According to Polish outlet TVP Sport, Robert Lewandowski has informed Bayern Munich CEO Oliver Kahn that he's uninterested in extending his stay in Germany and would instead prefer a summer transfer to Barcelona after agreeing to personal terms on a three-year contract at the Camp Nou.
The Poland captain's current Bayern deal runs through the 2022-23 season, so Barcelona would need to agree on a transfer fee with Bayern. However, Fabrizio Romano says Bayern has received no communication from Lewandowski or Barcelona while confirming Xavi "wants him" and that Barça are in contact with his agent.
Bayern have received no communication from Robert Lewandowski and still want him to stay. He’s well informed on Barcelona by asking some players, Xavi wants him #FCBBarça are in contact with his agent, Lewandowski asks for a three year deal - but nothing has been agreed yet. pic.twitter.com/Bx2SavTta6
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) April 11, 2022
Lewandowski joined Bayern from Borussia Dortmund on a free transfer in 2014 with a five-year deal. He's reached 40+ goals across all competitions in seven straight seasons, won the Bundesliga seven times, the DFB-Pokal three times and the 2020 Champions League, as well as being named The Best FIFA Men's Player in both 2020 and 2021.
There were reports last summer that Lewandowski was happy at Bayern but hoping to embark on a new challenge at another top European club before turning 35, however, this was also seen as a negotiation tactic for his extension. The 33-year-old reportedly wants a long-term contract, but Bayern wants a two-year deal through 2025. The club's message is take it or leave it.
Well, Lewandowski broke Gerd Müller's single-season Bundesliga scoring record last year and is the Champions League's top scorer this campaign but he's no closer to an extension with Bayern.
Club great Lothar Matthäus had some pretty interesting things to say about how Bayern's handled the situation back in March.
"If you haven't contacted Lewandowski's side up to now, I find that disrespectful," Matthäus told Sport Bild. "That would have been unthinkable under Uli Hoeneß or Karl Rummenigge. Bayern can count themselves lucky that Robert Lewandowski has such a great character and is a full professional. He won't let go. I am surprised that nothing is progressing. You shouldn't put everything in the drawer and wait and see."
In some ways it's clear to see why Barcelona represents Lewandowski's favored move. When he's been asked about coming up short in Ballon d'Or voting, he's alluded to how his accomplishments in Germany are underappreciated.
"I've had so many questions about the Ballon d'Or," he said in December. "Last year they canceled it, I couldn't go, I won everything I could win. This year I scored 69 goals in one season so you know I did everything that I could do. ... With my performance, with myself, if I stand in front of the mirror I can say to myself 'you did everything that you can, you scored 69 goals, you won the German league and you can be proud of yourself.'"
That wouldn't be the case in Spain, where Real Madrid, Atlético and Villarreal are all still alive in the UCL.
Barcelona has recently turned to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang up top and the 32-year-old has scored eight goals in nine LaLiga games since arriving in January on a three-and-a-half-year deal. Memphis Depay started the season in that role after joining on a two-year contract, but he's headed for the exit after only scoring 10 goals in 29 games. Luuk de Jong is on loan from Sevilla with an option to buy, but that's not probably not happening.
Barça was previously linked with Dortmund's Erling Haaland, but it looks like Manchester City and Real Madrid are leading that race — although if Lewandowski actually left, Bayern would certainly enter.