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The Robert Lewandowski situation at Dortmund gets uglier

Jun 17, 2013, 7:19 AM EDT

Borussia Dortmund v FC Bayern Muenchen - UEFA Champions League Final Getty Images

One week after confirming that Robert Lewandowski will not be leaving Borussia Dortmund for Bayern Munich, the Champions League finalists have now issued a universal ‘hands-off’ warning for clubs interested in the Polish international.

“Robert will definitely be playing for Borussia Dortmund next season,” BVB general manager Hans-Joachim Watzke told Germany’s Suddeutsche Zeitung newspaper. “We need this security to be able to plan (for the season).”

The news comes as a blow to Barcelona, Real Madrid, Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City, who have all been strongly linked with a move for the Pole, who has scored 54 goals in 98 Bundesliga appearances.

So how did this situation get so sticky?

The biggest issue is that the entire world knows that Lewandowski wants to go to Munich but has been barred from doing so. Clubs also know that Dortmund would love to sell the player (as his contract is set to expire within the next year) but Lewandowski hasn’t expressed the slightest bit of interest in playing anywhere but the Bavarian capital.

This puts Dortmund in a tight spot as there’s no point in negotiating a deal with a club outside of Munich since there’s no guarantee that Lewandowski will agree to it. Therefore, instead of taking a position of weakness, Dortmund are embracing a position of defiance.

Things get even more interesting when you consider that Lewandowski and Dortmund have an agreement that says the player can leave the club if a ‘reasonable’ offer is made. BVB are contending that this threshold has yet to be hit, while Lewandowski’s camp claims other wise. Fortunately, the lawyers are all over this one.

So how is this situation going to end? Is Dortmund really going to eat a transfer fee in the range of £30-£40 million just to keep a disgruntled Lewandowski for one more season?

No way. It simply makes no sense that a club that nearly ran itself into bankruptcy before becoming a model of economic efficiency would waste that amount of money on one season’s wages out of sheer stubbornness.

Plus, if the situation truly upsets Lewandowski, there’s always a chance he goes AWOL à la Luka Modric last summer when Tottenham was refusing to sell the playmaker to Real Madrid.

Expect this story to be an ongoing saga of ‘he said she said’ all summer long before Dortmund eventually caves. Unfortunately for BVB, the longer the drama plays out, the lower the fee.

  1. reasonableperson1 - Jun 17, 2013 at 9:09 AM

    I understand people questioning why BVB won’t sell but if you really think about it smaller clubs like BVB only have a small window of opportunity to win and win big. Why not keep the club together and go for one more year and go big again?

    BVB seems to be quite well financially now, they got a ton of money coming in from the CL finals appearance and Gotze sale so I can see why they aren’t keen to sell another player. Yes, it seems nuts to leave a ton of money on the table but they are also taking another prime year of Lewa’s career and strengthening themselves. How much did Arsenal really benefit from selling RVP last year?

    Sometimes you need to make a statement and that’s exactly what BVB is doing. Or they are driving up the market so much that they’ll get a offer they can’t refuse, which is a win as well.

    • schlom - Jun 17, 2013 at 1:30 PM

      Awesome that you’d call a team with what I assume is the largest attendance of any football team (and second in average overall behind just the Dallas Cowboys) a smaller club.

  2. thememyselfandiguy - Jun 17, 2013 at 9:23 AM

    BVB is NOT a small club. It makes no sense for them to hold on to Lewandowski. They get a ton of money for 12 month left on his contract. And now Watzke can only lose his face with comments like: Lewandowski will not play for Bayern Munich in the 2013/2014 season.

  3. unclemosesgreen - Jun 17, 2013 at 9:43 AM

    There’s no point for them to give in at this moment. Also they may be hoping that some of soccer’s other big boys join the chase. Internally BVB may be thinking fine he wants to go he can go – but anywhere but Bayern.

    Liverpool could certainly use him.

  4. thememyselfandiguy - Jun 17, 2013 at 10:20 PM

    unclemosesgreen | Jun 17, 2013, 9:43 ‘ EDT
    There’s no point for them to give in at this moment. Also they may be hoping that some of soccer’s other big boys join the chase. Internally BVB may be thinking fine he wants to go he can go – but anywhere but Bayern.

    Liverpool could certainly use him.

    So it looks like you dont follow the Lewandowski deal. So let me help you:
    Lewandowski wants to play for Munich and will play for Munich. He already reached an agreement with Bayern. To be exact he reached two agreements. The first one when he can move right away and another one when he is not allowed by BVB to change Clubs.

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