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Report: Lewandowski unhappy with playing time at Bayern Munich

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Karl-Heinz Rummenidge may have done his best to quell rumors that Robert Lewandowski could leave Bayern Munich this summer, but the player’s camp may not be ready to give in.

According to a report by ESPNFC, a source close to Lewandowski said the Polish striker is unhappy about the playing time he has received this season.

Lewandowski, who will be 30 around the start of next season, scored a whopping 29 league goals this season as Bayern stormed to yet another monstrous Bundesliga title, but he saw spotty playing time down the stretch.

“Robert’s rhythm was clearly broken,” the ESPN source said. “He played almost every game over the past few years [and] even played with a shoulder injury at Real last year and he scored. He played with a face mask against Barcelona in 2015. He does not have this rhythm in 2018.”

Looking at the numbers, it’s a bit of a dubious complaint. Sure, he was rested for a good portion of the latter stages of the league season – since the turn to the 2018 calendar year, Lewandowski put up just five league 90-minute performances, scoring in four of those, including a pair of hat-tricks – however Bayern cruised to the Bundesliga finish line to win the league by 24 points and manager Jupp Heynckes will have wanted to rest his star striker for a deep Champions League run. Supporting that, Lewandowski played 505 of a possible 540 Champions League minutes in 2018. He also played every minute of their DFB-Pokal crown, grabbing a brace in the win over Bayer Leverkusen in the finals.

“He never told me that he felt he hadn’t played enough,” Heynckes told reporters on Friday to rebuff the reports. “I have repeatedly heard that we had an extremely stressful and intensive fixture list, therefore I gave him regular breaks with the big games in mind. For example, if he didn’t play a game in eight days, that’s a normal rhythm and he wouldn’t lose any playing rhythm.”

Despite his stunning league form, Lewandowski received criticism this season for his Champions League output. While he scored three goals in league play and another pair in a 5-0 win over Besiktas to start the knockout round, he was blanked after that, putting up five straight goose eggs as Bayern was booted in the semifinals by Real Madrid. Through his Bayern career, Lewandowski now has 11 goals in 21 Champions League knockout matches, but he has mostly failed to deliver when the team needs him the most.

Lewandowski’s contract with Bayern Munich runs through the summer of 2021, so any move would either have to be initiated by the club or forced by the player.

Bayern Munich obliterates Dortmund in Der Klassiker (video)

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A Schalke win deprived Bayern Munich of a chance to clinch another Bundesliga title on Saturday, but the Bavarians will be happy to revel in the spoils of a Der Klassiker blowout.

Robert Lewandowski bagged a hat trick in a 6-0 win over Borussia Dortmund at the Allianz Arena.

[ MORE: Man City waltzes past Everton ]

Lewandowski scored in the 5th, 44th, and 87th minutes, and James Rodriguez, Thomas Muller, and Franck Ribery also scored in the big win.

American winger Christian Pulisic suffered through a 39-touch performance in 74 minutes before he was pulled for Maximilian Philip.

Bayern now leads second place Schalke by 17 points. Dortmund is four back of second, and three above fifth-place Bayer Leverkusen and sixth-place Eintracht Frankfurt.

Bayern Munich CEO “willing to bet” Lewandowski stays

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Calling Robert Lewandowski “probably the best No. 9 in Europe,” Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge tells Kicker the prolific Polish striker is not for sale.

Lewandowski has 32 goals in 37 matches this season including 23 in 25 Bundesliga matches, and has netted a wild 117 goals over his last three seasons with the Bavarian club.

[ MORE: How will USMNT line up? ]

His international hot streak is even more impressive; Lewandowski went 67 minutes against Nigeria on March 23 in just his second goalless Poland appearance since June 2016. Overall, he’s netted 17 times in his last 12 caps.

Rummenigge says he’s willing to bet Lewandowski stays at Bayern next season, and wants to send the message that, “against the will of Bayern Munich nobody can buy a Bayern Munich player.”

Anyone want to take Rummenigge’s bet if the big dollars of Real Madrid do come calling?

Bundesliga wrap: Bayern runs riot; Gnabry leads Hoffenheim

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A day the champions dominated left the focus on the plight of its visitors, as the race to avoid the relegation playoff spot also stays tight in Germany’s top flight.

[ MORE: Claudio Reyna spits truth ]

Bayern Munich 6-0 Hamburg

USMNT forward Bobby Wood wasn’t in the 18 to see his likely relegation-bound side get absolutely bamboozled by the league’s gold standard attack.

Robert Lewandowski bagged a hat trick, Franck Ribery scored twice, and Arjen Robben also netted  for the hosts.

Lewandowski’s 20 league goals are seven more than the field, and the second-place contestant is now in the Premier League (Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Arsenal).

Here’s Hamburg boss Bernd Hollerbach:

“The game was over after 18 minutes. You can come here and lose, but I wasn’t happy with the manner of the defeat. That’s not the football I want to see.”

With the score 4-0, Ribery took nearly 70 percent of the Hamburg XI to school.

Hoffenheim 3-0 Wolfsburg

Serge Gnabry scored twice in about three minutes — one may be changed to an own goal — to bury the visitors’ hopes of relegation relief, as Hoffenheim stayed within sight of the Top Six. The loss means Wolfsburg remains ahead of playoff-bound 16th place on goal differential alone.

Elsewhere
Mainz 0-1 Schalke — Friday
Hertha Berlin 0-0 Freiburg
Hannover 1-3 Augsburg
Bayer Leverkusen 2-0 Borussia Monchengladbach
Stuttgart vs. RB Leipzig — 10:30 a.m. ET Sunday
Borussia Dortmund vs. Eintracht Frankfurt — 1 p.m. ET Sunday
Werder Bremen vs. Koln — 3:30 p.m. ET Monday

STANDINGS

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Bayern Munich 26 21 3 2 65 18 47 11-2-0 10-1-2 66
 FC Schalke 04 26 13 7 6 40 30 10 7-4-2 6-3-4 46
 Bayer Leverkusen 26 12 8 6 47 33 14 6-4-3 6-4-3 44
 Borussia Dortmund 25 11 9 5 50 31 19 5-4-3 6-5-2 42
 Eintracht Frankfurt 25 12 6 7 33 27 6 6-3-4 6-3-3 42
 RB Leipzig 25 11 6 8 38 34 4 7-4-2 4-2-6 39
 1899 Hoffenheim 26 10 8 8 43 38 5 7-4-2 3-4-6 38
 FC Augsburg 26 9 8 9 36 33 3 5-4-4 4-4-5 35
 Mönchengladbach 26 10 5 11 33 39 -6 6-3-4 4-2-7 35
 VfB Stuttgart 25 10 3 12 23 29 -6 8-1-3 2-2-9 33
 Hertha BSC Berlin 26 7 11 8 30 31 -1 4-5-4 3-6-4 32
 Hannover 96 26 8 8 10 33 38 -5 6-3-4 2-5-6 32
 SC Freiburg 26 6 12 8 25 42 -17 5-6-2 1-6-6 30
 Werder Bremen 25 6 9 10 24 30 -6 4-4-4 2-5-6 27
 VfL Wolfsburg 26 4 13 9 28 36 -8 2-7-4 2-6-5 25
 FSV Mainz 05 26 6 7 13 29 43 -14 5-2-6 1-5-7 25
 Hamburger SV 26 4 6 16 18 41 -23 3-4-6 1-2-10 18
 1. FC Köln 25 4 5 16 24 46 -22 2-3-8 2-2-8 17

Heynckes squashes Lewandowski rumors after Premier League rumors

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The English media – mainly the tabloids – has had a field day over the last 24 hours with rumors of a Robert Lewandowski move to the Premier League claiming, but the Bayern Munich manager is having none of it.

Jupp Heynckes told the German press during his pre-match press conference on Friday ahead of the club’s Saturday match against Hertha Berlin, “I can’t imagine there is a chance [the club executives] will sell Lewandowski.”

“Bayern is not a selling club,” Heynckes went on to proclaim. “They want to, and always will want to, keep their top players.”

The reports stated that Lewandowski was “flirting” with a move to the Premier League, and that while Manchester City and Chelsea were the more logical destination, Liverpool was actually the preferred landing spot as the Polish international was open to a reunification with former boss Jurgen Klopp, whom he worked with at Borussia Dortmund before his switch to Allianz Arena. Lewandowski’s contract at Bayern Munich currently runs through 2021, leaving the player with little say over his future.

While the rumors seem like a long shot, what does make sense is that, at 29 years old, Lewandowski doesn’t a ton of time left to convince a Premier League club he’s worth a heavy investment for the next couple of years. Many top teams – most notably Arsenal – are hesitant to sign players over 30 years old, and would be even less inclined to pay a hefty transfer fee for a player without a long future ahead of them. Manchester United just paid a cut-rate price for Alexis Sanchez, and while that was largely due to Arsenal’s position of weakness regarding the expiry of Sanchez’s contract, Sanchez’s age also partially contributed to that knocked down transfer rate.

Nonetheless, Bayern’s sale history is minimal, having only offloaded surplus players, such as defender Medhi Benatia this past summer, Mario Gotze back to Borussia Dortmund the summer before, and Xherdan Shaqiri to Stoke City in 2015.