Agent hints at Lewandowski move
Borussia Dortmund is facing up to the possibility of losing two key players this summer after the agent of Robert Lewandowski claimed a deal is being worked on for the Poland international to leave the Westfalenstadion.
Lewandowski scored all four goals as Dortmund thrashed Real Madrid 4-1 in the first leg of its Champions League semifinal Wednesday, but much of the postmatch talk centred around his future.
His contract expires at the end of next season, leaving Dortmund in the unenviable position of having to decide whether to cash in this summer or risk seeing the 24-year-old leave on a free in 2014.
Reports in Germany on Thursday suggest Dortmund has opted for the former with the player's agent, Maik Barthel, suggesting Dortmund has sanctioned his departure.
"We have reached an agreement with a club and intend (him) to move this summer," Barthel told Sport Bild. "There is a very interesting offer for Robert which fulfills entirely the demands set by Dortmund and also the demands of Robert. Dortmund have assured us that Robert can move at the end of the season under these conditions.
"We stick to agreements and now it's up to the clubs to sort things out."
Barthel stopped short of naming the club in question but speculation suggests it is Bayern Munich, which earlier this week agreed to activate the 37 million euros ($48.3 million) release clause of Dortmund playmaker Mario Goetze.
Losing two of its best players to its closest domestic rivals would be a major setback for Dortmund, which is also likely to meet Bayern in the Champions League final after the Bavarians' 4-0 hammering of Barcelona on Tuesday night.
According to coach Jurgen Klopp, the Champions League semifinalist has no plans of letting its player leave just yet.
"My state of knowledge today is Robert will be here next season," Klopp said. "We have always acted fair. Why an agent says on TV a player will definitely make a switch -- those are so many weird thoughts. I am not able to relate to that."
Klopp said no club has approached Dortmund yet with an offer for Lewandowski, before adding: "And if the agent has one [an offer], he should rather discuss it with us than on Polish TV."
The Dortmund boss, though, did concede that there were contingency plans in place for when Lewandowski does eventually leave the club.
"We have eyed some very good players, who would love to play for us. And all of that without agents talking on TV," he said. "Either we have the players or we have a lot of money enabling us to buy good players.
"We are getting 37 million for Goetze which we don't even want," said Klopp, echoing the words of his club's general manager Hans-Joachim Watzke, who said he could "do without" a transfer fee for Lewandowski, as long as he stays for another year.
Watzke added on Sky television: "Our wish is explicit that he stays here. It all surprises me. We are willing to do without a transfer fee for him (if he leaves as a free agent in 2014). I have had plenty of wishes in my life which have come true."
Goetze and Lewandowski combined for Dortmund's opening goal against Madrid last night before the former Lech Poznan striker took center stage, netting three more times to leave Jose Mourinho's men with an uphill task at the Bernabeu next week.
His performance was no surprise given his record this season. He has scored 34 goals in 42 games and has netted in each of his last 12 Bundesliga appearances.
Information from Soccernet reporter Stephan Uersfeld and Press Association was used in this report.