Lewandowski 'crucial' to Dortmund
Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke admits keeping hold of striker Robert Lewandowski this season was vital to the club's hopes of reclaiming the Bundesliga title from rivals Bayern Munich.
Lewandowski, 25, was hopeful of joining Bayern following last season's Champions League final, but after a summer of attempting to force a move away from the Westfalenstadion, the Poland international has resigned to the fact that he will be a Dortmund player for another season at least.
Although it is likely that Lewandowski will join the German champions next year, Watzke insists Dortmund's relentless efforts to ensure the 25-year-old did not follow midfielder Mario Gotze - who joined Bayern last month - will reap rewards.
"In the end, my conclusion is that I do not want to be too positive but I think that Borussia Dortmund are well positioned for the future," Watzke said. "But we know as well that we are now in a crucial phase in terms of our sustainability in the sport.
"That is the only reason we have not sold Robert Lewandowski. All of us at the club - Michael Zorc, Jurgen Klopp, me, the management and all other bodies - were all in agreement, because we want to bring the best possible team to the pitch this year. Therefore we had to make compromises."
Although Lewandowski publicly stated his disappointment at Dortmund preventing his move to the Allianz Arena, the striker says he is now "settled" and is ready to lead his club towards the Bundesliga title.