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Open Thread: April 20, 2021

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Our Tuesday issue of the Daily Merengue!

Real Madrid Training Session Photo by Helios de la Rubia/Real Madrid via Getty Images

The Open Thread/Daily Merengue is a place where you can discuss anything and everything related to football. Feel free to discuss the topics presented here, or start your very own discussions! The Open thread will be posted every day by one of the mods: Valyrian Steel, Felipejack, YoSnail, Ezek Ix or NeRObutBlanco.

Then War It Is

This Monday we all became aware — unless you live under a rock — of some thundering threats and warlike language made by UEFA. But in his latest interview with El Chiringuito Florentino Perez affirmed that his team and the other founding teams of the ESL are in strong standing to play out all of their tournaments. Matt Wiltse posted much of the available English translation.

Aleksander Čeferin, chairman of UEFA, insisted that Real Madrid, City, Chelsea and Arsenal must be banned “as soon as possible” from the UCL and UEL, respectively. Various vitriolic statements by Ceferin about Agnelli, Woodward, Perez, et al. have trickled out, such as referring to them as “snakes.”

Andrea Agnelli is the biggest disappointment of all. I have never seen a person that would lie so many times, so persistently as he did — it is unbelievable.”

UEFA has stated repeatedly that they will seek to ban the Super League teams from all domestic competitions.

“The players that play in the Super League will be banned from playing in the World Cup and Euros. They will not be allowed to play for their national teams.”

The legal team for UEFA, however, is saying that the question of the teams’ participation is not decided.

The Super League board has responded about the threat of banning players in a letter:

We are concerned that FIFA and UEFA may respond to this invitation letter by seeking to take punitive measures to exclude any participating club or player from their respective competitions

Your formal statement does, however, compel us to take protective steps to secure ourselves against such an adverse reaction, which would not only jeopardize the funding commitment under the Grant but, significantly, would be unlawful. For this reason, SLCo (Super League Company) has filed a motion before the relevant courts in order to ensure the seamless establishment and operation of the Competition in accordance with applicable laws.

It is our duty, as SLCo’s board members, to ensure that all reasonable actions available to protect the interests of the Competition and our stakeholders are duly taken, given the irreparable damage that would be suffered if, for any reason, we were deprived of the opportunity to form promptly the Competition and distribute the proceeds of the Grant.

The other major source for information that I have seen is Perez’s interview — mentioned above — on El Chiringuito. Madrid_Xtra posted some of the key points:

Perez: ‘Vini Jr. is not for sale’

Flick intends to leave Bayern Munich, rumors suggest for German Nat’l team

Bayern Munich head coach Hansi Flick has confirmed that he wants to leave the club and has asked to be released from his contract at the end of the season.

Speaking after Bayern’s 3-2 win away at Wolfsburg on Saturday, the 56-year-old revealed he had informed Bayern bosses about his decision in midweek after Bayern’s Champions League exit to PSG, and had just told his players in the dressing room.

“I would like to be released out of my contract at the end of the season,” he told Sky Deutschland. “We have had two fantastic years. I am delighted with my team and I am grateful to the club for being allowed to train such a team.

Who will replace Flick?

As for Flick’s replacement at Bayern Munich, sporting director Salihamidzic has previously stated his admiration for RB Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann, although the 33-year-old has a contract with the Red Bull club until 2023.

Jesse Marsch of RB’s sister club in Salzburg is also highly-rated, but the inexperienced American would be more likely to move up the Red Bull pecking order to Leipzig were Nagelsmann to leave.

Pep Guardiola aside, Bayern have tended to prefer German or German-speaking coaches, which would rule out Jose Mourinho, were things at Tottenham to deteriorate further, but could lead to speculation regarding Ralph Hasenhüttl of Southampton or Jürgen Klopp of Liverpool.

‘Zidane is the best coach we’ve ever had’