Bayern chief Salihamidzic 'never had any doubts' Lewandowski would report for training

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Bayern Munich sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic "never had any doubts" Robert Lewandowski would report back for the start of pre-season training this week.

The Poland international told Bayern in May he wished to move away from the Allianz Arena this transfer window.

That came on the back of a campaign that saw Lewandowski score 50 goals in all competitions – the most of any player across Europe's top five leagues.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta last week confirmed the LaLiga giants had made an offer for the prolific striker and were awaiting a response from Bayern.

Reports from the German media suggested Lewandowski would delay returning for training, but that did not prove the case as he was present for fitness tests on Tuesday.

While the future of the former Borussia Dortmund star remains far from certain, Salihamidzic praised the 33-year-old for not downing tools in an attempt to force through an exit.

"Robert is a top professional who I know very well," Salihamidzic told Bild. "I never had any doubts that he may not show up for training."

Robert Lewandowski scored 50 goals for Bayern Munich in 2021-22
Robert Lewandowski scored 50 goals for Bayern Munich in 2021-22

Bayern have offloaded the likes of Niklas Sule, Marc Roca and Corentin Tolisso this window, while Ryan Gravenberch, Noussair Mazraoui and Sadio Mane have arrived.

Netherlands defender Matthijs de Ligt is another player on the German champions' radar, with Salihamidzic confident an agreement can be reached with Juventus.

"It was important to meet with Juve," he said. "We held two talks and now we have to be patient and see what happens. In principle, I'm an optimistic person."

De Ligt played more minutes (2,675) than any other Juve outfield player in Serie A last season as Massimiliano Allegri's side struggled to a fourth-placed finish.

And although Lewandowski may have asked for a move away, Salihamidzic believes Bayern are still a club that big-name players want to join.

"It's sexy for the players to go into the future with this club and this coach," he said.

"We'll keep our eyes and ears open, see what's happening on the transfer market, and we'll do our best for Bayern."

Bayern face MLS side D.C. United in their opening pre-season friendly next Wednesday as part of their tour of the United States.

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