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Daily Schmankerl: Real Madrid has a laser focus on Bayern Munich’s Alphonso Davies; Future of Bayern’s midfield coming in summer?; Chelsea, Manchester United, PSG eyeing FC Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong; West Ham to miss out on Xabi Alonso; & MORE!

Anyone else wake up and dream you were “Kevin Finnerty, Bayern Munich fan”?

FC Bayern München Training Session Photo by S. Mellar/FC Bayern via Getty Images

Madrid not giving up on Davies pursuit (Madrid Universal)

Bayern Munich star Alphonso Davies cannot take any heat for the team’s dismal 3-0 loss to Bayer Leverkusen this weekend because he is out with an injury.

His status, however, is the least of any concern for Real Madrid as it seeks to bring him in next summer:

Perennially in pursuit of trophies and glory, Real Madrid are always on the lookout for elite talents capable of raising the squad’s bar.

While the Merengues have ample options at left-back, with Ferland Mendy also in good form, Real Madrid continue to be allured by the idea of acquiring Bayern Munich star, Alphonso Davies. Real Madrid have been opportunistically following the events surrounding Alphonso Davies over the past few months, with Fabrizio Romano reporting that the Canadian international remains a top target for Real Madrid.

The information argues that Bayern Munich will not throw in the towel so easily. Intent on retaining the 23-year-old’s services, they will try until the summer to renew his contract. Reports have previously stated that Davies and Bayern have struggled to find common ground, with the Canadian demanding €13 million per season, which would make him one of the highest-paid players in the squad.

The Bavarians are currently holding out as they show no intention of disrupting their wage structure, which is the primary cause for negotiations between both parties stalling. As such, if an agreement is not reached, Real Madrid will have a huge opportunity to sign the €70 million-rated full-back this summer.

While the report mentions that Bayern will continue to persuade Davies until the summer, so far, he has turned down their offers of a contract extension, and the Bavarians will be compelled to sell him if this pattern keeps up until June.

Redondo, Rabiot could be a focus of Bayern’s summer plans (Goal)

Argentinos Juniors midfielder Federico Redondo and Juventus stalwart Adrien Rabiot could be the central figures for Bayern Munich to pursue this summer as the Rekordmeister might find Fulham FC’s João Palhinha and Real Sociedad’s Martin Zubimendi too difficult to procure:

The Bundesliga giants are eyeing moves for Argentinos Juniors midfielder Federico Redondo and Juventus star Adrien Rabiot in the summer, according to Christian Falk. Rabiot, who becomes a free agent at the end of the ongoing season, is also wanted by Barcelona and Inter.

The journalist further claims that the Bundesliga giants have also added players like Martin Zubimendi and Palhinha to their shortlist as they eye a major overhaul in their midfield next season. Zubimendi has a release clause of €60m (£51m/$65m) in his current Real Sociedad contract while Palhinha signed a new Fulham deal earlier this summer which will run until 2028.

Palhinha came very close to signing for the German club this summer and had even travelled to Munich to complete his move but the Premier League side called off the deal in the 11th hour after they were unable to sign a replacement for the Portuguese.

Kvaratskhelia plans to hear will listen to Napoli offer (ESPN)

Napoli attacker Khvicha Kvaratskhelia is one of the most sought-after talents in the world. With links to Real Madrid in play, the 22-year-old winger told his current club that he will — at least — listen to what they have to say (and offer):

Khvicha Kvaratskhelia has given Napoli assurances that he will listen to proposals from the Serie A club before considering any offers from abroad, reports Calciomercato. The 22-year-old winger has a contract that runs until 2027 but has received large offers from a number of Saudi Pro League clubs hoping to sign him, while there was previously interest from Real Madrid.

Bavarian Podcast Works: Postgame Rant — Bayer Leverkusen 3-0 Bayern Munich (Bavarian Football Works)

Well, that was an unmitigated disaster. Bayern Munich capitulated against Bayer Leverkusen and succumbed to a 3-0 defeat. Now that the team is five points behind in the title race, will the board take action? Or will they wait until Thomas Tuchel crashes out of the Champions League and slides further down the table before pulling the trigger?

Leverkusen were so much better. It’s incredibly frustrating.

Here are our talking points from the game:

  • What was that lineup? Why did Tuchel choose a back three?
  • Why bench Thomas Müller in a game like this?
  • Thomas Tuchel committed a cardinal sin — he decided to play scared vs Xabi Alonso’s Leverkusen.
  • Somehow, Thomas Tuchel thinks that he’s still coaching Chelsea FC.
  • The stark difference between Leverkusen’s mentality and Bayern’s mentality, from a tactical and strategic standpoint.
  • Why was Guerreiro not used at left-back? A potential explanation.
  • “Did Nagelsmann do anything like this?”, asks Chuck. INNN proceeds to laugh maniacally.
  • Is the Nagelsmann sacking the reason why Tuchel still has his job?
  • The absurd karma of Josip Stanisic’s goal, and why it says damning things about Tuchel’s talent ID and squad building.
  • Is the board ready to write off the season?
  • A defense of the underperformers (Goretzka, Kimmich, Davies, etc.) in this current system.
  • The strange phenomenon of non-negotiables — why do Leroy Sané and Jamal Musiala get a free pass, while other players need to prove themselves constantly?
  • A final word on the game.

Yeah...so about Irankunda (Fox Sports Australia via @iMiaSanMia)

Since inking a deal to join Bayern Munich next summer, Australian phenom Nestory Irankunda has hit a rough patch:

Carl Veart (Adelaide United coach) on Nestory Irankunda’s recent struggles:

“Nestor hasn’t been anywhere his level this year that we expected from him. Whether the pressure is taking its toll on him, he must start and go back to enjoying his football. I just don’t see enough happiness from him at the moment. It’s a difficult position that he is in because everyone expects things from him and it’s important, we’re very careful of how much we expect from him.”

Would it have been better to delay the announcement to Bayern Munich in order to ease the pressure on him?

Veart: “I suppose no one’s going to really know that was the best way for it to go. It (speculation) did go on for a long time and then we hoped that once it got announced he could go back to focusing on playing football. He needs to just keep working and it’s important that when he does eventually go there, he keeps his head down and works hard”

Veart: “Unfortunately, in this country, we make it very difficult for people that we see that are going to have success instead of getting behind them and trying to help them. We want to knock them down and Nestor takes a lot of this in, and he knows what people are saying and it’s been very difficult for him. Hopefully we can keep pushing him to give him a good grounding for what he wants to do.”

Hammers chance on landing Alonso is fading (Claret & Hugh)

After getting shellacked by Arsenal on Sunday, West Ham United might be looking to expedite its rumored coaching search (David Moyes seems on the brink of a sacking). Unfortunately for The Hammers, Bayer Leverkusen boss Xabi Alonso probably is not making a move in their direction:

Any hopes West Ham had of recruiting Xabi Alonso are dead in the water following Bayer Leverkusen’s dismantling of Bayern Munich yesterday. Alonso had been linked to the Hammers earlier this season due to his connections with Tim Steidten. The West Ham director of football had been involved in identifying Alonso for Leverkusen, and it is understood that the pair know each other well.

However, the Spaniard’s footballing reputation has now grown to such an extent that he would be coveted by most clubs in Europe. If West Ham were to have had any serious chance of recruiting him, it would have been at the start of the season when the club recruited Steidten from Leverkusen.

Liverpool are believed to be interested in recruiting Steidten, who is reportedly struggling to have his transfer suggestions ratified by David Moyes, according to numerous reports. Ironically, The Anfield club is also Alonso’s likely destination, so it could well be that the pair are reunited next season.

De Jong links heating up again (TV3 - Spain via 90Min.com)

With FC Barcelona allegedly going into “fire sale” mode, Frenkie de Jong is expected to be one of the primary names on the transfer sheet.

If that is the case, the Dutchman will have no shortage of suitors, including Chelsea FC, Manchester United, and Paris Saint-Germain:

Chelsea, Manchester United and PSG would all be interested in signing Frenkie de Jong should Barcelona decide to sell him this summer, with a €100m transfer battle on the cards.

Bavarian Podcast Works — Weekend Warm-up Podcast: Season 3, Episode 31 (Bavarian Football Works)

IT’S THE FINAL COUNTDOWN!

Okay, now that you have Europe cued up, you are officially ready for the massive Bundesliga tilt between Bayern Munich and Bayer Leverkusen.

If that is not enough, let’s do a little more talking about the match, plus a lot more on this week’s edition of the Bavarian Podcast Works — Weekend Warm-up Podcast. Here is what we have on tap for this episode:

  • There is an excitement and tension building up for Bayern Munich vs. Bayer Leverkusen.
  • Frans Krätzig set off for FK Austrian Wien.
  • The rumors linking Bayern Munich to FC Barcelona’s Ronald Araújo could actually be legitimate, while Leroy Sané probably won’t be going to Liverpool.
  • Why the emergence of Aleksandar Pavlović matters.
  • Sky ran a fan poll to pick Germany’s starting XI...do you agree?

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