In fairness the Poland international has been linked with a move to Old Trafford for some months now, but his remarkable four-goal performance in Wednesday’s Champions League semi-final first leg rout of Real Madrid has led to renewed speculation regarding his future.
It was thought that Bayern Munich – having already agreed to sign Mario Goetze from Dortmund for £32 million – were at the front of the queue for the centre-forward, who drew comparisons with Dutch great Marco van Basten for his unbelievable performance against Madrid and particularly his third goal which saw him execute a perfect drag-back before slamming the ball into the roof of the net.
But, writes the Daily Star, “Lewandowski is willing to snub Bayern Munich to land a dream move to Manchester United this summer.”
According to the tabloid’s Jeremy Cross and Duncan Wright: “United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has been tracking the 24-year-old since last summer, as Starsport exclusively revealed. Fergie sent scouts to watch him again this week as Lewandowski ripped Real apart in the first leg of the Champions League semi-final in Dortmund.
“Lewandowski, who has no get-out clause in his current contract, has refused to sign a new deal with the German champions and has agreed a deal in principle with Bayern. But it is understood Dortmund bosses are loathe to let him join their main rivals so soon after allowing Mario Goetze to join Bayern in a £32m deal.”
Further background on United’s pursuit of Lewandowski, who is currently top scorer in the Bundesliga and fired Dortmund to the double last season, comes from the Daily Telegraph.
The broadsheet believes talk of a done deal with Bayern is actually a cute negotiating tactic on the part of the striker’s agent.
Luke Edwards writes: “Lewandowski’s agent has used his client’s virtuoso display in Dortmund’s magnificent 4-1 Champions League win over Real Madrid to try to flush out interested parties by claiming he has already reached an agreement with one club – thought to be Bayern – regarding personal terms.
“Although Dortmund have responded to the hype surrounding the 24-year-old by insisting they will keep him for the final year of his contract, even though they will lose him for nothing at the end of it, his agent, Maik Barthel, contradicted that by claiming he had persuaded them to let him leave at the end of the season.
“It is the perfect scenario for Barthel to exploit in terms of maximising Lewandowski’s earning potential, while Dortmund will be happy for a bidding war to take place if they are resigned to losing yet another of their star players.”
Lewandowski is not the only Dortmund star linked with England this morning. Defensive midfielder Sven Bender, so impressive in the win over Madrid, is wanted by both Manchester United and Manchester City, according to The Metro.
Perhaps a more solid line from the papers is the claim in both the Daily Mirror and the Daily Mail that Arsenal have opened official talks with Fiorentina regarding a summer deal for forward Stevan Jovetic.
The talented Montenegro international is a long-term target for Arsene Wenger and, according to the Mail, is currently valued at £25 million after scoring a respectable 12 goals in 24 Serie A games this season.
Though Arsenal are trying to get their key piece of summer transfer work done early, the Mail says “any deal would depend on Arsenal qualifying for the Champions League next season” – so it could be a nervy wait for the club.
Chelsea are also working hard on a big-money deal and now the agent of Germany international Andre Schuerrle says his client could secure a move to Stamford Bridge in the next two days. Bayer Leverkusen’s sporting director Rudi Voeller was in London recently to hold talks.
“I am waiting for information from either Leverkusen or Chelsea, but there could be some positive news by the end of this weekend,' said agent Ingo Haspel in The Independent. “It is an indication of how much Chelsea want the player that they are continuing to negotiate.”
Elswhere, The Metro reports that having secured promotion to the Premier League, Cardiff City are hoping to bring in 33-year-old former Liverpool forward Dirk Kuyt from Fenerbahce.
In the Daily Mail, it is said that both Liverpool and Newcastle are targeting Reading keeper Alex McCarthy, who has had a fine season despite his team’s struggles.
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