VIDEO: Bayern Munich Stars Call for VAR Help in FIFA 18 Free-Kick Challenge

?Football has really taken to this VAR thing, or at least we’d like to think so.

Just this week, a 90min poll showed that a ?huge percentage of readers were in support of the technology. So it must be great, right?

?Chelsea boss Antonio Conte would certainly disagree, not with the notion that it’s been a great project, but with the fact that it has been at all useful, despite being readily available.

1. FC Koeln v Borussia Moenchengladbach - Bundesliga

If anything, though, ?Bayern Munich’s stars have benefited from the novel technology, albeit not during an actual match – but hey, progress.

Fabian Benko, Joshua Kimmich, Robert Lewandowski and Jerome Boateng took part in a ?EA Sports FIFA 18 ?Bundesliga Free Kick Challenge Special this month – well, Boateng not so much as he’s injured, but he did do most of the talking.

Towards the end, said players had to call for the precious VAR to ensure that they were not robbed of crucial points.

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So yes, it does work. Everyone is just hoping that the English FA will ask match officials to use it when they get the chance.

The technology is only being used in cup competitions for now, but we could see it implemented in the ?Premier League soon.


Real Reportedly Draw Up Plans to Replace ‘BBC’ With New Fearsome Attacking Trio

?Real Madrid are reportedly drawing up plans to replace their famous ‘BBC’ attacking front three with a new fearsome trio.

?Marca has alleged that Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale could soon be on the way out of Santiago Bernabeu as club president Florentino Perez eyes a new Galactico triumvirate to lead his side to glory.

World-record signing and former ?Barcelona superstar Neymar, who plays for Paris-Saint Germain, tops Florentino’s wishlist.

And the Brazil international, who has been tipped to join Real in the future, would be joined in the capital by Chelsea’s Eden Hazard and Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski.

Ronaldo’s, Benzema’s and Bale’s days appear numbered due to a variety of reasons that haven’t helped to alleviate the pressure on Real to defend their titles already this term.

The veteran Portugal attacker has been linked with a Los Blancos departure over concerns that talks about a new deal are not going to play, while Benzema and Bale have been the subject of criticism from Real’s fanbase for the level of performance in recent times.

(You may also be interested in ?Cristiano Ronaldo Linked With Chinese Club Tianjin Quanjin as European Options Run Dry)

Of course, issues would arise if Real have their heart set of Neymar, Hazard and Lewandowski with none of their current clubs likely to roll over and let the reigning ?La Liga champions poach them.

Neymar would not come cheap after he only moved to Paris six months ago and, backed by wealthy Qatari owners, PSG have no concerns over selling their star man.

?Chelsea, meanwhile, are close to securing Hazard’s immediate future after the Belgian flier admitted he was on the cusp of penning a contract extension to remain at Stamford Bridge.

Real had been tipped to land the Belgium international last summer but reports of their interest cooled for an unknown reason.

Lewandowski is also the jewel in ?Bayern’s crown of attacking talent and, at 30 years of age, would not really provide value for money for ?Real at this stage of his career.

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?Tottenham hotshot Harry Kane and ?Inter captain Mauro Icardi are seen as potential Lewandowski replacements if Real decide not to pursue the Poland international but would also command high transfer fees.


Liverpool Turn to James Rodriguez as Replacement for Philippe Coutinho

Fresh reports have surfaced claiming that Liverpool are interested in signing James Rodriguez on a permanent transfer from Real Madrid this summer. 

Spanish tabloid Don Balon reported (via Liverpool Echo) that Liverpool have joined the race to sign the Colombian international – who is currently on loan at Bayern Munich – as a potential replacement for Philippe Coutinho who departed the club for Barcelona in a deal worth around £142m.

Bayern Muenchen v SG Sonnenhof Grossaspach - Friendly Match

The Bundesliga leaders signed the Colombian international on a two-year loan deal last summer, therefore Liverpool would have to rely on the possibility of Bayern ending the loan prematurely if they are to get a deal done this summer. 

He has made 13 Bundesliga appearances so far this season and has contributed three goals, however, his place at Bayern isn’t secure. Jupp Heynckes is already looking at potential transfer targets for next season – the likes of Leon Goretzka and Joao Mario have both been linked with the club – which may threaten Rodriguez’s place in the side.


Should that be the case, the Reds look likely to be ready and waiting to come in for the former World Cup Golden Boot winner in an audacious transfer move.

In terms of a fee, Real are said to want to make up as much of the £70m they initially bought Rodriguez for from Monaco in 2014, however having only spent £70m of the £142m they received for Coutinho on Virgil van Dijk, Jurgen Klopp still has plenty of financial resources at his disposal.

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Spirits around Anfield are high at the minute after an astonishing 4-3 win over Manchester City ended the league leader’s unbeaten start to the Premier League season, and in doing so propelled Liverpool up to third place. Fans will be hoping Klopp can add further to his squad this window with the Champions League knockout phase and a Premier League title race ahead.


Bayern Munich Pulled Out of Alexis Sanchez Deal Last Summer Due to ‘Unrealistic’ Wage Demands

?Bayern Munich withdrew from contract negotiations with Alexis Sanchez last summer due to unrealistic wage demands and a fear that he would disrupt the dressing room, according to German football journalist Raphael Honigstein.

The Arsenal forward has been at the centre of speculation this month linking him with a ?move to Premier League rivals.

Manchester City were expected to sign Sanchez last summer but Arsenal cancelled the transfer having been unable to find a replacement.

City’s interest was reignited upon the opening of the January transfer window, but ?the Telegraph have reported that the Chilean has now agreed a contract with Manchester United.

The Red Devils will reportedly pay Sanchez a weekly wage of around £350,000 a week, and such demands were clearly balked at by by Bayern.

Honigstein wrote on Twitter: “BTW, Bayern pulled out of negotiations with Alexis Sanchez in the summer because they felt his wage demands were unrealistic and would ruin the dressing room.”

City were also evidently reluctant to meet both Arsenal’s and the player’s demands, limiting their valuation to a maximum of £20m.

Chelsea v Arsenal - Carabao Cup Semi-Final: First Leg

Former United defender Gary Neville, speaking on Monday Night Football, questioned City’s decision to withdraw their interest.

“If Sanchez had two years left on his contract you’d have to pay Arsenal £75m to £80m and him £200,000 to £250,000 a week,” he said. “It would cost you £100m.

“He’s going to cost £100m anyway so I’m not quite sure what City’s economics are, particularly when they’ve spent £50m on Kyle Walker and the package of his wages over five years might cost £80m.

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“They’re willing to put more into Walker than they are Sanchez. I’m struggling to see why it doesn’t make sense for City to pay more to get Sanchez because ultimately it seems to me City think they can get him cheaper than the market would be offering for a player of that quality. That’s what doesn’t make sense to me.”


Bayern Munich Capture Versatile Full-Back From Bundesliga Rivals in Winter Transfer

Bayern Munich are appearing to be building for the future with their latest transfer after 16-year-old left-back Louis Poznanski decided to up sticks from hometown side Werder Bremen and move to Bavaria, the club have confirmed.

The German U17 international, who represented the Polish national team at U15 level, has been putting in impressive performances in the B-Junioren Bundesliga (U17 Bundesliga) this season, scoring his only goal against Eimsbütteler TV.

Poznanski has also earned four appearances in the A-Junioren Bundesliga (U19 Bundesliga) this season – the same competition that Hamburger SV wonderkid Jann-Fiete Arp took by storm at the beginning of the campaign, scoring seven goals in three appearances before receiving a call-up to the Rothosen first-team.

Although the latest transfer news is a boost for Bayern’s youth setup, fans will be hoping to see one or two new faces to the first-team before the January transfer window closes.

TSG Hoffenheim striker Sandro Wagner has already put pen to paper on his deal at the Allianz Arena, returning to the club after almost 10 years away.

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Wagner, who missed the last four games of the Hinrunde with an Achilles tendon injury, made a cameo for Bayern in their 3-1 victory over Bayer Leverkusen on Friday, replacing Franck Ribéry with 10 minutes left on the clock.