One transfer saga that does not look like going anywhere fast is that of Robert Lewandowski of Borussia Dortmund; yet just a few weeks ago it seemed like this was a foregone conclusion.
Bookies had stopped taking bets, shirts were probably being printed and the press had given up speculating; Lewandowski was to sign for Bayern Munich this summer.
Then a few days ago Dortmund’s chief executive Aki Watzke made it clear … Lewandowski was certainly not going to follow Mario Gotze to Bayern Munich this summer:
"Robert Lewandowski will definitely not transfer to Bayern Munich in 2013. This is final. We have informed Robert and his advisers. The Bayern case is closed because there was no written offer."
Suddenly the bookies reopened and Manchester United leapt up the odds table. Lewandowski as the replacement to Wayne Rooney was the general belief.
But if you believe the most recent comments from Watzke the Poland international is going nowhere this summer. Instead Die Schwarzgelben are happy to let him play out the final year of his contract and leave on a free next summer:
“What I expect from him now is to show the strength in character he has shown over the past years and cope with the situation on a professional level. I am confident that he will do so. 2014, when his contract runs out, he is welcome to join Munich. I can only call off the wish I know about. Why should I bother about other clubs when all we know about is that he only wants to join Bayern? “
It follows Lewandowski’s defiance over a move; suggesting that he was ‘promised’ by the club hierarchy the chance to join Bayern Munich at the end of the season.
It has led German paper Bild to compare Lewandowski’s situation to that of a current Chelsea striker - Demba Ba.
Lewandowski’s continued moaning has certainly been like that of Ba’s but as yet he has not gone on to take as serious action as Ba did in 2011.
With his contract running to its expiry he demanded a move amid interest from Stoke City and West Ham United. His then Bundesliga club Hoffenheim stated they would rather see him play out his contract which led Ba to even more desperate measures.
He went on a strike and refused to travel with the squad to a winter break training camp before eventually Hoffenheim gave up; and sold him for a little under £1 million.
Dortmund will certainly hope that a similar series of events does not transpire with their own striking sensation; while Manchester United fans will hope it does.
As Lewandowski could become a bargain in January.
images: © Piotr Drabik,