One week after confirming that Robert Lewandowski will not be leaving Borussia Dortmund for Bayern Munich, the Champions League finalists have now issued a universal ‘hands-off’ warning for clubs interested in the Polish international.
“Robert will definitely be playing for Borussia Dortmund next season,” BVB general manager Hans-Joachim Watzke told Germany’s Suddeutsche Zeitung newspaper. “We need this security to be able to plan (for the season).”
The news comes as a blow to Barcelona, Real Madrid, Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City, who have all been strongly linked with a move for the Pole, who has scored 54 goals in 98 Bundesliga appearances.
So how did this situation get so sticky?
The biggest issue is that the entire world knows that Lewandowski wants to go to Munich but has been barred from doing so. Clubs also know that Dortmund would love to sell the player (as his contract is set to expire within the next year) but Lewandowski hasn’t expressed the slightest bit of interest in playing anywhere but the Bavarian capital.
This puts Dortmund in a tight spot as there’s no point in negotiating a deal with a club outside of Munich since there’s no guarantee that Lewandowski will agree to it. Therefore, instead of taking a position of weakness, Dortmund are embracing a position of defiance.
Things get even more interesting when you consider that Lewandowski and Dortmund have an agreement that says the player can leave the club if a ‘reasonable’ offer is made. BVB are contending that this threshold has yet to be hit, while Lewandowski’s camp claims other wise. Fortunately, the lawyers are all over this one.
So how is this situation going to end? Is Dortmund really going to eat a transfer fee in the range of £30-£40 million just to keep a disgruntled Lewandowski for one more season?
No way. It simply makes no sense that a club that nearly ran itself into bankruptcy before becoming a model of economic efficiency would waste that amount of money on one season’s wages out of sheer stubbornness.
Plus, if the situation truly upsets Lewandowski, there’s always a chance he goes AWOL à la Luka Modric last summer when Tottenham was refusing to sell the playmaker to Real Madrid.
Expect this story to be an ongoing saga of ‘he said she said’ all summer long before Dortmund eventually caves. Unfortunately for BVB, the longer the drama plays out, the lower the fee.