Robert Lewandowski’s time at Bayern Munich appears to be at an end, at least in the mind of the Polish striker.
The 33-year-old has won eight consecutive Bundesliga titles in his time at the Allianz Arena, scoring a massive 98 goals over the past two seasons.
However, while speaking at a press conference ahead of Poland’s Nations League clash with Wales on Wednesday, Lewandowski confirmed he does not intend to fulfil the final 12 months on his Bayern contract.
“My story with Bayern has come to an end, I cannot imagine further good cooperation,” he said, per Bild’s chief sports correspondent Tobi Altschäffl.
“I hope they will not stop me (from leaving) just because they can. A transfer is the best solution for everyone.”
With Bayern currently favourites to secure the services of Liverpool’s Sadio Mane, it seems the Bavarian giants are already in the market for attacking reinforcements for next season.
The ultimate Robert Lewandowski quiz
New arrivals aren’t a necessity, though, as Thomas Muller could lead the line for Bayern if Lewandowski departs, having recently inked a new contract.
As one of the most prolific goalscorers of the modern era, Lewandowski is sure to have no shortage of offers when it comes to his next club. His 344 goals in 375 games for Bayern is the sort of return that is tough to ignore.
Where will Lewandowski head next?
To try and determine Lewandowski’s next destination, we’ve taken a look at the odds on offer from the folks over at SkyBet. One club is a heavy favourite to land his signature, but the move isn’t a done deal yet.
Barcelona – 1/3
For those unfamiliar with betting terminology, a £3 bet on Lewandowski to choose Camp Nou as his new home will return you just an additional £1. Hardly the sort of odds that are going to make you rich in a hurry.
However, the bookies are clearly convinced that Barca is Lewandowski’s most likely move. We’re sure that Xavi would love to have him, too. That said, in the world of football finance, things are rarely straightforward, particularly at Barcelona.
We all remember the money issues that caused the Catalan club to part ways with record goalscorer Lionel Messi last summer – and those same troubles could prevent a deal being done for Lewandowski.
Famously, Barca’s situation was so dire last year that Messi couldn’t have stayed with the club. even if he’d played for free.
La Blaugrana chiefs have worked hard since then to try and balance the books, allowing the club to bring in the likes of Ferran Torres and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang midway through last season.
There are still definitely strict budget controls in place at Barcelona, though.
The La Liga powerhouses had been keen on a move for Leeds United’s Brazilian winger Raphinha. Unfortunately for Barca, Leeds narrowly avoided relegation from the Premier League on the final day of the season, scuppering their hopes of bagging the 25-year-old’s signature on the cheap.
Further negotiations suggest that Barcelona simply don’t have the money to throw around that they once did. Lewandowski might not be keen to play for Bayern again, but you would assume that he’ll still be looking for a considerable compensation package wherever he ends up, on top of a potential transfer fee for his services.
Liverpool – 10/1
Barca’s monetary restrictions could open the door for second-favourites Liverpool to make a play for the striker.
Technically, the Poland captain is still under contract to Bayern until June 2023 – and the German club would be well within their rights to insist that he sees that period out.
However, with Bayern reportedly eyeing up a bid for Reds favourite Mane, a deal where Lewandowski moves in the other direction could work for both parties.
Jurgen Klopp isn’t exactly struggling for attacking options at Anfield, but any time you can add a player of Lewandowski’s pedigree to your ranks, it has to be worth considering.
Chelsea – 12/1
New Blues owner Tood Boehly could make a real statement by bringing Lewandowski to Stamford Bridge. For all the hype surrounding Romelu Lukaku’s return to west London last summer, his goal return has been a disappointment – and the less said about Timo Werner’s form the better.
Chelsea need a striker and they don’t come much more proven than Lewandowski.
Paris Saint-Germain – 16/1
Kylian Mbappe’s probably the man to ask on this one. He’s apparently got the final say on pretty much everything after signing his new deal at the Parc de Princes! We can’t see it, though.
Real Madrid – 16/1
Crowned kings of Europe for a 14th time this past weekend, Real’s current frontline of Karim Benzema and Vinicius Jr seem to have things well under control at the Bernabeu.
Best of the rest
Manchester United – 25/1
Arsenal – 33/1
Juventus – 33/1
Manchester City – 33/1
Newcastle – 33/1
Lewandowski’s Bayern story looks to have come to an end, but his next chapter is far from clear.
The Done Deal Show (Via The Football Terrace)