Metzelder: Bayern Munich will be watching Draxler

The veteran defender believes that his 19-year-old Schalke team-mate could easily end up moving to the Allianz Arena in the next few seasons

Christoph Metzelder has conceded that Schalke team-mate Julian Draxler willl almost inevitably end up attracting the attention of Bayern Munich if maintains his form.

The 19-year-old has already been capped four times by Germany, having rapidly established himself as one of the most exciting talents to emerge in the Bundesliga since making his debut for the Gelsenkirchen outfit two years ago.

Consequently, Metzelder feels it is only a matter of time before the ambitious German champions start mulling over a move for Schalke’s most prized asset.

“If the development of Julian Draxler continues, Bayern Munich will automatically become a top of discussion at some point,” he told Sky Sport News HD.

Metzelder, who has 47 international caps to his name, joined Schalke from Real Madrid in 2010.

Draxler has made 36 appearance for Schalke this season, scoring 11 goals.

Reus: Timing of Gotze announcement 'stupid & unfortunate'

The Dortmund forward has urged fans to get behind the Bayern-bound forward for the rest of the season as they enter a crucial part of their campaign

Borussia Dortmund’s Marco Reus has labelled the timing of the announcement of Mario Gotze’s move to Bayern Munich “stupid and unfortunate” as his side prepare to host Real Madrid.

The Germans’ preparations for the Champions League semi-final have been completely overshadowed by the previous day’s news that the 20-year-old will move to the Allianz Arena this summer.

Reus admits that the news could not have come at a worse time for Dortmund bus has urged fans to get behind Gotze in a key part of the season.

“Today is THE game,” the former Borussia Monchengladbach man wrote on his Facebook page.

“We’re looking forward to Real Madrid and we want to reach the Champions League final. Nothing will distract us from our goal – not even the news which everyone in Germany has been talking about.

“Mario has made a decision for his future. We have to respect that. The timing of the announcement was certainly stupid and unfortunate. But no one should believe that Mario is responsible for that.

“I think that some of the comments about Mario which I heard or read on Facebook are below the belt. He doesn’t deserve that. He has a lot to thank you and Dortmund for, but BVB also owe him. Let’s not forget that.

“Please, let’s look forward and celebrate a great night of football together – including Mario of course!”

Another BVB star linked with a controversial move to Bayern is Mats Hummels, whose father and advisor Hermann has moved to quash rumours.

“There’s nothing to it,” he told Express. “My son has a contract with Dortmund until 2017.”

Hummels started his career at Bayern but joined BVB on a permanent basis in 2009 after a successful loan spell.

Messi's father told me he wasn't fit, claims Minguella

The Argentine was rushed back to face Bayern on Tuesday and put it a toothless performance as Barcelona lost 4-0 at the Allianz Arena

Josep Maria Minguella has claimed that Lionel Messi’s father told him that the Barcelona forward was not fit for the first leg of his side’s Champions League semi-final clash with Bayern Munich.

The Argentine’s participation in the Allianz Arena clash had been in doubt right up until just a couple of hours before kick-off, with the 25-year-old having failed to feature for the Blaugrana in all but one game since sustaining a hamstring injury against Paris Saint-Germain on April 2.

The Catalans eventually slumped to a 4-0 loss, with Messi putting in a disappointing performance and Minguella believes he was not fit enough to feature.

“His father told me at lunch that he was not able to play,” the agent-turned-pundit is quoted as saying by Marca.

Barcelona will be hoping that Messi is fully fit when they meet Bayern again in the second leg at Camp Nou on May 1 as they look to produce an unlikely comeback.

Barcelona travel to Athletic Bilbao on Saturday.

Betting Special: Could Rooney become the next Galactico?

With speculation mounting over the England striker’s imminent Old Trafford departure, Al Hain-Cole thinks that there is value to be had in backing him to end up at the Bernabeu

Ever since Alex Ferguson left him on the bench for Manchester United’s Champions League clash against Real Madrid in March, the rumour mill has been awash with talk of Wayne Rooney leaving Old Trafford in the summer.

This speculation recently intensified when a former advisor to Paris Saint Germain confidently assured French television that a deal was already in place to bring the England international to the Parc des Princes when the transfer window opens, prompting Paddy Power to cut the odds to just 5/6 (1.83) on him joining Carlo Ancelotti’s star-studded side.

Thanks to their Qatari owners, PSG would be able to put together a financial package that few of Rooney’s other suitors could contend with, although they are not the only big spenders out there.

Manchester City’s own Middle Eastern benefactors could well be persuaded to get their cheque books out for a transfer that would send shockwaves throughout the Premier League, and they are surprising second favourites at 7/1 (8.00) to entice the striker to switch allegiances to the blue half of Manchester, following former United frontman Carlos Tevez.

If he really does not fancy the challenge of wrapping his head around a foreign language and culture then a lucrative move to Chelsea is another option for the 26-year-old, available at 10/1 (11.00).

The boyhood Everton fan famously proclaimed that he was ’Once a Blue, always a Blue’ before defecting to Manchester, but a move back to Goodison Park does not seem financially viable, so is perhaps best avoided at 14/1 (15.00).

Bayern Munich are bound to give new boss Pep Guardiola a healthy budget in order to stamp his mark on the side, but having already announced the arrival of Mario Gotze, the German champions seem like a long shot at 10/1 (11.00).

Italian football has lost a great deal of its lustre in recent years, so moves to AC Milan 14/1 (15.00), Inter 22/1 (23.00) or Juventus 20/1 (21.00)  seem unlikely.

On the other hand, few players could turn down a move to Real Madrid 14/1 (15.00) or Barcelona 20/1 (21.00), and los Merengues’ widely publicised need for a new striker makes them a potentially lucrative punt, with their rivals focused on signing Brazilian sensation Neymar.

The Spanish champions have a track record of signing big name English talent such as Michael Owen, Jonathan Woodgate and David Beckham, while the latter has since been followed by Gabriel Heinze and Cristiano Ronaldo in exchanging Old Trafford for the Santiago Bernabeu, so it should be no surprise if negotiations are opened between the two clubs yet again.

While his bank balance would benefit from moves to LA Galaxy 16/1 (17.00) or Anzhi Makhachkala 20/1 (21.00), Rooney’s career would surely suffer from the step down in quality of football, so neither club seem like realistic contenders.

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Al Hain-Cole is a Liverpool fan, experienced tipster and avid follower of European football. He specialises in accumulators and if you would like to read more from Al you can follow him on Twitter here.

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'Bayern make a Messi of Barca' – How the media reported on Champions League semi-final

Goal.com takes a look at how the world’s press reacted to the Bundesliga champions’ thrashing of the Catalan giants on Tuesday

When Bayern Munich were paired with Barcelona during the draw for the Champions League semi-finals in Nyon earlier this month, many expected a close pair of encounters between the two European superpowers.

Both sides have made it to the final of European club football’s elite competition more than once in recent years and were among the favourites to make it to Wembley this season.

Nevertheless, the Bundesliga giants showed little interest in keeping things open after the first leg, as they hammered the Blaugrana 4-0 at the Allianz Arena to effectively decide the tie after just 90 minutes.

A first-half goal from Thomas Muller gifted Bayern the lead at half-time, before Mario Gomez, again Muller and Arjen Robben poured even more salt in Barca’s wounds after the interval.

Die Roten‘s convincing win will possibly not have come as a huge surprise to close followers of German football, yet was quite a shock for people across the world.

Goal.com lines up the reactions in the global media, starting with German publications Bild and Welt, who were both jubilant after Bayern’s home win.

Bild

Mega Bayern!

European football is shivering after the Bavarians’ win over Barca. Which team can stop the German champions on their way to the title?

Welt

Bayern reign and humiliate

Bayern’s victory over Barcelona was a historic win. The result is on par with Bayern’s Champions League win in 2001 and indicates that a new era in European football is about to start.

Meanwhile, focus in the Spanish press lies on Barcelona’s demise as both AS and El Mundo Deportivo believe the Catalans were outplayed.

AS

End of an era

Bayern taught Barca a lesson physically and tactically. Viktor Kassai made many controversial decisions, ignoring two penalties for Bayern and letting three illegal goals stand. Muller (2), Gomez and Robben scored the goals that put Barca on the brink of exiting the competition.

El Mundo Deportivo

Nightmare

Exultant Bayern destroy unrecognisable Barcelona. Images of Barca bring back memories of infamous final against Milan in 1994.

The German’s dominance at the Allianz Arena also didn’t go unnoticed in the UK, with The Times heaping praise on Thomas Muller, while The Sun highlighted Lionel Messi’s anonymous performance.

The Times

Mullered: Barcelona crushed as brilliant Bayern move to brink of final

It will go down as one of those great nights when European football was shaken to the core. As Bayern Munich took a giant step towards the Champions League final with a spectacular victory to humble the mighty Barcelona, it was hard to avoid feeling that the team crying out for Pep Guardiola was the one from his past, not his future.

The Sun

Bayern make a Messi of Barca

Jupp Heynckes revealed he masterminded Bayern Munich’s thrashing of Barcelona with a Powerpoint presentation.

The Italians, who saw Serie A representatives Juventus crash out against Bayern in the quarter-finals, were quick to acknowledge Bayern’s superiority and felt Barca never stood a chance.

La Gazzettta dello Sport

Bayern uber alles

Barcelona destroyed as Germans take giant step toward final.

Tuttosport

Bay Bay Barca

Muller unleashed, two goals and an assist. Messi nothing more than a non-paying spectator. Catalans drown in Allianz Arena basin.

Outside of Europe, the American press felt Tuesday’s game was further proof that Bayern are ready to rule Europe, with both Fox Soccer and ESPN agreeing that Barca were humiliated.

Fox Soccer

Blown away

Bayern stages humiliating clinic at Barcelona’s expense.

ESPN

Statement game

By thumping Barca, Bayern showed it’s ready to rule Europe.

Finally, South-African papers The Star and The Times were equally impressed with Bayern’s fine performance as they feel Barca were taught a lesson.

The Star

Barca crushed by rampant Bayern

Bayern Munich gave Barcelona an epic lesson in power and speed during their Champions League clash.

The Times

Bayern show no Messi

Bayern Munich’s incredible season continued when they handed Barcelona one of their heaviest defeats in years.