Bayern Munich Join French Duo in Chase for Barcelona Midfielder After Impressive World Cup

Bundesliga giants ??Bayern Munich have emerged as the most recent club to register interest in signing ?Barcelona’s star playmaker Ivan Rakitic, according to reports. 

Earli?er? claims reported that the Croatian star has been the subject of increased interest from Ligue 1 duo Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco after an impressive World Cup campaign with Croatia – making his €125m release clause more enticing by the day. Or at least, as enticing as paying €125m for a 30-year-old whose name isn’t Messi or Ronaldo can be (that is, still not very

France v Croatia - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Final

Fresh reports from ?Mundo Deportivo, however, have now seen Bayern enter the fray by making their intent to sign the 30-year-old known having placed a ‘spectacular’ contract offer on the table. 

The Bavarian giants’ interest comes off the back of two ‘astronomical offers’ from the pair of financial powerhouses in France’s top flight, where they hope the lure of working alongside a former Croatian international in manager Niko Kovac will make them the front runners. 

Kovac is understood to be convinced on how Rakitic can contribute to Bayern in the middle of the park and is eager to go all out to lure him to the Allianz Arena this summer. 

However, while the 30-year-old has caught the eye following his World Cup displays, he has yet to express a desire to end his four-year association with Barcelona – where he has a contract until 2021. 

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All three sides in the mix have the financial capabilities to meet the demands of both Barcelona and Rakitic, but it remains to be seen whether the Blaugrana would even consider parting with one of their key men with the season opener moving ever closer.

In other news,  Barcelona have named the four players who will lead the team next season, with ?Lionel Messi inheriting the armband from Andres Iniesta, with Sergio Busquets, Gerard Pique and Sergi Roberto his deputies. 

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Real Madrid ‘Agree Terms’ With Bayern Munich Star as Julen Lopetegui Looks for Kovacic Upgrade

?Real Madrid ?have reached an agreement with ?Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcántara as a replacement for Mateo Kovavic, who joined Chelsea on loan this week, with only a final fee needing to be agreed with the German outfit. 

Thiago has been widely expected to leave the Allianz Arena this summer as he searches for a new challenge after five seasons with the Bavarian giants, and Real’s new boss Julen Lopetegui is said to rate the 27-year-old highly following their time together for the Spanish national team. 

According to Spanish radio station ?Onda Cero, the Spanish giants have agreed personal terms with the midfielder and Bayern are said to be willing to negotiate his exit for a fee which is expected to be between £36m and £45m – due him to having three years remaining on his contract.

The two clubs are understood to be on good terms over transfers, despite Real’s interest in recalling James Rodriguez and acquiring Robert Lewandowski this summer.

Bayern’s new boss Niko Kovac views Thiago as a player who can be moved on, with a return to his homeland on the cards. 

The 27-year-old spent his early career with Real’s fierce rivals Barcelona and despite being ?linked with a return to his former stomping ground, a move to the Bernabeu appears more likely after the Blaugrana recently signed his Bayern teammate Arturo Vidal. 

Bayern Muenchen v Manchester United - Friendly Match

It remains to be seen whether Thiago would in fact join a rival club, but his versatility makes him an attractive proposition for Lopetegui as he looks to stamp his mark on the reigning European Cup holders after replacing Zinedine Zidane over the summer. 

The pair are well versed with each others style having risen through Spain’s national ranks together from the Under-21 European triumph in 2013 all the way to the senior level. 

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Journalist Suggests Most Likely Destination for Liverpool Target Christian Pulisic

Liverpool target Christian Pulisic’s future has had some light shone on his future by journalist Duncan Castles as the transfer deadline nears for English clubs. 

Castles offered an insight into a potential suitor for the highly rated playmaker, who has been linked to the Merseyside club in this window. Both Premier League heavyweights Liverpool and Chelsea have both shown interest, however, Castles believes ?Bayern Munich might have the edge due to the transfer deadline. 

Borussia Dortmund v S.S.C. Napoli - Pre-Seaon Friendly

With the deadline for English clubs being up at 5 pm on Thursday, time is against any Premier League club looking to capture the signature of Pulisic, one of Europe’s hottest prospects.

German teams have until August 31 to complete any transfer business and with the Bavarian club already having the power to snap up their domestic rivals’ best talents, Pulisic may already be a lost cause for Liverpool.

Speaking on the Transfer Window Podcast (via the ?Daily Star) Castles said: “We could see a transfer in this window. He’s a player who is of interest to all the top clubs in England.

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“He’s a very skillful, precocious talent at 19 years of age – he’s been a key player in Borussia Dortmund’s team for two seasons.

“And he also comes with this status of being the biggest name in the American game. Liverpool have bid for the player several years ago to try and get him at a low price.

“I think they are not going to bid this summer.

“Chelsea have had a long hard look at him as a potential replacement, where Hazard or Willian to leave.

Borussia Dortmund Training Session

“He’s one of the players they have been examining. But I think the most likely destination for him as things stand is Bayern Munich. One of the reasons Arturo Vidal was sold was to raise revenue to enable the purchase of Pulisic. 

“Bayern have been working on a deal in the background for a long time. He only has two years left on his contract. Dortmund know they are going to lose the player, he won’t sign a new contract.”

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Bayern Munich Defender Jerome Boateng Holding Out for PSG Move After Rejecting Man United

??Bayern Munich star Jerome Boateng reportedly has his heart set on a move to Paris Saint-Germain after declining Jose Mourinho’s offer of a move to ?Manchester United, with the German waiting on the two clubs to agree a fee having already agreed personal terms. 

As reported by ?Le Parisien, Boateng, who is contracted to the ?Bundesliga champions until 2021, has allegedly been allowed to leave the Bavarians after the club grew tired of his disciplinary issues over the years. 

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?Serie A giants ?Juventus were said to be keen on acquiring the former ?Manchester City man’s services, before a deal for Leonardo Bonucci materialised. 

Boateng is said to have told Manchester United boss Mourinho of his intentions not to continue his illustrious career at Old Trafford after Bayern’s recent friendly with United. 

A move to England looks unlikely, given the transfer window’s early closure this summer, with PSG the most likely destination for the 29-year-old. 

The Ligue 1 champions’ new boss, Thomas Tuchel, is very keen on acquiring the experienced German international and hopes to bring him to the Parc des Princes. 

Bayern chief Karl-Heinz Rummenigge had placed a €60m price tag on Boateng, although he is now said to be willing to do business for a fee of around €45.

The club seem keen to offload the defender in the knowledge that his prime years are almost over, with this window seemingly the last real chance to command such a fee for the player. 

This news will come as somewhat of a blow to the Red Devils, who are desperately trying to add a central defender to their ranks before the deadline. 

Bayern Muenchen v Manchester United - Friendly Match

Leicester’s Harry Maguire and Tottenham’s Toby Alderweireld are the two names said to be at the top of the club’s wish list, although any potential move or either of the pair will cost in excess of £50m. 

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Spurs, Bayern & Juve Playmakers Among Three Possible Replacements for Mateo Kovacic at Real Madrid

??Real Madrid have identified three midfielders who could replace Mateo Kovacic, with the Croatian on the brink of a loan move to ?Chelsea.

Chief among their targets is Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen. ?The Mirror claims that Julen Lopetegui wants Eriksen to lead his midfield in the years ahead, but he may have to wait until January or next summer.

Two players who could be more immediate replacements for Kovacic are ?Bayern Munich’s Spanish midfielder Thiago and Miralem Pjanic of ?Juventus.

??AS claims that Thiago would like to be reunited with his former national team manager Lopetegui, who called him up to Spain’s World Cup squad before he was dramatically sacked on the eve of the tournament.

Former Barcelona man Thiago extended his contract with the German champions until 2021 last year but he is keen for a return to La Liga, and Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has indicated that the club may allow midfielders to leave.

Croatia Training Session - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

“Right now we’re seeing whether any players want to leave. We have nine players [in midfield] and only three or four spots to go around,” he said.

Thiago is valued at 60m but Bayern’s eagerness to make James Rodriguez’s loan move permanent may help in facilitating a more easy transaction.

An alternative option is Miralem Pjanic. The Bosnian international has had admirers in the Spanish capital since his Lyon days and would also be a good replacement for Kovacic.

Real Madrid v Juventus - International Champions Cup 2018

However, Real expect that Juventus will demand an asking price close to €80m for Pjanic. They are unlikely to pay that much, particularly as Eriksen is their preferred long-term option.

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