Bayern Munich may be backing up a current World Cup semifinalist with a hero from the quarters, but will it be a worthwhile move for the No. 2 in question?
Teams across Europe are keen on Keylor Navas after watching the goalkeeper play the role of Superman in Costa Rica’s World Cup run, and Levante is cool to accept a bid from someone while Navas’ stock is extra high, especially considering some estimate his value doubled during the World Cup.
According to a report from Las Provincias (translated by 101greatgoals), Bayern is in the driver’s seat with a $13.5 million dollar bid to Levante.
But how does this work for Navas?
Navas was one of the stars of the Ticas team who performed so admirably at the World Cup, and now rumours are swelling that the talented stopper is heading to the Allianz Arena.
The size of Bayern’s offer has Levante over a barrel. The club are heavily in debt, the money banked form the Navas sale will help reduce the liability of the club’s creditors.
As for Navas himself, one has to wonder just how clever this move is, as the 27-year-old keeper is undoubtedly going to be the understudy to number one goalie Manuel Neuer in Munich.
The last paragraph is what interests us. If there is one goalkeeper in the world who is secure in his job status, it’s Neuer. There’s no question that Bayern could use an improved emergency plan should the superstar go down, but he rarely needs a night off; 2013/14 backup backstop Lukas Raeder is gone and the current No. 2, Tom Starke, has played just five times for the Bavarians since joining from Hoffenheim in 2012.
With Neuer just 28, why should Navas head where he has little hope of featuring? With his star as bright as ever before and teams like Atletico Madrid interested, wouldn’t it behoove the Costa Rican to strong arm his money-hungry club into a more-desired destination?
PRAGUE (AP) Czech champion Viktoria Plzen is close to signing Austrian midfielder Andreas Ivanschitz.
Plzen says Ivanschitz agreed terms for a contract lasting 1 + seasons and will sign it when the team returns from a training camp in Spain. Ivanschitz has already joined the squad at the Oliva Nova resort, the club says.
Ivanschitz helped the Seattle Sounders win their first MLS Cup in December.
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No financial details were given.
The 33-year-old Ivanschitz also played for Rapid Vienna and Red Bull Salzburg in Austria, Mainz in the Bundesliga, Levante in Spain and Panathinaikos in Athens.
Ivanschitz played 69 games for Austria in 2003-14, scoring 12 goals.
Joel Matip is going to get to play for Liverpool during AFCON after all.
The center back had turned down the chance to represent Cameroon at the Africa Cup of Nations, and Liverpool was forced to apply to FIFA for a waiver.
[ PL PREVIEW: Swansea vs. Liverpool ]
Matip suffered an ankle injury in December, adding to his desire to stay at Anfield. He declared himself internationally retired and was one of six Cameroon players who refused call-ups for AFCON.
He last played for the Reds on Dec. 11, and can be selected by Jurgen Klopp against Swansea City on Saturday.
MANCHESTER, England (AP) Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney says he raised 1.2 million pounds ($1.5 million) from a friendly game against former club Everton last year.
That represents the profits, after operational costs, from August’s sellout match at Old Trafford and goes toward the Wayne Rooney Foundation’s target of raising 5 million pounds for children’s charities.
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Rooney said: “I’d like to thank all the fans who came to the testimonial and made it such a special night. They’ve raised a huge amount of money for children who are disadvantaged and it will make a real difference to their lives.”
Rooney is one goal from breaking Manchester United’s scoring record, with the striker currently tied with Bobby Charlton on 249 goals.
Rooney joined United from Everton in 2004.
Robert Lewandowski picked up where he left off.
The Polish striker scored twice for Bayern Munich, once in stoppage time, as the Bavarians improved their Bundesliga lead to six points after toppling Freiburg 2-1 on Friday.
[ MORE: Bundesliga second half preview ]
And what a winner it was, Lewandowski taking a Douglas Costa cross with two juggling touches before hitting an offspeed bouncer inside the post.
It was the league’s first match following the winter/holiday break, giving Bayern a cushion before RB Leipzig takes the pitch against Eintracht Frankfurt in a Top Five tilt on Saturday.
Lewandowski moves closer to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on the goal scoring chart. His 13th and 14th goals have him two back of Borussia Dortmund’s striker, as Lewandowski pursues a third Golden Boot in four seasons.
Full Weekend Schedule
Freiburg 1-2 Bayern Munich — Friday
Augsburg vs. Hoffenheim — Saturday
Schalke vs. Ingolstadt — Saturday
Darmstadt vs. Borussia Monchengladbach — Saturday
Werder Bremen vs. Borussia Dortmund — Saturday
Wolfsburg vs. Hamburger SV — Saturday
RB Leipzig vs. Eintracht Frankfurt — Saturday
Bayer Leverkusen vs. Hertha Berlin — Sunday
Mainz vs. Koln — Sunday