In some latest Robert Lewandowski transfer news, the Pole has been linked with a move to Man City. Lewandowski has been in the news recently for criticising Bayern’s transfer policy. Inevitably, as soon as there are some murmurings of discontent with a player of Lewandowski’s stature the transfer speculation follows.
We take a look at how likely it is that Lewandowski will leave Bayern and whether Manchester City is a likely destination…
Nationality: 88 caps 46 goals
Reported Transfer Fee: no mention
2016/17 League Stats: 31 starts (2 sub appearances) 30 goals (5 assists)
So I guess we could have predicted this. Lewandowski dared to voice his (possibly misjudged) opinion and the transfer rumours start. Manchester City are currently being linked the strongest. I suspect the Guardiola connection could be a factor in the speculation.
Many of you probably know by now that Lewandowski was recently quite vocal about Bayern’s transfer policy. He suggested the Bavarians were getting left behind when compared to some of the more financially ambitious clubs across Europe. Even though Bayern broke the Bundesliga transfer record with the signing of Corentin Tolisso from Lyon for £35.2mil this summer, Lewandowski still isn’t impressed. He stated such sums are the norm elsewhere.
He’s not wrong. The top 2 in Spain, Paris SG and plenty of teams in the Premiership are regularly spending sums in the region of £30-40mil now. I actually didn’t realise Bayern’s record transfer was so relatively low in comparison. You could make a case that they have done well to compete regularly in the latter stages of the Champions League with Europe’s best as long as they have given how much less they have been spending.
However there has been reports that Lewandowski’s discontent has been brewing for a while. Whilst Bayern’s record in the Champions League has been decent in recent seasons, they haven’t actually won it since 2013 and that was before Lewandowski joined. Having come so close with Dortmund, it was no secret that winning Europe’s premier competition was a key motivation in joining Bayern for Lewandowski. He’s still yet to get to the final with Bayern.
Two key players retired for Bayern in the summer in Lahm and Xabi Alonso. Both are huge loses. They’ve made some good additions, such as the surprising loan deal for James Rodriguez from Real Madrid but it’s debatable whether the likes of Tolisso, Sule and Rudy will even be able to fully replace those they’ve lost, let alone take Bayern on the level or two they will need to be able to compete with the likes of Real Madrid.
It’s difficult to see Bayern coming any closer to winning the Champions League any time soon. I’m sure Lewandowski is aware of this which is adding to his frustrations and why he has made such comments.
Just to further complicate things, Ancelotti’s future is also starting to be seriously questioned. The lost to Hoffenheim and reports the Italian is weighing up a huge offer from China have added to an already uneasy situation in Munich. There had already been serious questions about his ‘hands-off’ approach to training which had been causing some concern. The Bayern hierarchy even had to step in when Ancelotti appointed his son as assistant, insisting that ex-Bayern player Willy Sagnol be appointed instead.
It’s looking more and more likely that he won’t see out the final year of his contract and Bayern will activate the break-clause as they become disillusioned with Ancelotti.
Young Hoffenheim manager Julian Nagelsmann is the favourite to take over. He’s seen by many as one of best coaches of his generation and is still only 30 years old.
All this uncertainty doesn’t help. Add into the mix Pep. Guardiola and the impact and regard he was held by Bayern players, such as Lewandowski and this transfer rumour almost writes itself!
Lewandowski has scored 30 league goals, 2 seasons runnings. This season he looks to be on course to do the same with 6 goals in 5 games so far. So which club wouldn’t want him? If the opportunity arose I’m sure most would be interested and Man City are no different.
Whether Man City do make a move though could be dependent on what happens with Sanchez. I correctly guessed that Sanchez would end up staying at Arsenal (any excuse to mention it! …Although my reasoning wasn’t exactly correct) but Man City could still reignite their interest in the Summer. Man City are already stacked with plenty of attacking talent in their squad so even the purchase of Sanchez doesn’t look completely necessary. If they’re successful I think we can rule out the need for Lewandowski too considering they already have Aguero, Gabriel Jesus, Sterling, Sane and Bernardo Silva vying for three attacking positions at the moment.
If Sanchez ends up somewhere other than City, then a successful move for Lewandowski looks more possible.
Real Madrid have also been linked with Lewandowski and in many ways it looks a more appropriate link. He’d be a more obvious fit to their system. Real have also struggled with some of their key attacking players struggling for form for a while now, such as Bale but particularly Benzema who Lewandowski would be a much improved, like for like replacement.
However I’ve heard some reports say Real have moved away from their gallatico approach and the signing of players around 30 years of age for vast sums. A more youth-focused transfer strategy has been mentioned and if this year has been anything to go by, the signings of only Dani Ceballos and Theo Hernandez would support that. I would personally be surprised if Real turned down the opportunity to sign arguably the best centre forward in world though.
I guess just because a transfer rumour is convenient or predictable doesn’t necessarily mean it isn’t going to happen. I can understand many of Lewandowski’s frustrations when looking at the wider picture in Munich. It will likely come down to how far he is willing to go to engineer a move, if that is what he really wants though. I doubt they would stand in his way. With the stranglehold Bayern has on the Bundesliga take have their pick of possible replacements.
At this stage I get the impression he is sending out a message to the Bayern hierarchy to encourage them to match his ambition. If he continues to feel his ambitions aren’t being matched then I suspect we might be seeing a lot more on Lewandowski’s future.
For now I don’t expect too see many developments anytime soon especially given the season has barely started. I still feel something dramatic would need to happen to see Lewandowski leave next summer as well. There’s no obvious destination although Sanchez’s future will be interesting and could have an impact…
The sensible thing would be to play it safe and say he’ll be staying in Munich for the foreseeable future, so that’s what I’m going to predict.
Will Lewandowski leave? Where do you think Lewandowski will end up? Share your thoughts below.