Cheap Sevilla FC Jersey From China For Free Shipping

Sevilla FC

Sevilla FC

The winter transfer window does not open until January 1, but clubs across Europe are busy planning for potential ins and outs.

Our friends at Football Whispers have scoured the European newspapers and websites to bring you the latest transfer gossip and news from the continent.
Spain

Steven N’Zonzi, a former Tottenham transfer target, looks set to be heading to Arsenal after the Gunners agreed to pay £35.3million to secure his services. (El Gol)

Real Madrid are preparing a player-plus-cash deal to take Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah to the Bernabeu. The La Liga champions and are willing to send Lucas Vazquez in the other direction as they prepare to freshen up their attacking options. (Don Balon)

Zinedine Zidane also expects to sign Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga in January with an offer of €25million (£22.07m) being made as soon as the transfer window opens. It would mean long-term transfer target David de Gea would remain at Manchester United. (Marca)

Everton and Valencia are haggling over a fee for striker Sandro Ramirez. The Spaniard looks set to leave Goodison Park in January after struggling to settle following his move from Malaga in the summer. The 22-year-old wants to return to Spain and Valencia want to bolster their attacking ranks as they push for a Champions League place next season. (Cadena Cope)

Barcelona could be set to enter the chase for young Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt as a replacement for veteran Javier Mascherano. The Argentine is free to negotiate a move away from the Nou Camp in January. (Sport)

Barcelona are wanting to take up the option they have with Palmeiras to sign centre-back Yerry Mina for €9million (£7.9m) during the winter window. Manager Ernesto Valverde wants to bring in defensive reinforcements. (AS)
Italy

Juventus, the masters of the free transfer market, had hoped to sign Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper Kepa in the summer when his contract expired. The Turin giants viewed him as a long-term successor to Gianluigi Buffon. However, with Real Madrid prepared to go all out and pay as much as €30million (£26.4m) to sign him in January, the Serie A champions have ruled themselves out of the running. (Calciomercato)

AC Milan are keeping a close eye on a player dubbed ‘the next Christian Eriksen’. Ajax midfielder Donny Van De Beek has caught the eye over recent weeks having scored five goals in his last four matches, including one in the 3-0 win over PSV. The 20-year-old versatile midfielder is seen as the ideal player to inject some creativity into the middle third for Gennaro Gattuso’s team. (Calciomercato)
Germany

Touted as a future Bayern Munich manager, Hoffenheim’s Julian Nagelsmann is a possible candidate to takeover at Borussia Dortmund in the summer. Having just sacked Peter Bosz, the club appointed Peter Stoeger on an interim basis as they look to identify a new long-term manager, and Nagelsmann is one of the names being mentioned. (SportBild)

France

Lille manager Marcelo Bielsa is currently suspended after a poor start to the Ligue 1 season. The reason they are yet to sack ‘El Loco’ was recently revealed by the manager’s agent who claims there is a clause in his contract which prevents him from being sacked for serious misconduct: “The pure and simple execution of his contract that runs until June 2019 (note: about €400,000 gross monthly). Which excludes besides, it is written black on white, any possibility of dismissal for serious misconduct. For now, we are in a legal battle with the LOSC. But an arrangement is always possible.” (Le10Sport)

Jurgen Klopp has already identified a replacement for Barcelona transfer target Philippe Coutinho. The Liverpool manager wants to bring Monaco’s Thomas Lemar to Anfield having failed to do so during the summer transfer window. The former Borussia Dortmund manager feels the Frenchman has the ideal profile to replace his midfield maestro. (L’Equipe)

Cheap Manchester United FC Jersey Wholesale From China

Manchester United FC

Manchester United FC

MANCHESTER, England — Three thoughts on Manchester City’s 2-1 win vs. Manchester United in the Premier League.

1. City take derby spoils, go 11 points clear

Manchester City took a huge stride toward the Premier League title by ending Manchester United’s 40-game unbeaten run at Old Trafford.

Goals from David Silva and Nicolas Otamendi, either side of Marcus Rashford’s equaliser, also secured a 14th successive league win for Pep Guardiola’s side, equalling the record previously set by Arsenal.

A late double save by City goalkeeper Ederson, to deny Romelu Lukaku and Juan Mata, ensured victory but the winning margin does not tell the story of City’s dominance over their neighbors.

For long periods, United could not get a foothold, with City retaining possession and forcing the home side to hit long, aimless balls to Lukaku. Rashford’s strike shortly before halftime gave United hope of an unlikely win but Otamendi’s goal, following a defensive mistake by Lukaku, kept them firmly in control of the game.

Having gone unbeaten in the league this season, it will now take an incredible collapse by City for the chasing pack to have any hope of catching them. And with a trip to Swansea on Wednesday, Arsenal’s record will be erased from the record books with another win.

Such is City’s form that another Gunners achievement could be under threat; Guardiola’s team are in with a genuine chance of going through a league season unbeaten, as Arsene Wenger’s “Invincibles” did in 2003-04.

2. United miss suspended Pogba as Silva stars

When Robin van Persie signed for United from Arsenal in 2012, the Dutch forward’s ability when defending set pieces impressed many at Old Trafford. He offered a reliable and disciplined presence in the six-yard box when facing corners or free kicks, proving he was about more than just scoring goals.

Almost six months into his United career, the same cannot be said of Romelu Lukaku, especially after his defensive horror show against City. The former Everton centre-forward went into this game having scored just twice in 13 games, so he is clearly not delivering in front of goal as Jose Mourinho would expect.

But when asked to do a shift at the back, Lukaku is proving just as unreliable and both of City’s goals coming from his basic lack of defensive nous.

The opener came when he allowed himself to be out-muscled and outjumped by Nicolas Otamendi, whose header gave David Silva an easy strike at goal. Then, in the second half, a lazy hack at a clearance from a free kick saw the ball bounce off the back of Chris Smalling and into Otamendi’s path, who scored from close range.

He was unable to make amends at the other end, which means two basic mistakes cost Lukaku’s team dearly; his manager may be well served by showing him clips of Van Persie defending set pieces as he has much to learn.

3. Lukaku flops at both ends

Paul Pogba’s absence was always going to be felt by United, but City’s quality truly exposed just how much Jose Mourinho’s team rely on the £90m midfielder.

United had no like-for-like replacement to fill the gap caused by Pogba’s red card against Arsenal, so Ander Herrera was selected to play in the holding role alongside Nemanja Matic. Herrera is all-energy and commitment, but he is no Pogba. Then again, neither are Marouane Fellaini, Juan Mata or Michael Carrick, so Mourinho had little choice.

Too often, though, Herrera was outsmarted by the outstanding David Silva and left chasing shadows. When he did catch up with a City shirt, Herrera would dive in and win the ball or, more often, commit a foul; his 14th-minute challenge on Nicolas Otamendi was a case in point and surprisingly didn’t result in a penalty.

Pogba’s greatest asset is his ability to stretch the game and instigate the devastating counter-attacks that proved so deadly at the Emirates, but Herrera is a destroyer rather than a creator and his limitations were highlighted time after time. City were able to dominate in midfield and maintain almost constant pressure.

For a team of United’s stature to be so reliant on one player being able to stretch the game is an indictment of their shortcomings. In January or next summer, Mourinho has to find a player who can add greater quality to the midfield in order to support Pogba and Matic.

Cheap Leicester City FC Jersey Wholesale From China For Sale

Riyad Mahrez in action with Stephen Ward

Riyad Mahrez in action with Stephen Ward

Forget the Jamie Vardy movie, the makers of Being John Malkovich should start planning a sequel.

Instead of a portal into the mind of a Hollywood actor, it would be a great idea if the protagonists tapped into the complex mind of a professional footballer – and Riyad Mahrez would be a perfect candidate.

Just what Mahrez is thinking right now as we head into what is expected to be another tumultuous transfer window is anyone’s guess?

A penny for your thoughts Riyad? I think it would cost a lot more than that. A fortune beyond even the enormous wealth of Leicester City owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha.
Mahrez was poorly advised in summer

There was no doubt about his mindset last summer. Poorly advised, he declared his intention to leave early on in the summer.

For what purpose that decision was taken, again who knows? It seems illogically to put Mahrez in a position where he was potentially alienating himself from the club and the supporters when there was no deal for him to leave on the table.

Then there was the transfer deadline day dash back from Algeria to sit in some airport terminal, like Tom Hanks’ character Viktor Navorski in the film The Terminal (there is a cinematic theme here) waiting for a transfer that never came.

That move, however, seemed more logical as he would have been caught on a long-haul flight for an international game and impossible to contact had a deal emerged at the last minute.
Mahrez was made to look a little foolish

But it did result in him looking a little foolish, and on his return his City team-mates certainly made the most of it with their dressing room banter.

Since then Mahrez had made all the right noises. He doesn’t speak publicly often, but when he has stopped to speak to reporters he has spoken about his love for City, his connection to the club having experienced so much at the King Power Stadium and has insisted he is settled.

However, then he made three moves which through everything back into the balance.

Firstly, and not surprisingly, it is understood he has changed his agent.
New advisor was behind Coutinho-Barca moves in summer

He is now understood to be working with Kia Joorabchian, who is described as an advisor rather than an agent, who was said to be behind Philippe Coutinho’s attempts to join Barcelona last summer.

The agent who was trying to get his move away from City last summer, Kamel Bengougam, has recently insisted that he still represents Mahrez. Awkward.

Then, last week, Mahrez gave an interview to the Daily Mail in which he again stated his desire to get ‘to the top’ of the game was strong, regardless of the bumper contract he has with City, which still has two-and-a-half years to run.

He also spoke of talks held with Arsenal and how he thought a deal was going to be done. I doubt that interview went down well with City.
Was blond haircut also a transfer clue?

Finally, he turned up for the game against Burnley last Saturday with a bleached blond haircut which made him stand-out even more on the pitch.

Was it tactical? It certainly led to plenty of attention and to a few newspaper references to his ‘blond ambition’.

His performances in recent weeks have certainly been more like those fantastic displays City fans saw two years ago when he was crowned PFA player of the year and was nominated for the Ballon d’Or award.

Claude Puel has spoken of his desire to ‘seduce’ Mahrez into wanting to stay at City.

Puel will try to persuade Mahrez to stay

With both being French speakers, it was hoped Puel could sweet talk him using the language of love, but the indications are Mahrez could be about to spurn his advances.

Puel says he hasn’t been given any indication by Mahrez that he still wants to leave, but he hasn’t said he wants to stay either.

Puel is currently using an interpreter to help him understand the journalists a little better during press conferences, but when it comes to dealing with Mahrez he might want to consider a mind reader.

Cheap FC Borussia Dortmund Jersey Wholesale From China For Outlet

Joo-Ho Park has had his contract with Borussia Dortmund terminated by mutual consent.

Park joined Borussia Dortmund from 1. FSV Mainz in 2015. However the South Korean defender never really made his mark at the club. He made 11 appearances for the club but was told he was surplus to requirements by Peter Bosz at the start of the season.

He started the season with the U-23s and featured six times for them, with his last game coming on November 17 against Essen.

The 30-year old’s best and arguably only memorable moment at Dortmund came against FC Krasnodar in the Europa League on his debut in 2015, when he assisted and scored a last minute winner on his debut.

However he became a forgotten figure after that as Thomas Tuchel only used him against the lesser teams in the Europa League. Peter Bosz decided that he didn’t need Park in his team, and demoted him to the U-23S side. Park was always a model professional and a great character, despite the circumstances.

Joo-Ho Park’s contract was set to expire in the summer. But with the FIFA World Cup coming up at the end of the season, Park wants to play regular football in order to compete for a spot on the plane to Russia.

He is likely to move back to his native South Korea. If successful, Park could face a few of his former teammates from Borussia Dortmund as Germany have been drawn in the same group as South Korea.

We would like to wish Joo-Ho Park good luck for the rest of his career and hope that he makes it to Russia for the FIFA World Cup next summer.

Cheap Chelsea FC Jersey Wholesale From China For Outlet

Chelsea FC

Chelsea FC

Real manager Zinedine Zidane has admitted that his club could be in the market for players during the January window and Luiz, who is also interesting Manchester United, has been discussed as a potential target.

Chelsea are expected to make another move for Juventus wing-back Alex Sandro, who is rated at £60m, in January, a player they failed to land in the summer.

Luiz had a massive fall out with Conte after the Champions League draw with Roma at Stamford Bridge, when the manager was unhappy with the Brazilian’s reaction after being substituted.

There were further problems between the pair following the 3-0 defeat in Rome, after which Conte conducted a heated dressing-room inquest.

Luiz trained alone and was dropped for the 1-0 win over United after apparently questioning Conte’s tactics and he also missed games against West Brom and Liverpool, though was recalled for the Champions League win over Qarabag last week.

Luiz will also miss the clash with struggling Swansea at Stamford Bridge tonight after Conte revealed he had suffered a knee injury and doubts remain over the 30-year-old’s future at Chelsea.

Conte said: “I must be honest, in this moment it’s very difficult for me to answer how long David Luiz will be out. It will be up to the doctor to assess the situation very well and then to take the best decision for the player.”

Chelsea though would not sell Luiz in January unless they could find a replacement, with Conte already concerned about the depth of his squad. The Brazilian has just over 18 months left on his contract, after returning to Chelsea from Paris Saint-Germain in the summer of 2016 in a £34million deal.

Conte made no secret of his unhappiness with Chelsea’s transfer dealing at that time and the club are expected to bring in at least one or two players in January.

Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is expected to be another target.

Chelsea go into Wednesday’s clash against Swansea unbeaten in their past five Premier League matches. And Swansea manager Paul Clement returns to the club where he was once a coach with a ringing endorsement of Alvaro Morata.

Clement, who worked with Morata at Real Madrid, had no doubts he would come good.

“He’s strong, quick and good in the air,” he said.

Cheap Arsenal FC Jersey Wholesale From China For Sale

Shkodran Mustafi

Shkodran Mustafi

The fact that the football culture war between stat aficionados and obstinate traditionalists continues to rage is proof it has not been won by either side. Those who adopt a more balanced view acknowledge that statistics can shed light, but also obscure; they can be revelatory or act as a work of misdirection. At the moment, at least, numbers are still an adornment to football, rather than the key to unlocking its inner secrets.

Still, one particularly impressive stat which did the rounds at the weekend threatened to reveal something significant about Arsenal. Following a 1-0 win over Burnley, it was trumpeted that Arsenal are yet to concede a goal when Nacho Monreal, Shkodran Mustafi and Laurent Koscielny play together in defence.

As well as the stirring late win at Turf Moor — the third time in a row Arsenal have beaten Burnley with a goal in injury time, and the second time in a row that goal has been a penalty scored by Alexis Sanchez — the trio have kept clean sheets in a 3-0 home win over Bournemouth, the 0-0 draw away at Chelsea, a 2-0 home win over West Brom and the 2-0 victory over Tottenham on Nov. 18. Hardly a roll call of the division’s easiest sides.

It was not widely noted that in each of these games, Hector Bellerin and Sead Kolasinac have started either side of the back three and Aaron Ramsey and Granit Xhaka have occupied the space in front of them. The focus has been on the nub of the defensive unit and it is worth looking at why it seems to work for Arsenal — for now at least.

Successful football teams are all about balance. Think of how Robert Pires and Freddie Ljungberg complemented each other with very contrasting styles on either flank, or the interplay between Dennis Bergkamp and Ian Wright. The alchemy of winning comes in discovering partnerships and collectives which allow all component parts to play to their strengths.

This particular back three gives licence to Koscielny to attack the ball when he wants, and take the ball out from the back when he wants, too. For Monreal, on the opposite side of the three, it allows him to occasionally indulge his full-back sensibilities: as well as making some crucial defensive interventions like his goal-line clearance to prevent Jay Rodriguez scoring for West Brom, the Spaniard is also venturing forward regularly, firing off a few shots against Burnley to widespread amusement.

But it is surely the central member of the unit who has benefitted most from its deployment.

Mustafi finished last season in a state of dislocation. He featured in the new back three but alongside a rotating cast of partners. Injured for the FA Cup final win over Chelsea, he was reportedly close to a move to Inter Milan at one stage over the summer. But given another chance to show his credentials, he is certainly proving his worth now.

For Mustafi, the stats are even more pronounced. Arsenal have conceded only once in the seven league games he has started. In the six he has missed, they have conceded 15. Not the biggest physically, his strengths lie instead in defensive organisation and anticipation. Following a monumental display in the win over Tottenham, he was exceptional again when facing a tough test at Burnley. He has become quietly crucial to this team.

If the move to Milan had materialised then Mustafi would have been a footnote in Arsenal’s recent history. But sometimes the best football solutions are messy ones and, for now, this back three appears to have developed a very good understanding. Mustafi is the brain at the centre of it all.

“I’d like to congratulate our three centre-backs again today,” Wenger said after the Burnley game, “because they did a remarkable job.” Whether you want numbers to bolster your argument or not, the evidence is clear.

Cheap Sevilla FC Jersey Wholesale From China For Free Shipping

Sevilla FC

Sevilla FC

Sevilla winger Nolito has warned Liverpool to be ready to “suffer” when the two sides meet in Tuesday’s Champions League clash at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium.

Sevilla are second in the Group E standings, one point adrift of leaders Liverpool after four games played.

The Spanish club held Liverpool to a 2-2 draw when the two met in their group opener at Anfield on Sept. 13 and former Manchester City man Nolito believes his side can again make life difficult for Jurgen Klopp’s team.

Nolito, who scored the winner in Sevilla’s come-from-behind 2-1 La Liga win over Celta Vigo on Saturday, told Cadena Ser: “We have a huge game coming up. All the top teams are in the Champions League and Liverpool have a great side but so do we.

“Liverpool are Liverpool and I don’t know if they are going to win or lose against us but I can assure you they are going to suffer.”

Sevilla, fifth in La Liga and 12 points adrift of leaders Barcelona, have won just three games away from home this season in all competitions.

“We have a very good team and the best is yet to come,” Nolito said. “We struggled a little bit early on and we know we can play much better and we can score more goals.”

Under coach Eduardo Berizzo, who replaced Jorge Sampaoli in June, Sevilla remain unbeaten at their Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium, where they will have plenty of support on Tuesday.

Earlier this month, Sevilla president Jose Castro appealed to fans to come out in force when the club host Liverpool and supporters have not let him down.

Sevilla confirmed to ESPN FC that since last week there are no tickets available for the contest and that more than 40,000 spectators will attend Tuesday’s game, including 2,700 visiting fans.

Nolito, who has yet to score in the Champions League this season, is hoping to make the difference on Tuesday.

“I need to give my best and hopefully, score,” he said. “I just want to do better, score goals and make our fans happy.”

The 31-year-old has found the back of the net just three times in 15 appearances in all competitions since joining Sevilla on a three-year contract from City in July.

Nolito, who wanted to return to La Liga after making just nine Premier League starts for City following his €18 million transfer from Celta Vigo in 2016, believes it is only a matter of time before he hits his best form.

“I need to gain more confidence but I’m calm,” the Spain international said. “I’ve gone through a lot in my career and it’s a bit like having to start from zero after my time in England where I didn’t play much and then being two months on holiday. I’ve got confidence in me, I’ve always had. I know I can deliver.”

Adriana Garcia is a Valencia-based football writer who covers La Liga for ESPN FC.

Cheap Manchester United FC Jersey From China For Sale

Jose Mourinho

Jose Mourinho

For the Manchester United fans who have not yet completely erased David Moyes from their collective memory, Newcastle United at home comes with a shiver.

“They are coming to Old Trafford and we are going to make it as hard for them as we possibly can,” Moyes said, in December 2013.

Make it hard. For Newcastle. At Old Trafford.

That, and the fact United lost the game 1-0, came, in part, to symbolise Moyes’ reign as manager. A perceived lack of belief and results that seemed to prove it.

Newcastle were the third team to win at Old Trafford during Moyes’ tenure after Everton and West Bromwich Albion. Tottenham Hotspur, Swansea City, Liverpool and Manchester City would all do the same by the time he was sacked.

United under Jose Mourinho do not have the same problem.

Newcastle were beaten at Old Trafford on Saturday in the way they used to be. Comfortably and, despite scoring an early goal, with minimal fuss.

“Lads, it’s Newcastle,” Sir Alex Ferguson might have said.

It extended United’s unbeaten run at home to 38 games in all competitions — matching Ferguson’s best run between December 1998 and April 2000. The club record is 39 games unbeaten between 1964 and 1966.

Mourinho’s team have also won their first nine home games of the season — a post-war club record. Dwight Gayle’s opener for Newcastle was the first league goal United have conceded at home since April.

The belief is back and so are the results.

Of course, it means nothing to Mourinho and he said as much at his prematch news conference on Friday. He is not here to set records, he said, only to win trophies. If one follows the other, then great. But it is only really silverware that interests him.

Mourinho might not want to spend too much time talking about United’s home form, but it is not an accident. His career is built on winning home games. Particularly home games in the league.

Between February 2002 and April 2011, he did not lose one. The run spanned nine years, one month and 10 days, four clubs in four different countries, 150 games, 125 wins and 25 draws.

Since taking over at Porto in 2002, Mourinho has only ever lost nine league games at home — and four of those were during Chelsea’s disastrous run at the beginning of the 2015-16 season.

Barcelona are still the only side to inflict a home defeat on a Mourinho team in the league during a season when they have gone on to win the title.

The team that beat Real Madrid 3-1 at the Bernabeu in December 2011 included Lionel Messi, Xavi, Andres Iniesta and David Villa and was managed by Pep Guardiola.

It was Guardiola’s Manchester City that last won at Old Trafford more than a year ago.

They will be back on Dec. 10 for a game that could decide whether or not there will be a title race this season.

City have been in blistering form but, at home, Mourinho will fancy his chances.

“After playing so many away games recently, seven of our last 10, it is pleasing that five of our next eight matches will all be at Old Trafford,” he wrote in his programme notes ahead of Newcastle’s visit.

“This is a time when we can build momentum as we work towards our aims, and like I always say, we will always do better when you play with us, so if you get behind the boys, they can make some real progress over the coming weeks.”

Progress for United would be eating into City’s eight-point lead at the top of the table.

It is thanks to their home form that they are still in touch at all after losing two and drawing two of their last five Premier League away games.

Wins over Brighton & Hove Albion, CSKA Moscow and Manchester City in the next month would set a new club mark of 41 consecutive games unbeaten at home. But victory over City would be more significant than the other 40 put together.

The belief, the fear factor — whatever you want to call it — is back for the first time since Ferguson retired.

Meaningful title challenges also disappeared when Sir Alex left. Mourinho will hope that is about to change, too.

Cheap Juventus FC Jersey Wholesale From China

Juventus general manager Beppe Marotta has said the club are keeping tabs on Liverpool midfielder Emre Can and Schalke’s Leon Goretzka, who could both be available on free transfers in June.

The Germany internationals are out of contract with their clubs in the summer, and Juve were linked with a move for Goretzka in the last transfer window.

“They are two luxury free transfers and we are at the window,” Marotta told reporters in Milan.

“It will all come down to their individual will.”

Marotta has built a reputation for signing top players on free transfers, having brought in Andrea Pirlo, Paul Pogba and Kingsley Coman in the recent past.

But the Serie A champions will face stiff competition for both Can and Goretzka, with Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund expected to make offers to the players.

Barcelona and a number of Premier League clubs have also been linked with Goretzka, who has scored four goals in his nine Bundesliga appearances this season.

The 22-year-old former Bochum midfielder has also hit three in his past three appearances for Germany.

Cheap FC Bayern Munich Jersey Wholesale From China For Free Shipping

Hans-Wilhelm Muller-WohlfahrtHans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt

Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt

Aside from his wedding, it has been a year to forget for Bayern Munich and Germany captain Manuel Neuer. The goalkeeper will be sidelined until 2018 following three fractures of the foot in a matter of months.

The 31-year-old went under the knife for the first time at the end of March but was rushed back into action just two weeks later for the Champions League quarterfinal first leg against Real Madrid in Munich amid doubts over the quality of backup keeper Sven Ulreich.

Following Javi Martinez’s dismissal, an inspired Neuer almost singlehandedly kept a Robert Lewandowski-less Bayern in the tie with a string of majestic saves. And Bayern’s Champions League dream was still very much alive after 90 minutes of the return in the Bernabeu, forcing extra time with a 2-1 win, with a half-fit Lewandowski taken off just before the end of normal time.

Then Neuer suffered another fracture in extra time, with 10-man Bayern shipping a further three goals as they were unceremoniously dumped out of the competition by the eventual winners, but not before numerous complaints about the referee, offside goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and the validity of Arturo Vidal’s red card.

With Neuer vowing to return for the start of the campaign, Bayern — once bitten, twice shy — were in no hurry with their new captain over the summer. Spared the elongated summer tour of Asia to continue his recovery, the keeper got hitched and enjoyed a relaxing honeymoon.

He eventually made his comeback as Carlo Ancelotti’s captain against Werder Bremen on Aug. 26, playing four games and keeping three sheets, breached only in the tame 2-0 loss at Hoffenheim, Bayern’s sole Bundesliga defeat this season.

Then the unthinkable happened. On the eve of a trip to play his boyhood club Schalke, Neuer suffered “a repeat hairline fracture of the metatarsal in his left foot” during a training session on Sept. 18.

Another operation inevitably followed the next day, ruling him out until the New Year. In the meantime, Neuer has revealed that he has been playing with a metal plate in his foot for years, since picking up a similar injury at Schalke in 2008. The keeper didn’t appear particularly perturbed but warned it could take him six months to heal properly — worrying for Germany, with a World Cup defence on the horizon next summer.

Understandably, this was not particularly good news for Bayern either — or an under-pressure Ancelotti. Ulreich struggled to fill Neuer’s rather large boots in goal. He was horribly exposed in the 3-0 loss to Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League and also inexplicably allowed a soft free kick past him against Wolfsburg as Bayern suddenly did very un-Bayern like things and let a two-goal Bundesliga lead slip at home.

With no Neuer to save the day, these errors were the final nail in the coffin for Ancelotti and proved his last game in charge in each respective competition.

However, since taking over for a fourth term, Jupp Heynckes has not only revitalised the German champions’ fortunes but Neuer’s shaky backup suddenly looks as safe as the Bundesbank in goal.

Despite admitting to ESPN FC he is “no Neuer,” Ulreich has kept a string of clean sheets and his crucial DFB Pokal penalty shootout save from RB Leipzig’s Timo Werner kept Bayern’s Treble hopes alive.

Just four league games into Heynckes’ fourth term, Bayern boast a healthy four-point lead in the Bundesliga, and also sailed into the Champions League knockout stages for a 10th straight season, following home and away victories over Celtic.

All would appear rosy in the Bayern garden, if not for a few unseemly squabbles in the medical department. Dr. Volker Braun, 44, an orthopaedist and trauma surgeon, resigned on Monday after nine years at the club, having assumed responsibility for the first team two years ago following the ugly departure of Dr Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt.

“Mull” and his entire staff left the club in April 2015 after 38 years of service, following disagreements with then-boss Pep Guardiola over the treatment of injured players.

German tabloid Bild claimed that Dr. Braun had not applied “ideal treatment methods,” meaning injured stars such as Neuer spent extended spells on the sidelines. Bild also suggested that Dr. Braun only left the club to be spared a messy sacking by a less-than-amused Bayern hierarchy.

Nevertheless, surely the club knows the quality of its medical staff after almost a decade of service? In any case, Neuer soon came out in Dr. Braun’s defence on his Facebook page, saying he was “absolutely not to blame” for his injury woe.

“The media today are giving the impression that Dr. Volker Braun is responsible for the development of my injury, because he did not apply the ideal treatment methods,” he wrote. “I categorically dispute this. Bayern’s former team doctor is absolutely not to blame. I can even assure that he applied the very best methods that modern medicine allows.”

With Dr. Braun gone, there is a void in the treatment room. It would be no surprise to see the 75-year-old Muller-Wohlfahrt back working his magic on a more active basis in the coming weeks.

Dubbed “a phenomenon” by Bastian Schweinsteiger and “a genius” by president Uli Hoeness, the healing hands of Muller-Wohlfahrt continue to treat a long list of Bayern stars, including Arjen Robben, Jerome Boateng and Robert Lewandowski, even though he is not officially on the club’s payroll.

Usain Bolt has been a patient at his downtown Munich practice since the age of 18 and devoted an Olympic gold “to a man with a big heart,” even handing over his world-record breaking shoes as a gift.

The veteran medic left the club in rather ugly fashion, while his close friend Hoeness was still languishing in prison. However, fast forward to 2017, and it is a time when the old guard is reforming under Heynckes.

In order to smooth the 72-year-old Heynckes’ return, Bayern paid around €2 million for a 65-year-old assistant coach in Peter Hermann from second-division Fortuna Dusseldorf, so it would be no surprise to see the 75-year-old “Mull” using his magic potions on a more active basis in the coming weeks.