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FC Barcelona prepping next bid for Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski; Chelsea and Juventus to swap Timo Werner for Matthijs de Ligt?; The price on Florian Wirtz; Gareth Bale to LAFC; Arturo Vidal to Inter Miami;

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FC Barcelona is reportedly going back to the drawing board and preparing an offer for Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski:

Bayern Munich’s persistence this summer has seen FC Barcelona getting rebuffed twice in their attempts to sign top target Robert Lewandowski.

The Catalans had initiated the negotiations by tabling an offer of around €32 million.

But Bayern were swift to reject the offer, prompting Barça to come up with an improved €35 million bid.

However, reports suggest Bayern have rejected Barcelona’s second offer as well, with the club’s sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic issuing a stark response.

Many expect Bayern to keep hold of Lewandowski unless any interested party comes up with an offer of around €50 million.

In light of their recent rejection, Barcelona were poised to come up with another improved offer next week.

And as per Gerard Romero, the Catalans are already weighing up the third bid for Lewandowski, which is thought to be somewhere in the region of €35-40 million.

The figure of €35-40 million will be paid in cash, while Barça are willing to offer up to €7 million in performance-related add-ons, thus potentially increasing the overall package to almost €50 million.

It still feels like Barca will have to go north of €50 million with a base offer to get a deal done.

With the recent news breaking that Bayer Leverkusen had inked Florian Wirtz to a contract extension, some fans initially thought about what that might mean for Bayern Munich’s interest in the phenom.

Well, it appears that it will still take an absolute mountain of money to get Wirtz, but he is still on Bayern Munich’s radar:

Wirtz is also rumored to have a “gentleman’s agreement” that would let him leave after a nine figure bid. Can Bayern Munich compete with that? Probably not:

Bayern Munich made a big move official this week with Sadio Mané joining from Liverpool. The Robert Lewandowski saga, though maybe on the backburner, is by no means over. Both players feature on today’s topics list:

  • How Mané shows Bayern flexing their status as a destination club
  • Why Lewandowski might be forced to stay after all
  • Saša Kalajdžić rumors and how they relate to Lewandowski
  • Do fans have short memories? Why Brazzo needs to keep the good times rolling
  • How a Laimer signing could actually cause headaches for Julian Nagelsmann

Could Arturo Vidal be headed to Inter Miami? The former Bayern Munich midfielder is drawing interest from David Beckham’s club:

Inter Miami wants to attract more top international stars for the coming season. According to information from Marca, club president David Beckham has had a conversation with former Bayern player Arturo Vidal.

The Chilean took part in the A Beautiful Game match in Florida organized by Roberto Carlos and Ronaldinho. There the Englishman sought personal contact with Vidal.

The 35-year-old midfielder is tied to Inter Milan until 2023. Beckham is said to have tough competitors from South America and Qatar in his project.

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Rio Ferdinand issues major warning about Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag

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Former centre-back Rio Ferdinand believes it is still too early to judge whether Erik ten Hag is the right man to lead Manchester United back to the top, despite their unquestionable improvement under him this season.

United head into tomorrow’s Manchester derby against City at Old Trafford with the knowledge that a win will lift them to within a point and place of their neighbours in the Premier League table.

The Reds have lost just one of their last 18 matches since being battered 6-3 by City back in October, featuring a current run of eight wins on the bounce.

The Reds, such is the level of progress they have made under Ten Hag this season, are now considered as one of the favourites to qualify for the Champions League for next season.

They have made significant strides in a relatively short space of time and victories over the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur already this season have proven that they are capable of competing in the upper echelons of the table again.

However, despite heading into the second half of the campaign with form in their sails, Ferdinand insists the jury is still out on Ten Hag, despite him reaching 20 wins as United manager quick than any of his predecessors.

“I think it’s too early to say,” said Ferdinand to the Mirror. “We’ve been here with previous managers when it looks like we are onto something.

“We’ve got to be patient and give the man time. I think all the signs are very positive at the moment. He’s come in and seen what is happening, assessed how things are, looked at individuals and looked at the shape of the team.

“These were a bunch of players that were quite low. They were shot to pieces and he’s had to build, not only footballers, but men back up again. He’s had to build a lot of human beings back up and that takes time.

“The fact he’s now talking about qualifying for the Champions League so positively, he can sense a confidence coming back into this team. There’s a consistency of performance from the team that wasn’t there before and the signals and signs are all very promising.

“But they’re still not where they want to be. City are way ahead of where United are. The distance is a bit closer, but it’s still not anywhere near where we want it to be. There’s still work to be done.”

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Manchester United takeover bids ‘expected imminently’ with serious interest in Club

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Manchester United are expecting takeover offers from across the world as they are set to invite bids ahead of ‘mid-February deadline’.

The Telegraph have reported that the club have received ‘serious interest’ from consortiums based in the Middle East, Asia and the United States.

British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe is also weighing up an offer, as the Glazers hope to the sell one of the biggest clubs in the world for over £5billion.

The report also adds that parties who had been interested in taking over Chelsea, before Todd Boehly’s £4.25bn takeover, are set to return with approaches for the Red Devils.

It’s expected that potential investors will go public with their attempts to buy United in the coming weeks with the clock ‘now ticking on a deal’.

Senior United figures will issue a mid February deadline for formal offers in order to help get get the takeover completed before the end of the season.

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Confirmed: Chelsea ready to make late bid to hijack another Arsenal transfer

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Chelsea will make a late attempt to scupper Arsenal’s hopes of finally signing Mikhailo Mudryk from Shakhtar Donetsk.

The Gunners have submitted their third bid for the Ukraine international winger and hope an offer of £62m before add-ons, which take the deal closer to £70m, will be enough to break the deadlock between the two clubs.

Chelsea’s interest in the 21-year-old winger was earlier this week described only as ‘exploratory’ but ESPN now claim that Todd Boehly will test the waters and attempt to throw a spanner in the works for the Premier League leaders.

Shakhtar’s technical director Darijo Srna was pictured at Stamford Bridge last week as he watched Chelsea’s defeat against Manchester City and Boehly would have little issue with meeting an asking price which is closer to £88million.

Arsenal are said to be confident that their latest bid for Mudryk will be enough to finally secure the services of their No.1 January target, but have already been beaten to the punch once this month by their west London rivals.

Chelsea won the race to sign Joao Felix on loan from Atletico Madrid amid competition from Arsenal and Manchester United, but the Portugal international’s promising debut ended in devastating fashion when he was sent off just shy of the hour mark for a dangerous challenge on Fulham’s Kenny Tete.

Felix will now miss the next three games through suspension as the problems mount for Chelsea’s under-fire manager Graham Potter.

‘It sums up where we are at the moment – everything that can go wrong, is going wrong,’ Potter said after Chelsea’s 2-1 west London derby defeat.

‘It was a forward’s tackle from Joao, there was no malice in it but I understand why it was a red. It is another blow the hits keep coming at the moment.

‘He was really good you could see his quality in the game so it is doubly disappointing for us because he was looking dangerous throughout.

‘I don’t think there was too much malice in it and it is an unfortunate action and we are going to lose him now for three games.’

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