The back-and-forth saga between Manchester United and Robert Lewandowski has been stirred even more by comments from United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, who believes that the Red Devils still have a chance at landing the Borussia Dortmund striker.
There's no doubting that Lewandowski would be a great addition for United, but with Dortmund obviously wanting to keep him and Bayern Munich reportedly interested as well, the English champions would have a tough fight to sign him—something Ferguson believes can still be done over the summer transfer window.
Ferguson was quoted as saying during the week (per Goal.com):
If the right player comes along you have to be prepared to make a move. I can find room for anybody here as long as they have the required quality.
I am not sure Lewandowski will be sold to Bayern now. The Dortmund fans are not going to be happy and I don't think they will sell to their main rivals. I think they will either let his contract run out, or sell him somewhere else.
The veteran manager also went on to praise the probable German runners-up, calling them a "good side" and saying that any team they'll play in the 2013 Champions League Final (probably Bayern Munich), it wouldn't be a "gimme."
United have been interested in Lewandowski before and have seemingly been able to move for him given Dortmund's reluctance to sell.
And even if they could convince them to part with the Polish international, it would seemingly be difficult to a) fit him into the United squad amongst all the other strikers, and b) fight off interest from other clubs around the world for his signature.
However, just when it seemed interest was waning, Ferguson's quote sparks things up again—especially after what Lewandowski’s agent said after his star's four-goal haul against Real Madrid (h/t The Telegraph).
“We have reached an agreement with a club and intend [him] to move this summer,” Barthel told Sport Bild.“There is a very interesting offer for Robert which fulfils entirely the demands set by Dortmund and also the demands of Robert.
“Dortmund have assured us that Robert can move at the end of the season under these conditions. We stick to agreements and now it’s up to the clubs to sort things out.”
Dortmund CEO, Hans-Joachim Watzke, has emphatically denied any move to sell Lewandowski in the past, and was again firm this week—shrugging off the news and re-stating his club's position.
“Robert has a contract until 2014 and there is no exit clause like with Mario Götze. It is our explicit wish to keep him until 2014. That is why we are saying no to a transfer fee.”
Despite all of that, the news comes at an interesting development for Manchester United, who no doubt have the pulling power to land Lewandowski.
They would be able to offer him the Champions League and being in an instant title contender, and whilst it might seem like they can't offer the likes of Mario Gotze, Ilkay Gundogan and Jakub Blaszczykowski, the Red Devils can offer the likes of Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney. What's more, they would offer Lewandowski the opportunity to partner up with his former central attacking midfielder once more in Shinji Kagawa, which could well be a selling point for United.
Naturally, it would present problems at the top of United's attack and it would surely result in a departure from either Javier Hernandez or Danny Welbeck this summer. Though, having said that, Ferguson has discussed previously the need for four strikers in any squad, and with Rooney being considered more and more like an attacking midfielder, he may choose to keep the pair.
Either way, United signing Lewandowski would require big chances—and that's without even considering their chances of beating Dortmund and Bayern to signing his services next year.
Bayern appear beat, with Dortmund unlikely to sell to them after giving them Mario Gotze. Dortmund, however, present a much more difficult task, who will be desperate not to see him leave after watching two playmakers go in successive seasons.
Seeing Lewandowski leave would be a bitter third strike for Jurgen Klopp, and the Germans will be emphatically making sure that the Polish international will remain at their club for his full contract tenure. After that, well, who knows?
United will likely be keen, but so too will a number of clubs around the world—assuming he doesn't sign a new contract at Dortmund.
Lewandowski's presence at United would be brilliant for next season, and it could well make United the probable front-runners for the 2014 Champions League.
But given that they still have to try and convince Dortmund into selling him after they've already sold Gotze, it's hard to it see it happening over the summer transfer window. Not this year, anyway.
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