Wednesday Kickoff: Barcelona linked with Müller; Van Persie criticizes teammates; and more

Wednesday Kickoff: Barcelona linked with Müller; Van Persie criticizes teammates; and more

South American Soccer

Wednesday Kickoff: Barcelona linked with Müller; Van Persie criticizes teammates; and more

ThomasMullerBayernMunich1-ManCityUCL2013 (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

Bayern Munich have some competition ahead if they want to keep hold of midfielder Thomas Müller.

The impressive 24-year-old midfielder has been linked with a summer move to FC Barcelona, according to German publication SportBild. The report states that Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has “given the green light” for the club to move forward on the transfer.

Despite the interest, the report states that Bayern intend to move forward with Müller into the future and that they’ll reject any bid for the German international. The report seems a bit dubious because one position that Barcelona don’t need to improve for next year is attacking midfielder, while they are desperate to sign some top-level defenders.

Müller has scored 20 goals in all competitions this season for Bayern, including one against Arsenal last week in the UEFA Champions League.

Here are some more stories to get your Wednesday started:

VAN PERSIE LOSES COOL, CRITICIZES TEAMMATES

Manchester United’s disappointing season has been wearing thin on the patience of the players, as referenced by Robin Van Persie’s comments on Tuesday evening.

Following Man United’s 2-0 defeat at Olympiakos, the Dutch international forward claimed that his teammates were getting in his way, forcing him to change his game to the detriment of the team.

“Our fellow players are sometimes occupying the spaces I want to play in,” Van Persie told Dutch TV station NOS. “And when I see that it makes it difficult for me to come to those spaces as well. So that forces me to adjust my runs, based on the position of my fellow players. And unfortunately, they’re often playing in my zones. I think that’s a shame.”

Van Persie has fallen back to earth after two seasons in a row totaling 67 goals with Arsenal and Man United, scoring just 14 goals this season while moving in and out of the lineup due to a variety of injuries.

Despite the defeat, manager David Moyes’ job as Man United manager is reportedly still secure.

CRUZEIRO THRASHES UNIVERSIDAD DE CHILE IN GOAL-HEAVY COPA LIBERTADORES EVENING

There were plenty of goals to see in Copa Libertadores action on Tuesday night.

The defending Brazilian champions, Cruzeiro, hosted Universidad de Chile in Belo Horizonte and ran the Chilean side off the park with a 5-1 victory. Cruzeiro midfielder Ricardo Goulart, playing in the traditional No. 10 role, scored a hat-trick and added an assist in the rout, while Dagoberto and Willian scored the team’s two other goals.

Cruzeiro built up a 3-0 lead at the half before Universidad de Chile cut the deficit by one in the 66th minute. However, Goulart and Willian scored within the final five minutes to complete the rout.

Elsewhere in action in South America, Argentine side Velez Sarsfield topped Brazilian club Atletico Paranaense, 2-0, Argentina’s Arsenal de Sarandi defeated Venezuela’s Deportivo Anzoategui, and Brazilian side Gremio defeated Atletico Nacional of Colombia, 3-0.

QUICK KICKS

Bayern Munich sporting director Matias Sammer has backed midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger to be 100 percent fit at the World Cup this summer. (REPORT)

Chelsea and the British Consulate in Istanbul are investigating reports that two visiting Chelsea fans were stabbed by Galatasaray supporters. (REPORT)

Barcelona target Marc-Andre ter Stegen has reportedly passed a secret medical to join the Spanish club this summer. (REPORT)

Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Blaise Matuidi has renewed his contract with the club through 2018. (REPORT)

Samuel Eto’o is reportedly very unhappy with Jose Mourinho’s dig at the Chelsea forward’s age, after Mourinho was taped unknowingly before an interview with Canal Plus in France. (REPORT)

Tottenham youngster Nabil Bentaleb has officially been selected in Algeria’s squad for their March friendly against Slovenia. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Do you see Müller leaving Bayern this summer? Worried about Van Persie’s comments? Impressed with Cruzeiro’s performance?

Share your thoughts below.

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