Bayern Munich Join Barcelona & Man Utd in Summer Race for Young Dutch Sensation

?German champions Bayern Munuch have reportedly made an approach for Ajax defensive starlet Matthijs De Ligt, but could face major opposition from Spanish supremos Barcelona in their quest to land the teenager.

?Mundo Deportivo are reporting that the Bavarian Giants have submitted an offer for the player, while Premier League sides Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal are all very interested in getting him on their books.

Ajax v Feyenoord - Eredivisie

De Ligt only recently ?hinted that his time at Ajax could soon be up. He also claimed that money would not influence his decision, and according to Mundo’s report, he wants to join a club where he will continue to be first choice.

The report states that he considers Barca to be the worst option in that regard as he would have to compete with Gerard Pique and Samuel Umtiti for the centre-back spots. However, he is reported to have toured the city with teammate Justin Kluivert and his father Patrick Kluivert – a former Barcelona player – in recent times.

FC Schalke 04 v Ajax Amsterdam - UEFA Europa League Quarter Final: Second Leg

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United are viewed as the team who can offer the player the best avenue for minutes as Chris Smalling hardly inspires confidence, Phil Jones has a long injury record and Daley Blind is set to leave. 

Barca, meanwhile, are concerned that the De Ligt could be a out of their reach financially, given their plans to sign Antoine Griezmann from Atletico Madrid. The Frenchman would cost upwards of £100m and would also command a hefty signing-on bonus.


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The hierarchy at Bayern, however, are understood to be making plans to bring the 18-year-old in as Mats Hummels’ successor and, by the looks of things, could be trying to have a deal agreed before the end of the season.

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Juventus Hit Stumbling Block in Pursuit of Man Utd Star’s Signature As Bayern Consider Rival Bid

Serie A giants Juventus have hit a stumbling block in their pursuit of Manchester United star Anthony Martial despite being in contact with the Frenchman’s representatives.

It has been known for some time that the Old Lady have been keeping an eye on Martial, with the 22-year-old growing increasingly frustrated at the lack of game time he is getting under José Mourinho at Old Trafford.

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Juventus reportedly wanted to secure a Bosman deal for Martial next season, similar to their pursuit of Liverpool midfielder Emre Can, as the former AS Monaco forward may become a free agent in 2019 (United do hold an option to trigger a further year on his deal) and it is rumoured that he has already turned his nose up at a new deal at ?Old Trafford?.

But as Martial becomes increasingly eager on a move away from Manchester sooner rather than later, Juventus are growing concerned that they will not be able to match the financial capabilities of other suitors from across Europe.

Italian outlet Calciomercato suggest that Bayern Munich will be on the inside track for Martial’s signature if the Frenchman tries to force through a move this summer.

This is because Juventus are unwilling, or unable, to match his proposed transfer fee – which is set to exceed the €60m United paid back in 2015.

It is suggested that Martial would be keen on a move to Turin, but the France international has also been attracting interest from elsewhere. 


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As many as six European powerhouses could be interested in signing the 22-year-old this summer, but it is believed that Juventus and Bayern Munich are currently at the head of the pack.

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Picking the Best Potential Bayern Munich Lineup to Face Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday

Jupp Heynckes made a number of changes to his starting lineup against Borussia Mönchengladbach on Saturday, but the Bavarians still cruised to a comfortable 5-1 win over the Foals.

Attention will now turn to booking their place in the DFB-Pokal final with a trip to Leverkusen on Tuesday, and Bayern are expected to return to full strength at the BayArena.

Here’s how the Bundesliga champions could lineup in midweek:

Torhüter

  • Ulreich

    Ulreich26

Manuel Neuer could be back for Bayern Munich before the end of the month but for the time being, Sven Ulreich will continue to deputise for the Germany international.

Verteidigung

  • Kimmich

    Kimmich32

  • Boateng

    Boateng17

  • Hummels

    Hummels5

  • Alaba

    Alaba27

Despite making a number of changes on Saturday, Jupp Heynckes fielded a near full strength defence against ‘Gladbach and Bayern Munich are expected to set up almost identically on Tuesday. 

Niklas Süle could make way for Jérôme Boateng in Leverkusen, while Joshua Kimmich, Mats Hummels and David Alaba should stay put.

Mittelfeld

  • Müller

    Müller25

  • Martínez

    Martínez8

  • James

    James11

Heynckes could rotate his entire midfield in the Pokal, especially after resting Javi Martínez against Borussia Mönchengladbach. James Rodríguez made a cameo appearance on Saturday but is expected to start in midweek. Star man Thomas Müller will likely drop further into midfield at the BayArena, with rotation also expected in Bayern’s attack.

Sturm

  • Robben

    Robben10

  • Lewandowski

    Lewandowski9

  • Ribéry

    Ribéry7

After Müller started alongside Sandro Wagner and Juan Bernat in the Bundesliga, Heynckes could change his entire front three as Bayern Munich look to book their place in the final next month. 

Arjen Robben and Franck Ribéry should be drafted back in to provide width for the top goalscorer in Germany, Robert Lewandowski.

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

Bayern Munich and Bayer Leverkusen will be switching their focus away from the Bundesliga this week ahead of their meeting in the semi final of the DFB-Pokal.

The Bavarians will be travelling to the BayArena as league champions and Jupp Heynckes will be desperate to end his third spell in charge of the club with at least a domestic double this season.

Leverkusen have been one of Germany’s most exciting teams this season and Heiko Herrlich’s side currently sit third in the Bundesliga table. With young stars like Leon Bailey, Julian Brandt and Kai Havertz at their disposal, Die Werkself will prove to be tough opponents for Bayern Munich on Tuesday.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the clash in midweek.


Classic Encounter

Bayer 04 Leverkusen v FC Bayern Muenchen - Bundesliga

Bayern Munich are unbeaten in their last six meeting with Bayer Leverkusen, a record that has lasted almost three years to the day. But back when Pep Guardiola was in charge of the Bavarian giants his side fell to a 2-0 defeat at the BayArena.

Both sides cancelled each other out during the first half, but makeshift striker Hakan Çalhano?lu had the hosts in front with a trademark free kick just 10 minutes after the restart.

Karim Bellarabi then went on an outstanding solo run before releasing an unmarked Julian Brandt on the right wing. The youngster drifted into the box before firing a powerful effort past Manuel Neuer at his near post to secure all three points – a result Bayern will be hoping to avoid on Tuesday.


Key Battle
Kevin Volland vs Mats Hummels

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Bayern Munich will understandably be favourites to secure a place in the DFB-Pokal final when they travel to the BayArena on Tuesday, but Leverkusen’s attack is teaming with talent and Heiko Herrlich’s side can’t be underestimated in midweek.
Striker Kevin Volland is a name rarely heard when discussions over Joachim Löw’s World Cup squad come up, but the 25-year-old is currently the top scoring German in the Bundesliga – three ahead of Die Mannschaft’s star man Timo Werner.
The former TSG Hoffenheim star scored a 17-minute hat-trick against high flying Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday and Volland will be eager to impress once more against Bayern Munich on Tuesday.
But Volland will be coming up against the Bavarians’ anchor man Mats Hummels. The 29-year-old is widely considered to be one of the best defenders in Europe and he is a key fixture in Jupp Heynckes’ senior squad.

Team News

Bayern Muenchen Training And Press Conference

Bayern Munich will be without long-term absentees Manuel Neuer and Kingsley Coman on Tuesday, while a recent injury to Arturo Vidal will also keep the Chilean on the sidelines in the DFB-Pokal.
Fringe striker Joel Pohjanpalo will be out of Bayer Leverkusen’s squad this week with an ankle injury, with Sven Bender and Wendell also missing from Die Werkself’s attack.

Potential Bayer Leverkusen Starting Lineup: Leno, Bender, Tah, Retsos, Henrichs, Aranguiz, Baumgartlinger, Bailey, Havertz, Brandt, Volland.

Potential Bayern Munich Starting Lineup: Ulreich, Kimmich, Boateng, Hummels, Alaba, Martínez, Müller, James, Robben, Ribéry, Lewandowski.

Prediction

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Although Bayer Leverkusen will offer Bayern Munich a lot of threat going forward, and based on the Bavarian’s defensive record the hosts should get on the scoresheet, Jupp Heynckes’ side will most likely book their place in next month’s final.

Bayern will be returning to full strength on Tuesday and they will be motivated to secure a domestic double this season. Attention can then switch to their Champions League semi final against Real Madrid later this month.

Prediction: Bayer Leverkusen 2-4 Bayern Munich

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Pep Guardiola Targets Summer Move for Bayern Star as Long-Term Replacement for David Silva

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has made Spain international Thiago Alcantara a top priority this summer, and is targeting the intelligent midfielder to offer an alternative to 32-year-old David Silva next season. 

Thiago was initially signed by Guardiola for Bayern Munich in 2013, and since then has established himself among the world’s best midfielders. He is under contract at Bayern until 2021, but having only started ten league games for the German club this year, may be tempted away by a promise of more game time.

FC Bayern Muenchen v Borussia Moenchengladbach - Bundesliga

Guardiola hinted, via the Daily Mail, recently that City will need a big squad to compete with the likes of Manchester United and Liverpool again next season, adding that Silva may not be able to play every week because of his advancing years.

He said: “Next season, David (Silva) maybe will not play every game.”

But Manchester City’s current squad also features ageing stars Fernandinho and Yaya Toure, who are both also in their thirties. Toure’s contract is set to expire in the summer, leaving a place open for a new recruit.

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Guardiola is not interested in adding more than three players to his Manchester City squad this summer, requesting quality over quantity, however. But the club will be restricted by Premier League rules that allow a maximum of 17 senior overseas players in any squad.

The Sky Blues already have 14, and Leroy Sane and Oleksandr Zinchenko are soon to pass the age barrier meaning they will be counted in next season’s total. Eliaquim Mangala is also set to return from a loan spell at Everton in the summer, though it is expected that he will be sold.

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Toure’s exit will free up one place in the squad, but the restrictions mean City may have to look at homegrown talent. 

They are reportedly currently ?monitoring Wilfried Zaha, of Crystal Palace, to see if the Ivorian is capable of making the step up the Manchester City’s level.

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