The future of Robert Lewandowski at Bayern Munich has been thrown into fresh doubt by comments reportedly made by his agent to German magazine Sport Bild.
Pini Zahavi said that his client wanted a “new challenge,” and that the club were aware of his wishes.
The Pole has been with Bayern since 2014, winning four Bundesliga titles, including two as the league’s top scorer, and one DFB-Pokal in that time. He has a contract running until 2021 with the German champions.
Lewandowski seeking a new challenge elsewhere
The comments from Zahavi, who became Lewandowski’s agent in February, will have rocked both the club and its supporters, although rumours about his desire to leave had previous done the rounds of many other occasions.
In a cover feature with the weekly sports magazine, Zahavi, who helped to mastermind Neymar’s shock move to Paris Saint-Germain last summer, is believed to have said that Lewandowski “fells that he needs a transfer and a new challenge in his career.”
He insisted that his motivations “is not money or a certain club,” and that he believes that “all of the top clubs would love to have the best striker in the world in their ranks.”
Zahavi added that the club had been informed of the striker’s intentions, and insisted that they “should understand his situation” given that the club’s hierarchy, consisting of Uli Hoeneß, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Hasan Salihamidžić, had played at the highest level themselves.
Bayern ready to let go?
Lewandowski has scored 151 goals in 195 appearances since joining Bayern from rivals Borussia Dortmund in 2014. Of the many scoring feats he has achieved in that time, none were more impressive than when he scored five goals in nine minutes, as a substitute, against VfL Wolfsburg in September 2015.
Nevertheless, there has always been a feeling that the 29-year-old has aspired to joining a bigger club than Bayern, such as Real Madrid, and the player has often not been afraid to criticise the club’s hierarchy, such as over their transfer policy. His performances in the latter stages of the UEFA Champions League have been criticised as well, including this year, when he failed to score in the semi-finals against Real.
With Bayern and new coach Niko Kovac potentially looking at a squad overhaul over the course of the summer, they could well see this as the opportunity time to let a want-away player like Lewandowski go for big money to fund new additions. There is no doubt that many top clubs would be eager and able to pay for his services.
With Lewandowski off to the FIFA World Cup with Poland, this potential transfer saga could drag on over the course of the summer. However the reaction amongst Bayern fans seemed to be that they would be content to say the farewells to him as they enter the new Kovac era.
Quotes via Sport Bild.