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Bayern expects Goretzka decision “in a few days”

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Schalke star Leon Goretzka has said he’ll decide on his future this month, and Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge expects to know what the 22-year-old will do within the next few days.

Rummenigge says Goretzka is a person of interest for Bayern but admitted that there’s no contract in place between the club and player.

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“Now it is up to the player to decide, and it would be nice if he chose Bayern in the end. You only have an agreement when you sign the contract,” he said, according to The Liverpool Echo.

“All top clubs like Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United or Juventus wanted him, so it is perfectly legal and normal that the top club from Germany is interested in this player, too. The decision will be taken in a few days.”

Reports late last month had a Goretzka to Bayern move all but complete, and Schalke was displeased earlier this month at its Bundesliga rivals’ open praise for the player.

Goretzka posted four goals in 11 appearances during an injury-hit first half of the season, and has not played 90 minutes since Oct. 20. He won a silver medal with Germany at the 2016 Olympics and the Confederations Cup this past summer.

He’s been linked with Liverpool, too, and the Reds do have a new opening for an attacker. Could the Reds convince Schalke to take a fee for their soon-to-be free young star?

VIDEO: Bayern’s James Rodriguez scores difficult free-kick goal

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Bayern Munich has come out of its holiday break firing on all cylinders, and Bayer Leverkusen is paying the price.

With the German giants already up 2-1, James Rodriguez stopped any hope of a comeback with an incredibly difficult free-kick to restore the visitors’ two-goal lead at BayArena.

The free-kick was inches from the penalty area, and efforts from that close to net are always difficult to get on target, needing significant bend to get around the wall from close range but also pace to beat the goalkeeper. James had both, and it resulted in a stunning effort.

Jupp Heynckes – Bayern’s favorite fireman – is doing the job in his fourth stint with the club. After appointing the 72-year-old in early October, the club had won 10 of its 11 league games heading into the holiday break, and continued that streak on the other side of the hiatus holding on for an eventual 3-1 final.

The goal is the third of the season for the Colombian and his first since October 28th. He has received significantly more playing time under Heynckes than he did with Carlo Ancelotti in charge – Rodriguez had just three appearances (one start) and 107 minutes in the seven Bundesliga matches Ancelotti was manager for this season, but he has started eight of Bayern’s nine league matches since October 21st.

The win today over Leverkusen put Bayern fourteen points clear of Schalke at the top of the German top flight table heading into the weekend slate of games.

Report: Bayern Munich product agrees to switch to U.S.

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Here’s some good news at the end of a rough week for some U.S. Soccer fans.

According to Goal.com’s Ives Galarcep, U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team coach Tab Ramos has convinced a dual-national to join the U.S. system. The report states that Bayern Munich academy product German-American Timothy Tillman is ready to file a one-time switch to play for the U.S.

[READ: JPW’s Premier League picks]

The 19-year-old winger, who is the son of an American serviceman, was subjected to speculation of a bid from Barcelona last year. He was set to join the U.S. U-20s at a training camp this month before he suffered an injury with Bayern Munich II. Instead, he’ll come to the next U-20 camp in March.

“He told me he’s ready to go and ready to join us and I’m excited to have him in the group because we haven’t had him in before,” Ramos said.

Tillman has previously represented the Germany Under-19s in Euro U-19s qualifying, meaning he would have to file a one-time switch to play for the U.S. as U-19s qualifying is an official FIFA match. Tillman could still take part in the U.S. U-20s camp without filing the switch, but he’d have to file the switch to play.

The youngster has excelled in his first year with Bayern Munich II, playing 18 games so far this season with four goals in the league. He’s played in the UEFA Champions Youth League in the past as well.

If confirmed, Tillman would join his younger brother Malik, 15, in the U.S. youth system. Malik Tillman is also in the Bayern Munich academy.

It’s big news for the U.S. and should provide more competition for some of the midfield talent in the Under-20 age group.

Bayern draws 3rd-tier Paderborn for away game in German Cup

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BERLIN (AP) Bayern Munich has been drawn against third-division Paderborn in the quarterfinals of the German Cup.

The 18-time champion Bayern, which knocked defending champion Borussia Dortmund out in the previous round, will play the game in Paderborn on Feb. 6 or 7. Paderborn is the lowest-ranked side remaining in the tournament.

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Only Bundesliga sides remain for the other games, with Eintracht Frankfurt drawn against Mainz for a derby at home, Schalke given a home tie against Wolfsburg, and Werder Bremen visiting Bayer Leverksuen.

Bayern is seeking a record-extending 19th German Cup title.

Bayern riles Schalke by praising Germany midfielder Goretzka

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GELSENKIRCHEN, Germany (AP) Schalke sporting director Christian Heidel has criticized league rival Bayern Munich for making public comments in praise of Schalke midfielder Leon Goretzka.

Heidel is annoyed with Bayern counterpart Hasan Salihamidzic in particular for saying on Wednesday that “it’s clear that Leon Goretzka is a really good player. He is a Schalke player and of course we respect that. He is a German national team player, and we can also say that we are interested.”

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Goretzka’s contract at Schalke is up at the end of the season, when Bayern would be able to sign him without a transfer fee. He is reportedly yet to decide whether to stay or leave the club he joined in 2013 from Bochum.

Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes had already praised the 22-year-old Goretzka in the previous days for his “brilliant development.”

Heidel says Salihamidzic’s comments were “unnecessary” and “we don’t need to hear every day from the Munich people how good our player is.”

Heidel says Goretzka should take his time in making a decision but “the issue will need to be settled soon.”