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Who makes The Boot Room’s combined Bayern Munich and Real Madrid best XI?

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The draw for the Champions League quarter-finals set up some big ties. With Juventus facing Luis Enrique’s Barcelona and Leicester City continuing their European venture against Atletico Madrid, there are some huge games to enjoy, not to mention Borussia Dortmund versus Monaco.

However, the biggest fixture has got to be Real Madrid’s clash with fellow European heavyweights Bayern Munich. The two clubs both started the season with ambitions of winning the Champions League but one side’s dream is to be cut short early.

Both teams are full of talent and the game is set to be a close affair, but who would make the starting eleven if their squads were combined?

Defence

One of the easiest decisions while creating this team was the choice of goalkeeper. While Keylor Navas is an accomplished shot-stopper, he isn’t anywhere near the level of Bayern’s Manuel Neuer. The German number one is world class and he would make it into every team on the planet.

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To start the back four, Phillip Lahm gets the nod over Dani Carvajal at right-back. The Spaniard is a quality player but Lahm’s composure and class sets him apart. The German has been performing to the highest level for a long time yet he still produces for his side.

Another Bayern representative in this back four is Jerome Boateng, he partners Real’s Sergio Ramos at centre-back. Both men are leaders and they can also pass the ball progressively from the back.

At left-back, choosing between Marcelo and David Alaba was hard but the Bayern defender just pips the Brazilian to a spot in the side. David Alaba possesses all the qualities that Marcelo has and the Austrian is superb from dead-ball situations, not that he’s likely to get a chance to show this off with the other specialists that are in this side.

Midfield

With both teams possessing such talent in the middle of the park, this is possibly the hardest area to decide upon. Honourable mentions have to go to Thiago Alcantara, a talented Spaniard that controls games, and Casemiro, a player who has made the holding midfield role at Madrid his own. Isco and James Rodriguez have also become more integral to Zinedine Zidane recently as well.

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But, the three men who form this midfield are Xabi Alonso, Toni Kroos and Luka Modric. Alonso makes the side because of the experience and composure he brings while Modric provides the creative spark and industrious work-rate that is needed in the middle of the park. Kroos then combines the two, with his passing ability on par with Alonso’s and his positioning enabling him to be of use both offensively and defensively.

Attack

Starting with the left-winger, Franck Ribery, Kingsley Coman and Douglas Costa all feature out wide for Bayern Munich, but they all lose their position when their squad is combined with Real’s. Cristiano Ronaldo tops the lot and claims the left-wing spot in this combined side. The EURO 2016 winner is one of the best in the world and is the current Ballon D’or holder.

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On the right, Gareth Bale pips Arjen Robben to the first-team spot. The Welshman’s has various traits that make him more suitable than Robben. His heading ability, set-pieces and speed, not that the Bayern winger is slow, make him the first-choice right winger.

Up front, both Karim Benzema and Robert Lewandowksi would be able to lead the line but the Polish striker claims the striker position. Lewandowski has 26 Bundesliga goals to his name, while Benzema only has nine. The Bayern hitman would replace the Frenchman if he was to join Real Madrid, but if Benzema was to join Bayern, hypothetically, it’s difficult to see him being the starting striker.

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Bayern Munich

Done Deal: Swansea City sign Renato Sanches from Bayern Munich on season-long loan

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In a summer transfer window full of crazy and unexpected moves, Swansea City may have just put the icing on top of the cake as the South Wales outfit have secured a deal for Bayern Munich’s Renato Sanches.

Paul Clement has well and truly proved the old cliché ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’ and utilised his contacts from his time as the German side’s assistant coach to push a deal through.

Who is Renato Sanches?

The Portuguese midfielder originally made a name for himself coming through the Benfica youth system as child, being signed up in 2006, and since then he moved from Benfica ‘B’ to the first-team.

During his solitary season playing in Portugal he quickly became a key member of their starting eleven, featuring six times in the Champions League, and he alerted the attention of Europe’s elite.

But it was Bayern Munich who secured a lucrative deal for Sanches last summer, setting the Bundesliga side back £27.5 million, and it was thought that he would be the next big young midfielder.

It hasn’t quite worked out like that in the past 12 months though, starting just four league matches all season, and a spell in the Premier League may be what’s needed for him to rejuvenate his career.

What is the deal?

The two sides have come to an agreement – as reported on Swansea’s official website – that sees Sanches arriving on a season-long loan at the Liberty Stadium, completing the necessary paperwork yesterday.

Where will he fit in at the Liberty?

With talisman Gyfli Sigurdsson leaving in a £45 million move to Everton, there’s a distinct lack of attacking prowess in the Swansea City midfield and this is where Sanches is worth his weight in gold.

He is a stereotypical box-to-box midfielder, having excellent technical ability and skills when in possession of the ball and always loking to use his power try drive forward and influence attacks.

And alongside that boss Clement knows that he’ll bring his endless work-rate to the Swans, adding much-needed defensive steel to a somewhat limp current side with his natural tough-tackling play.

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Bayern Munich

How Twitter reacted to Swansea City signing Bayern Munich’s Renato Sanches on loan

Jake Jackman

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Sanches

Swansea City have confirmed the arrival of Renato Sanches on a loan deal from Bayern Munich. Sky Sports report that the Swans will pay a loan fee in excess of £2 million to take the midfielder to the Liberty Stadium for a year. This is a remarkable deal by the club and underlines the contacts that manager Paul Clement has in the game.

The Swansea manager will have worked with the 20-year-old for a short period last season at the Allianz Arena before he took the job in the Premier League. He worked at Bayern Munich as the assistant to Carlo Ancelotti and the Italian has now done his close friend a favour by letting him have one of the most exciting young midfielders on loan for a season.

Bayern Munich want the midfielder to gain regular first-team football as he has now reached a key stage in his development. It was a frustrating first season in the Bundesliga for Sanches and he now gets the opportunity to test himself in another league. The Premier League will suit his physicality and energy in the middle of the park. It won’t have been in his plans to go on loan to a club like Swansea, but he will relish the opportunity to play regularly.

It is thought that Sanches was keen to move to Swansea over other clubs, due to his existing relationship with Clement. He joined Bayern Munich last summer for a fee of £28 million and that shows the standing he has in the European game. It is a huge coup for Swansea and one that will excite the supporters.

Last summer, Sanches was named the Young Player of the Tournament at Euro 2016 as he helped Portugal to win the competition. He showed a maturity beyond his years and established himself as one of the best young midfielders in the game. The last year hasn’t gone as well as he would have hoped, but he now has the opportunity to further his development in England.

Here is how Twitter reacted to the news:

https://twitter.com/SaucySonaldo/status/902862630246866944

Swansea fans were understandably excited by the signing:

Supporters of other clubs were jealous of the signing:

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Chelsea look to Bayern Munich for latest wing-back target – Is a move likely?

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Rafinha

As Chelsea prepare for a potentially busy deadline day, German newspaper Bild suggest that one potential arrival could be Bayern Munich full-back Rafinha.

What would Rafinha bring to Stamford Bridge?

One thing that the 31-year-old can offer in abundance is experience. As a winner of the Bundesliga and Champions League with Bayern Munich, he could help the more inexperienced members of Chelsea’s squad as they return to Europe’s elite competition this season.

He also offers versatility. It is most likely that Rafinha will take up a wing-back role if he does move to Stamford Bridge, but Antonio Conte will be keen on the fact that he can play on either flank. He can also play as a central defender if required, and that could encourage Chelsea to make a move for him.

The Brazilian also shares a number of attributes with both Marcos Alonso and Victor Moses. In particular, his impressive range of passing and crossing will appeal and he is a clear threat when bombing down the flank on the attack.

Is a move likely?

Bayern are hugely reluctant to sell their man as Carlo Ancelotti feels that he is a reliable second choice right-back. With Philip Lahm having retired, he has also picked up the reigns as the experienced veteran in the Bayern defence, which carries huge importance on and off the field.

However, it’s not yet clear if the Brazilian is content with such a role. Having played just 23 minutes so far this season, he may be keen to move abroad and have a go at the Premier League as, at his age, it could be his last opportunity to do so.

Chelsea could well pursue a move for him. It’s clear that wing-back is one of their top priorities this summer as they look to add cover and competition for Marcos Alonso and Victor Moses. With only 10 months left on his contract at the Allianz Arena, they could be in a strong negotiating position.

Rafinha to Chelsea
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Transfer Likelihood
The Boot Room's Verdict
He may be on a list of Chelsea targets, but it seems unlikely that he would be a priority. With only hours left and Bayern not willing to sell, it seems unlikely.
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