Barcelona have made Lewandowski their top target for the summer transfer window, with the striker keen to leave Bayern Munich, despite the Bundesliga champions insisting he will stay
The Polish international has made no secret of his desire to leave the Allianz Arena, with his contract having entered its final year. Barcelona is his preferred destination, with the La Liga giants keen to bring in a big name this summer as Xavi overhauls his squad.
Lewandowski has spent eight years with Bayern, winning the Bundesliga title every season he has spent with the club. He has broken numerous records during his time with the German giants, including for the most goals in one campaign.
But the 33-year-old revealed at the end of the season just gone that he is ready for a new challenge. That is something that Bayern’s hierarchy are not in agreement with though, with club president Uli Hoesness recently stating: “Barcelona want to sign Lewandowski when they had a debt of £1billion six months ago.
“In Germany, they would have been bankrupt for a long time. The bankruptcy judge is at the door and they are making million euro offers for a Bayern player.”
Bayern announced the signing of Sadio Mane from Liverpool on Wednesday, a move that appears to have been made to replace Lewandowski. That is not something that director of football Hasan Salihamidzic believes to be the case though.
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“Our position is clear: Robert has a contract until the summer of 2023. We signed Sadio to increase the competition in our team. We want to strengthen the fight for spots in our team. The signing of Mane will reshuffle the cards for every attacking player. We have never thought about having to let a player go when we signed Sadio,” he added.
That stance will be tested though, with ESPN reporting that Barcelona have submitted their first bid for Lewandowski. Bayern are understood to want more than £34m for the striker, though Barca’s bid is said to not be that high.
Relations between the two clubs have ‘soured’ due to the failed European Super League project, which Barca played a key part in launching but Bayern stayed out of. Chief executive Oliver Kahn is said to have told Barca exactly how little Bayern executives thought of them.
Bayern have also questioned the Catalan side’s ability to do a deal of this size given their financial constraints, with La Liga currently preventing them from registering any new players. Club president Joan Laporta is confident of bringing in the funds needed to add to Xavi’s squad though.
That has not stopped Bayern from insisting that Lewandowski will stay in Germany though. Club chief executive Oliver Khan joined Salihamidzic in stating his belief that the striker will see out his contract.
“As far as Robert is concerned, not much has changed. He has a contract until 2023 and we are looking forward to him showing up with us on the first day of training. Robert is evaluating the options of Barça and others. But it is good to remember that he has a contract with Bayern and, this is very important, we are not worried,” he said this week.
There appears to be little chance of Bayern accepting this first bid, if it is indeed well below their asking price. But Lewandowski’s clear desire to depart could end up forcing them into a sale, despite their hierarchy’s strong stance.
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