Robert Lewandowski is on his way out of Bayern Munich

Robert Lewandowski is on his way out of Bayern Munich

Robert Lewandowski is on his way out of Bayern Munich
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Robert Lewandowski is widely regarded as one of the most clinical strikers to ever grace the modern game, having established himself as a Bundesliga icon thanks to his remarkable goal-scoring exploits.

After leading Bayern Munich to their 10th straight Bundesliga title in 2021/22, he shows no signs of slowing down at the age of 33.

Nevertheless, speculation is growing about his long-term future at Bayern, due to the nature of his contractual situation and appeal as a match-winner on the biggest of stages to keen onlookers.

The Sporting News delves deeper into his predicament, examining the fundamentals of his contract, recent form and potential destinations should he decide to go elsewhere.

On May 14, the final day of the 2021/22 Bundesliga season, Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic confirmed Lewandowski wants to leave.

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“I spoke to Lewa. During the conversation, he informed me he did not want to accept our offer to extend the contract and would like to leave the club,” he told Sky in Germany.

However, it seems Lewandowski may have a battle to earn a transfer in the next window. “He has a contract until the summer of 2023,” Salihamidzic said. “That’s a fact. Our position is clear.”

Salihamidzic was speaking ahead of Bayern’s match with Wolfsburg at the Volkswagen Arena, where Lewandowski famously scored nine goals in just five minutes in September 2015. Fittingly, he scored 40 minutes into this latest contest, taking his tally for 2022/23 to 50 goals in all competitions.

Lewandowski confirmed after the match that it was “probably” his final game for the club, insisting: “I will not renew my contract.”

On May 30, Lewandowski made his explicit decision to leave the club public.

“I’m only going to say this once,” he said.

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“My story in Bayern has come to an end as of today. Following the events of the past few months, I believe that a move is the wisest option. I’m now concentrating solely on grouping and representation.

“I hope Bayern won’t stop me just because I’ve a contract until June 2023… maybe I can give you information after international matches”.

With speculation rife over Lewandowski’s future, it was claimed in April in Germany that Barcelona were interested in the forward. Lewandowski is said to have not submitted a transfer request, but with the striker looking to the future, he might sign a two- or three-year agreement with the Catalan club worth up to £33 million.

On May 12, Sky in Germany reported that Lewandowski had informed Bayern that he would not be renewing his contract at the Allianz Arena and that, rather than waiting until he becomes a free agent in 2023, he would want to join Barcelona before the start of next season.

“He’s one of the choices,” Barca head coach Xavi remarked ahead of his team’s final La Liga game of the season, amid reports that a provisional deal had been reached with the player. He has stated openly that he wishes to go.

“He’ll have to talk to the club about it.” Given Bayern, it won’t be simple, but he’s one of the choices.”

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Lewandowski will turn 34 before 2022/23 begins, meaning it’s likely now or never if he wants one final payday at a big club. As for Barcelona, it’s well known that they want a marquee forward. However, their well-documented financial difficulties mean a move for the priciest players have not been feasible — see, for instance, head coach Xavi’s claims that they could not compete financially with Manchester City for Erling Haaland.

With Kylian Mbappe looking likely to move to Real Madrid on a free transfer or stay at Paris Saint-Germain, Lewandowski would make sense while Barca consider longer-term objectives.

Sky Germany reporter Marc Behrenbeck was previously quoted as saying: “There have been talks already. Xavi desperately wants a world-class striker, who can guarantee 30 or more goals a season.” He also added that Lewandowski is open to a move to Spain, if contract talks at Bayern don’t go well.

Lewandowski’s deal at runs until the end of 2022/23, meaning he could walk away from the Allianz Arena as a free agent upon the conclusion of next season.

The veteran is on extremely high wages, reportedly taking home a handsome paycheque of £329,000 ($402,000) per week at the German champions.

Previously, it was thought the striker wanted a new contract at the club, reflective of his position as one of their star players and with guarantees of still being held in that regard for the foreseeable future. If not, he would be seriously ready to consider offers from elsewhere.

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Though Lewandowski has been an indispensable cog in the Bayern machine, no such agreement has yet been made over extending his time at the club beyond 2023 and, as of now, it would seem he has grown tired of waiting.

If Bayern Munich fails to ensure Lewandowski’s future, a number of locations around Europe have been suggested as possible next steps.

According to Fabrizio Romano, both PSG and Chelsea were interested in signing the striker last year, with the former perhaps looking for a new elite front if Mbappe leaves for Real Madrid.

However, it appears that Barcelona is Lewandowski’s most likely destination. For several weeks, speculation has been rampant, with even rumors of a striker swap including full-back Sergino Dest gaining steam ahead of the summer window.

It would be a sensational deal for the ex-Dortmund star to join Xavi at Camp Nou, perhaps giving the Catalans with the final piece of the jigsaw as they look to recapture the league title for the first time since 2018/19. Qualifying for the Champions League next season was also crucial to their bargaining position.

 

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