving into the discord surrounding Bayern Munich fans and Thomas Tuchel.
  • A couple of embarrassing stories on how inept I am and how Terry Francona dissed me into oblivion.

Pavard critics slammed by journo (Sempre Inter)

Italian journalist Alfredo Pedulla is hitting back at some critics of Inter Milan defender Benjamin Pavard, the ex-Bayern Munich star:

Alfredo Pedulla feels that the critics of Inter Milan’s signing of defender Benjamin Pavard were “incompetent” in their assessment. Writing in his column for Italian broadcaster SportItalia, the journalist aimed a veiled criticism at journalist Ivan Zazzaroni in particular over the doubts over signing the Frenchman for a roughly €30 million fee.

The Frenchman was seen by some as an underwhelming big money signing for Inter. Moreover, the fact that Pavard was only one year away from his contract with Bayern was another factor. Some felt that Inter didn’t need to outlay a big fee to sign the 27-year-old considering that he’d be available on a free transfer just twelve months later.

But Inter got their man.

It’s still very early on in Pavard’s Inter career. But in his first couple appearances, the Frenchman has looked as though he fits into the team well.

One critic of Inter’s signing has been prominent Italian journalist Ivan Zazzaroni. The journalist questioned whether the 27-year-old was worth the fee that Inter paid for him in a recent television appearance. He stated, “Inter finally got Pavard in the end, by paying a fee that in my view was far too much. And I don’t believe they’re that much better in the end.”

But for his part, Pedulla feels that this is a silly criticism. He writes that “In the past 48 hours we’ve heard that Pavard is an overrated players, and above all, overpriced. This came from a man who for the last five years has been off base about everything,” he continues. Now, there’s no doubt that Pavard cost a lot considering that he was a year away from the end of his contract,” Pedulla notes. “But knowing Bayern, it wouldn’t have been possible to do otherwise. The consideration that a 27-year-old defender is not worth €30 million is something that the incompetent concern themselves with.

“And the fault lies not with those who say these things, but with those who give them the opportunity to say them. And above all, to those who listen to them.”

Saudis to battle Madrid, Chelsea on Osimhen (Daily Mail via

With all of the back-and-forth going on between Victor Osimhen and Napoli, there are rumors going on that the Saudis could mount a charge to buy the striker:

Saudi Arabian clubs are expected to lead the chase for Napoli striker Victor Osimhen in January ahead of both Chelsea and Real Madrid.

Bavarian Podcast Works: Postgame Show — Bayern Munich 4-0 SC Preußen Münster and Preview Show — Bayern vs. RB Leipzig (Bavarian Football Works)

Given the condensed schedule for Bayern Munich and also for Bavarian Podcast Works, we’ve got a double-shot for you!

First, we are recapping Bayern Munich’s impressive 4-0 victory over SC Preußen Münster and then we will get you all set for the big Bundesliga showdown between the Bavarians and RB Leipzig on Saturday — a massive match in terms of the league’s title race.

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

  • A look at Thomas Tuchel’s lineup that he rolled out against Preußen Münster.
  • A rundown of the scoring.
  • Some takeaways from the match.
  • A look at where Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig sit in the Bundesliga table.
  • An attempt to guess Tuchel’s lineup (good luck!).
  • A prediction on the game.

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