Munich - Off the Ball,'s weekday feature, casts an eye over some of the offbeat and occasionally controversial tales to have emerged from Germany's top-flight.

Today we focus on Chinese social media and the club that tops the charts, discover how VfB Stuttgart's generous new idea to reward their supporters and reveal a potential new scout for FC Bayern München.

They won no less than five pieces of silverware 2013 and things remain rosy for FC Bayern in the New Year as well: having progressed in both the and the UEFA Champions League, they also boast a mammoth 16-point cushion at the top of the Bundesliga table. With such success inevitable comes attention and it’s therefore perhaps no surprise to see that Bayern have been ranked as the number one club in the world in China’s social media sphere. The survey, conducted by Chinese social media agency Mailman Group, assessed a select few clubs based on their Twitter presence, and specifically in categories such as, among others, their number of followers and engagement with fans. The Bayern brand continues to reach the far corners of the world.

With four straight defeats to begin 2014, it has hardly been a satisfactory year for VfB Stuttgart thus far. With that in mind, the club have taken the step of making the generous gesture of allowing each season-ticket holder to bring two fellow fans to their next two games for just €2.50 each, in a bid to encourage more fans to their matches and in turn help the team arrest their losing run, which actually stretches back six matches to early December 2013. Expect the Mercedez-Benz Arena to be rocking this weekend against Hertha Berlin and against Eintracht Braunschweig on Matchday 24.

At 36 years of age, is the oldest outfield player not just at Bayern but in the Bundesliga itself. His contract is due to expire this summer at the club he has represented since 2004, but if he does decide to hang up his boots in June, that may not be the last that fans of the The Rekordmeister see of him. The Belgian international is considering working for the club as a talent scout in his native Belgium, and seemed positively enamoured by the idea of pointing the Reds in the talent of the next Kevin De Bruyne. “We have a lot of talent in Belgium, maybe I could arrange something for Bayern,” the former Hamburger SV topper said. Might we see van Buyten follow former first-team stars Willy Sagnol and Giovane Elber in becoming talent spotters for the Bavarians? Watch this space…