According to Miguel Delaney of the Independent on Sunday, the superstar forward is “considering his future” with the German champions, not because manager Pep Guardiola will be leaving at the end of the season but the 27-year-old is keen to take on a new challenge during the best years of his career.
Delaney wrote the aforementioned trio of English teams are keen on landing Lewandowski, but they’re likely to face “strong competition” from Primera Division giants Barcelona and Real Madrid. Here’s why the established elite of European football are said to be interested in the former Borussia Dortmund man:
United could certainly do with a striker of Lewandowski’s calibre. At the moment, manager Louis van Gaal has a 30-year-old Wayne Rooney and a talented but still raw Anthony Martial to call upon at Old Trafford. As we can see here, courtesy of Football365’s Daniel Storey, the Red Devils have as such found goals tough to come by:
Daniel Storey @danielstorey85
Number of 0-0 draws in 2015/16: Eredivisie - 6 Manchester United - 7 Serie A - 92016-1-9 19:25:55
Lewandowski would certainly change those fortunes. Of course, there are some systematic problems in the way Van Gaal sets his team up, but if United were to part with a massive £70 million to land one of the best goalscorers in the game, they’d surely seek to utilise his talents as much as possible.
The Bayern man has been in brilliant form this term, proving he is one of the top No. 9’s in the game. Lewandowski is a physical target man at the point of his team’s attack, but he also plays with a balance and grace—qualities that make him one of the most dangerous footballers around.
As Squawka noted, the Pole is incredibly efficient in the final third when it comes to making decisive contributions:
Squawka Football @Squawka
Most Bundesliga goals+assists in 2015: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (36) Robert Lewandowski (28) Thomas Müller (28) Bas Dost (26) Raffael (24)2016-1-7 22:20:15
United could certainly put together a package to tempt Lewandowski to Old Trafford, but with the club in something of a malaise, it’s tough to see the striker opting for the Red Devils over City or one of the Liga pairing. If the club are to stand any chance of securing him in the summer, Champions League qualification is a must this term.
Felipe Anderson Latest
A clause in Lazio star Felipe Anderson’s contract, which would see him entitled to five per cent of any transfer fee, is reportedly holding up his move to Manchester United.
Paul Hetherington of the Daily Star wrote the sum would amount to around £1.75 million. It’s a clause the Serie A side want United to pay in order to expedite the transfer, which Hetherington suggested Lazio are happy to see go through. But naturally, the Premier League giants are not willing to pay it.
Hetherington claimed the Red Devils are hopeful of agreeing a deal of £30 million plus another £5 million in add-ons for the exciting winger. Here’s what he could bring to Old Trafford:
On the one hand, this is a move that makes sense. Anderson is a direct, intricate and inventive footballer who typically plays off the left flank. His ability to cut inside, beat his man on the outside and link up with team-mates in dangerous areas made him a prospect to be feared in Serie A last term, helping Lazio secure a spot in the Champions League qualifiers.
As BT Sport’s James Horncastle noted, the player seemed to hint his future is with the Rome-based outfit is uncertain:
James Horncastle @JamesHorncastle
Asked if he’ll still be a Lazio player in February, Felipe Anderson tells Sky Italia: I don’t know. For now I’m just concentrating on my job2016-1-9 19:10:04
However, under this regime, Anderson would find things tough at United. Van Gaal seems to restrict the freedom of attacking players, and given the Lazio man’s strengths lie in floating around the pitch and committing defenders in different areas, he’d struggle to have an impact similar to the one he has made at Lazio.
Still, the 22-year-old is the kind of player fans at Old Trafford would love when he’s in full flight. It’s imperative that, should this deal get over the line, he’s a player is emboldened, not inhibited.