Bayern Munich to make summer move for Basel's Xherdan Shaqiri
Bayern Munich are reportedly lining up a summer swoop for Basel starlet Xherdan Shaqiri.
The Switzerland international looked set to join Galatasaray during the current transfer window but the proposed transfer collapsed because of the Turkish club’s refusal to meet the asking price.
According to Bild, Bayern are now planning talks with Basel over signing Shaqiri at the end of the season.
The Bavarians are looking to add to their attacking options after missing out on Borussia Monchengladbach’s Marco Reus, who has snubbed Bayern and decided to join Borussia Dortmund in the summer instead.
Shaqiri is unlikely to come cheap, though, as the player is under contract to Basel until 2014 and the Swiss outfit have already rejected reported bids of €8 million from Galatasary and €12m from Zenit.
The 20-year-old attacker has already been capped 17 times by the Swiss national team and is considered one of his country’s most exciting young talents.
There was much blinking in disbelief among the Allianz Arena crowd after 66 minutes of Saturday’s match, as the fourth official displayed a substitution board indicating that Luiz Gustavo would replace Manuel Neuer. The confusion only lasted a few seconds, as it became clear the fourth official had simply entered the wrong number. Neuer stayed in goal, and Thomas Müller made way for Gustavo, much to the fans’ relief.
As it happened, the Brazilian midfielder could indeed have played out the last 25 minutes of the match as a makeshift keeper. Bayern’s reshuffled rearguard with Holger Badstuber and Jerome Boateng at centre-back stood firm. Visitors Wolfsburg loosed off a couple of hopeful efforts, but had no further shots on target. The home side did much better with their chances and ended up deservedly winning 2-0 courtesy of goals from Mario Gomez (60) and Arjen Robben (90+2).
“That was very, very important for our confidence,” said boss Jupp Heynckes after his side’s first victory in the second half of the season. The restart 3-1 defeat away to Mönchengladbach had taken its toll on Bayern’s self-belief, as the 90 minutes against the Wolves frequently showed. “We were a little short of composure,” the head coach stated, “but it was very important we kept a clean sheet.”
However, Heynckes expressed approval of his team’s much improved determination, as the men in red won 54 percent of their tackles, and also showed commendable discipline, although the head coach lamented a squandered opportunity by Gomez after 19 minutes. “If we’d taken an early lead, it would have been a very comfortable afternoon, but in the event it was a bit laboured at times.” Captain Philipp Lahm took a similar view: “Obviously, we’re capable of better football than that, but it’ll take a little time before we’re back in our normal rhythm.”
“It wasn’t a sparkling display,” Christian Nerlinger agreed, although the Wolves’ negative approach hardly contributed to the entertainment. But it was a crucial result, because FCB’s eighth home win of the season means they stay top of the Bundesliga on goal difference from Dortmund and Schalke: Bayern are four goals ahead of BVB and 12 clear of the Royal Blues. “When you’re right at the top, you only look at yourselves. It’s all in our own hands,” said Lahm.
To ensure things stay that way, Bayern are now hoping to set off on a streak similar to that at the start of the campaign, when they lost their opening match, narrowly won the second game, and then went 13 matches without defeat. “There really is a great similarity,” said Nerlinger. Toni Kroos agreed, but issued a warning against complacency: “I hope we can repeat our run, but we’ll still have to improve a lot.”
Franck Ribéry was a lively presence against Wolfsburg on his return from suspension, winning the free-kick from which Gomez scored the vital opener. “I’m back, which is important for me and the team,” the Frenchman commented. Ribéry reckoned FCB’s patchy showing at times against Felix Magath’s side was due to outside influences: “It’s been a long week with lots of pressure and lots of stress.”
Once again, Kroos voiced similar sentiments. “Two defeats in a row aren’t permissible here, so it was never going to be a festival of football,” the midfielder pointed out. Thomas Müller reckoned the media had gone much too far in recent days: “The tone of the reporting made you think we were stranded somewhere in mid-table.”
That of course is not the case. Munich travel to Hamburg next weekend looking to maintain top spot with another victory. Heynckes will be without Rafinha, who collected a fifth yellow card of the season on Saturday. Daniel van Buyten and Diego Contento are also still sidelined, so the boss will have to reshuffle his defence again. He declined to reveal his hand on that topic, but one thing is clear: Neuer will not be at full-back.
Theoretically, one goal cannot be scored by two players, but this rare phenomenon actually happened in front of 69,000 witnesses at the Allianz Arena on Saturday afternoon. The stadium rose to acclaim Ivica Olic as the scorer, but after studying a replay, the stadium announcer credited Arjen Robben with the stoppage-time strike. The Dutchman responded generously: “It was Ivi’s goal, although it’ll be put down to me.”
The incident which led to the confusing situation began with a quick free-kick taken by Philipp Lahm, who chipped a delicate ball into Olic’s path. The Croat hared beyond the Wolfsburg defence, where he was confronted by keeper Diego Benaglio rushing from his goal. Olic cunningly lobbed the Wolfsburg shot-stopper from the left of the penalty area, and the ball looped towards the empty net. It bounced once in the six-yard box, pursued by defenders Felipe Lopes and Ricardo Rodriguez. Lopes hacked the ball off the line with a last desperate lunge, but succeeded only in shooting straight at Robben’s stomach, from where the ball rebounded into the net.
“At first, I thought the ball was already over the line,” Olic explained. However, he too watched TV replays and agreed that Arjen had applied the final touch. “It was very close actually, and it was a good thing Arjen was there,” said the striker, adding with a wink: “But I was still delighted. It’s my first winning goal in a long time.”
Olic last scored some five months ago in the home meeting with Hamburg in late August last year. However, he had scant reason to celebrate, as he injured himself in the act of scoring with his head, and was out of action for eight weeks with a pelvic injury. To rub salt into the wound, he had only just made a comeback from a nine-month lay-off with a serious knee problem.
Ivi is now back and burning to get involved in the action. “I’ve been feeling fit for a very long time, as was obvious from my mid-season training,” he said, “a move like the one for the goal wasn’t really a miracle.” Nor is Olic concerned at Robben ultimately being credited with the goal: “I’m fit and healthy again, and I’ll soon be among the goals myself.”
The Dutch winger has no problem in handing the plaudits for the second goal against Wolfsburg to the Croat. “He did it really well and deserves it,” Arjen commented, “he always gets stuck in and gives everything for the team.” In fact, the goal was an important one for Robben too, as it was his first in the league from open play in fully four months. It means that in 69 appearances for Bayern, he now boasts the exceptional record of 43 goals and 18 assists.
However, the potent attacking player also showed all his quality in defence against Wolfsburg, recovering possession with tackles on seven occasions, more than any other player on the field. He was rewarded with the stoppage time strike. “I think it was the best one I’ve scored for the club,” he grinned, full in the knowledge that Olic made a huge contribution to the late success. So was the scorer Arjen or Ivica? Captain Lahm supplied the diplomatic answer: “50–50”.
Hello I love your tumblr., continue posting pictures about him, I consider him a great football player, Is he dating someone? If he is, what do you think about her? XO
Hi. Thank you very much for following. By ‘him’ I assume you mean Basti? Yes, he is a great and super talented footballer. He is dating Sarah Brandner and they also live together. Honestly, I think I am more suitable with Basti than Sarah is. LOL~ XD
The first thing I noticed was that it was hotter than I had imagined it to be. My train arrived in time [which was very unusual] and there had not been little children running around and no screaming, my day could not start better. The station of Munich was an over-crowded…
“We had good chances in the first half, but we didn’t take them. This time, we had the luck and the ability to take the lead through a set-piece. In terms of our scoring chances and the way we played, the win was deserved.”—JUPP HEYNCKES
“Servus zusammen, gestern haben wir zum Glück 2:0 gegen Wolfsburg gewonnen. Es war ein mühevoller Sieg, aber wenn man gegen einen tief stehenden, disziplinierten Gegner nicht frühzeitig ein Tor schießt, wird es immer schwierig. Heute und morgen bin ich mit den Spielern der Nationalmannschaft auf den Marketingtagen des DFB. Es werden einige Fotos und Werbedrehs gemacht, die ihr dann in den nächsten Wochen sehen könnt. Ich kann euch schon einige witzige Dinge versprechen… Genießt euren Sonntag! Bis bald, Thomas”—Thomas Müller via Facebook (via quieroelfutbol)