Munich (dpa) – In the hype about world footballer Robert Lewandowski, nothing could be elicited from poker face Julian Nagelsmann.
“The attitude of the club, my attitude towards Robert is known, the contractual situation is known,” said Nagelsmann two days before FC Bayern’s final championship party in front of thousands at Munich’s Marienplatz.
In the whirl of a possible mega-transfer of the top scorer in the Bundesliga to FC Barcelona, many suspect that Lewandowski, despite his contract until June 30, 2023, could be celebrated for the last time on the town hall balcony by a red-white Bayern crowd on Sunday. Although there is another no from the Munich executive floor.
Nagelsmann also emphasized on Friday that Lewandowski was “quite normal” in his plans for the new season and that he knew the player’s “thoughts”. But the reference that you should contact sports director Hasan Salihamidzic or the superstar himself for other things left plenty of room for speculation. The exciting striker question is also an important management test. How do Salihamidzic and CEO Oliver Kahn solve the tricky Lewandowski cause? And should he really leave after eight years – who will FC Bayern get as his successor?
Nagelsmann speaks of a “hot planning phase”
After the latest fuss about the world football player, President and Chairman of the Supervisory Board Herbert Hainer ruled out a change this summer. “Robert Lewandowski has a contract with FC Bayern until June 30, 2023. And he will fulfill it,” said Hainer on “Merkur” and “tz” (weekend edition).
Nagelsmann emphasized that the new season is in the “hot planning phase”, for which he is at least looking forward to Noussair Mazraoui from Ajax Amsterdam. The young Munich coach does not want to take out a veto right, even with a royal personality like that of Lewandowski. “To veto something or to put a clear stop to something and say, that’s the only way it’s going, I’m the wrong man for that,” said Nagelsmann. “It’s always an interaction between Brazzo (Salihamidzic), me and (CEO) Oliver Kahn to decide such things.”
After the disappointments in the Champions League and the DFB Cup, Salihamidzic and Kahn also have to be measured by the success of this transfer period. In a continuous loop, the people of Munich are accompanied by the Lewandowski personnel on their championship holidays, in which Nagelsmann, as the title novice, does not want to “escalate” and does not want to be a “celebration beast”. The reports from “Bild”, “Kicker” and “Sport1” about the new plans of the 33-year-old Polish national striker further fueled the explosive personnel situation.
Transfer fee for Lewandowski is probably 40 million euros
The Bayern top earner reportedly not only doesn’t want to extend his contract, which expires in a good year, but already wants to leave this summer. It is said that an early departure could become an issue with a transfer fee of around 40 million euros.
His goals are set to take long-time Lionel Messi club Barcelona back to the very top. A highly paid three-year contract, at the end of which Lewandowski would be almost 37 years old, is under discussion. Bayern don’t want to commit themselves for that long – as of now. A one-year contract like the recent one for Thomas Müller and probably soon for captain Manuel Neuer is unacceptable for Lewandowski.
The Catalan club is not only sporting, but also financially ailing with debts of 1.35 billion euros. Barça is (still) missing the right sum to really get Lewandowski. The club raised 20 million euros by selling ex-Bayern professional Philippe Coutinho to Aston Villa. Another lavish million could follow if Frenkie de Jong joins Manchester United.
Every euro is scraped together for the prestige deal with Lewandowski. “The door is open,” headlined the Catalan trade newspaper “Mundo Deportivo” on Friday. The rival newspaper “Sport” wrote: “Lewandowski is starting to get closer to Barça.”
Recently, there were repeated reports about a Lewandowski who was upset in Munich. “He didn’t complain about the offensive direction,” Nagelsmann said, at least on this point.
Negotiations with Haaland displeased Lewandowski
According to Bayern statements, a first round of talks between the German record champions and Lewandowski’s advisor Pini Zahavi went well. After that, however, there was ultimately more explosiveness instead of less explosiveness in the question of the future of Poland. Lewandowski, who was named the world’s best in his guild, didn’t like the fact that the Munich team allegedly tried to transfer BVB star Erling Haaland to the end. Haaland will score his goals for Manchester City in the future.
Lewandowski “trained very well” and scored “a few good goals”, reported Nagelsmann before the game at VfL Wolfsburg this Saturday. According to his own statement, the 34-year-old talks “no more” than usual with the player, who is almost the same age, during these excited days. “I know what his thoughts are, and I know what my attitude and my thoughts are – we don’t have to refresh that every day.” Nagelsmann repeatedly emphasized how important Lewandowski was for him. Salihamidzic just as often ruled out a premature farewell this summer – which could ultimately turn out to be common practice in the industry.
In the case of a possible Lewandowski deal, the prospect of the successor should be decisive in addition to the transfer fee. There has already been speculation about Sébastien Haller from Ajax Amsterdam, Leverkusen’s Patrik Schick or Darwin Núñez from Benfica Lisbon.
“Nobody knows how the Bayern management will react. For Kahn and Salihamidzic it is undoubtedly a loss of image, for coach Julian Nagelsmann a sporting loss. Because you can’t just replace a player who scores 50 goals a season. It’s just unrealistic, as shown by the example of Messi, who excelled at Barcelona and is just average at PSG,” wrote Polish newspaper Przeglad Sportowy. The challenge would be huge for Lewandowski, of all things, to shoot Messi’s ex-club back to the top.