Paul Clement Denies Struggling Renato Sanches Set for Early Bayern Return

Swansea manager Paul Clement has denied all speculation linking the struggling Renato Sanches with an early return from his loan spell from Bayern Munich.

The 20-year-old has found life in the Premier League increasingly difficult, and after a series of poor performances the Swans had been understood to be considering cutting his loan spell short. A move which would leave Sanches in limbo as Bayern boss Jupp Heynckes does not want the midfielder back at the club, as per reporter Ezequiel Daray. 

Despite featuring for Swansea ten times so far this season, Sanches has failed to live up to expectations as he has completed just two full 90 minute league games. 

Although reports in Portugal suggest Sanches will return to Bayern much earlier than expected due to his poor form Clement insists that no such discussions have taken place, he told the ?BBC: There is no news.

“I haven’t had any specific communication with Bayern regarding Renato’s current situation, it’s just speculation.

Swansea City v Leicester City - Premier League

“Contractually, I believe he’s signed for us for the season, and there were no stipulations in there that he has to play this amount of games for him to stay for the full term. As far as I know he’s a player here for us for the season.”

Despite Swansea cemented at the bottom of the table and the midfielder omitted from the last two games, Clement is optimistic that Sanches can return to the form which saw him described as one of the best young players in Europe by Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola. 

He added: “He’s been out of the last two squads, he’s not very happy.

“Renato is a very good player and I do believe that he can make a contribution for us. But for him to do that he needs to start playing up to his potential. When he does that he’ll feature a lot more.

“[We’ve got to] show him that you have belief in him and the obvious answer would be that you have to keep him involved in the squads, but I’m more believing that behind the scenes you’ve got to work with him.

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“Clearly his confidence is low, but it was low when he came here. You would have hoped that he would have gone back up to a good level, but it’s taken more time than we all would have hoped.”

Sanches will be desperately hoping for a quick resurgence in form as if his loan spell is cut short and Heynckes sees no way for the 20-year-old to force his way into the Bayern side he could be left to sit on the sidelines for the remainder of the season as he is only able to play for two clubs in one campaign. 

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REVEALED: Why Renato Sanches Can’t Play for Another Club Even if Swansea Did Cut Loan Deal Short

?Renato Sanches is unable to join a second club on loan if Bayern Munich recall him from Swansea City – all because of a brief Bayern cameo at the start of the season.

Media outlets like the ?Sun had alleged that the German giants could look to bring the Portugal international back to the Bundesliga if the Swans opt to cut their losses and prematurely end his season-long loan spell in South Wales.

However, Sanches is caught between a rock and a hard place over whatever decision he makes as he won’t be able to play for another club on loan in the second half of the season.

Why? Because the 20-year-old has already played for two teams this season thanks to a six-minute substitute appearance for Bayern in the DFL Super Cup victory over Borussia Dortmund on 5th August.

FIFA rules stipulate that a player cannot play for more than two clubs during a season and, given that Sanches has made 10 appearances for Swansea this term as well as his brief period on the field for Bayern, he wouldn’t be able to play elsewhere.

Sanches has found himself out of favour at the Liberty Stadium in recent matches as his shock loan switch to Swansea has gone down like a lead balloon thus far.

The ex-Benfica starlet has failed to light up the Premier League with the Swans and has only played five minutes of the past three league games for Paul Clement’s side.

The Swansea manager has denied that he will send Sanches back to Germany over his poor form in south Wales, and it may be in Sanches’ best interests to stay where he is.

He is unlikely to earn much game time with Jupp Heynckes’ table toppers and, whilst Swansea are struggling in England’s top flight, he would get more minutes there than at the Allianz Arena.

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Picking the Best Potential Bayern Munich Lineup to Face Stuttgart on Saturday

After seeing Jupp Heynckes flirt with the idea of a new formation on Wednesday, where Bayern secured a 1-0 victory over FC Köln, the reigning Bundesliga champions will likely stick to their guns in their final league match before the winter break.

With a trip to Stuttgart set for Saturday afternoon, the Bavarians will be keeping one eye on their DFB-Pokal match against Borussia Dortmund next week when it comes to team selection.

Here’s who Heynckes could pick at the Mercedes-Benz Arena:

Goalkeeper

  • Ulreich

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Sven Ulreich will likely return to the Bayern starting lineup on Saturday, with the 29-year-old overcoming a recent injury to face his former club.

Defence

  • Kimmich

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  • Boateng

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  • Martínez

    Martínez8

  • Alaba

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Although Bayern will be looking to rest players ahead of Der Klassiker next week, Stuttgart’s impressive home record this season means some regular first-team stars will be featured on Saturday. 

Joshua Kimmich could return to the starting lineup along with Javi Martínez, while Jérôme Boateng and David Alaba should retain their spot in the first-team.

Midfield

A midfield five for Bayern Munich would see Sebastian Rudy acting as their deep-lying playmaker. 

Arturo Vidal will help break up Stuttgart’s dangerous counter-attacks, while James Rodríguez will offer the visitors more going forward.

Kingsley Coman could be drafted back in to offer Bayern more pace going on the wings, while Thomas Müller should retain his place on the right flank.

Forwards

  • Lewandowski

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With Bayern already sniffing out the transfer market for a new striker to support Robert Lewandowski, this could be Heynckes’ last Bundesliga match where the Polish forward doesn’t walk into the side. 

Already with 21 goals this season, which included one in the DFL-Supercup, Lewandowski is once again scoring goals for fun and looks set to be crowned as the league’s top goalscorer in May.

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Resurgent Marseille Star Florian Thauvin Linked With Atletico Madrid & Bayern Munich

?Former Newcastle United flop Florian Thauvin has spectacularly resurrected his career since returning to Marseille to the point where European giants Atletico Madrid and Bayern Munich are reportedly now showing an interest in him.

Thauvin struggled to adapt to English football following a 2015 move from Marseille worth close to €20m and found himself back in the south of France on loan just six months later.

Newcastle United v Arsenal - Premier League

The winger then enjoyed a very strong second loan with his former club for the duration of 2016/17, before an €11m deal to secure his permanent return was arranged for July.

Thauvin scored 15 goals for Marseille in Ligue 1 last season and has already bagged eight goals and eight assists in only 16 league games so far in 2017/18.

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According to L’Equipe, that level of form hasn’t gone unnoticed, catching the attention Atletico Madrid as they make preparations for life after Antoine Griezmann – the forward will potentially be joining Manchester United or Barcelona in summer.

Bayern Munich are also linked with a possible move for Thauvin.

Despite securing a new contract worth just over €100,000-per-week on his permanent return to Marseille, the 24-year-old is said to be generally dissatisfied with his salary at Stade Velodrome.


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Stuttgart vs Bayern Munich Preview: Classic Encounter, Key Battle, Team News & More

Bayern Munich travel west on Saturday to face newly promoted VfB Stuttgart on the final day on the Bundesliga season before the winter break.

The Bavarians have been revitalised since Jupp Heynckes succeeded Carlo Ancelotti at the helm of the club, with Bayern set to head into the quiet Christmas period at the top of the Bundesliga table.

Here’s everything you need to know about the game at the Mercedes-Benz Arena:


Classic Encounter

FC Bayern Muenchen VfB Stuttgart - DFB Cup Final

There is no team in Germany that has conceded defeat against Bayern more times than Saturday’s hosts. In 114 games, Bayern have an outstanding 64.9% win ration against Stuttgart.

Back in 2013, these two sides met in the DFB-Pokal final at the Olympiastadion in Berlin, with Bayern surviving a late revival from the Swabians to lift the silverware and complete their outstanding treble.

Not long after Serdar Tasci survived a penalty scare, Guinean winger Ibrahima Traoré brought down Philipp Lahm in the box and allowed Thomas Müller to score from 12 yards out.

Mario Gómez then notched himself a brace early in the second-half, seemingly putting the game to bed against his former side.

However, Austrian winger Martin Harnik managed to score two goals for Stuttgart and left Bayern fans biting their nails for the final 10 minutes of the game. Stuttgart were unable to find a third and Bayern rounded off their season with a third trophy, cementing Jupp Heynckes’ side in the history books of European football.


Key Battle

Santiago Ascacibar vs Arturo Vidal

1. FC Kaiserslautern v VfB Stuttgart - DFB Cup

Two South American midfielders could be vital for their respective sides at the Mercedes-Benz Arena. For Stuttgart, the arrival of Santiago Ascacibar, who completed a €6m move from hometime side Estudiantes in the summer, has given them some much-needed aggression in the midfield.

The 20-year-old has shown incredible promise since arriving in Baden-Württemberg and looks set to join the Argentine national team setup sooner rather than later.

For Bayern, their trusted midfield general Arturo Vidal will be tasked with roughing up Stuttgart’s dangerous attacking players and disrupting their possession. Having seen Borussia Dortmund travel to the Mercedes-Benz Arena this season and lose, Stuttgart’s attacking threat can’t be overlooked by the visitors.


Team News

TSG 1899 Hoffenheim v VfB Stuttgart - Bundesliga

Seeing Anastasios Donis and Chadrac Akolo forced off the pitch inside 35 minutes against neighbours TSG Hoffenheim certainly wasn’t what Stuttgart needed ahead of their match with Bayern.
Although the later could return on Saturday, the goal-shy Swabians will still find it difficult hitting the back of the net against Bayern. Daniel Ginczek could return for the hosts, while long-term absentees Carlos Mané and Matthias Zimmermann are expected to be out of action until the new year.
Manuel Neuer is still missing in between the sticks for Bayern, while Arjen Robben is set to be assessed on his fitness on Monday. Kingsley Coman could also be left out against Stuttgart with a hip injury, while Spanish left-back Juan Bernat is expected to travel to the Mercedes-Benz Arena.

Potential VfB Stuttgart Starting Lineup: Zieler, Beck, Pavard, Badstuber, Baumgartl, Insua, Ascacibar, Gentner, Özcan, Brekalo, Asano.
Potential Bayern Munich Starting Lineup: Ulreich, Kimmich, Boateng, Martínez, Alaba, Rudy, Vidal, Rodríguez, Müller, Coman, Lewandowski.

Prediction

Bayern Muenchen v Paris Saint-Germain - UEFA Champions League

Although many fans expected Stuttgart to avoid relegation this season, their home form and overall performances have come as a surprise. The Swabians are yet to be rolled over by anyone, with valiant performances coming in defeats to Schalke 04 and Bayer Leverkusen.
However, the reigning Bundesliga champions should have too much for Hannes Wolf’s side to contain, with this fixture more of a pre-Dortmund test for Bayern, ahead of Wednesday’s third round DFB-Pokal match.
Prediction: VfB Stuttgart 1-4 Bayern Munich

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