Borussia Dortmund remain adamant that star striker Robert Lewandowski will not be allowed to leave this summer.
The Polish forward will enter the final year of his contract with the Champions League finalist this summer and has yet to agree a new deal to keep him at the Westfalenstadion.
Since then, Manchester United and Chelsea have entered the frame but Dortmund manager Hans-Joachim Watzke has now ruled out him moving abroad as well as domestically, emphatically stating that he will remain at the club with whom he is under contract.
"Robert will definitely be playing for Borussia Dortmund next season," he told Germany's Suddeutsche Zeitung newspaper.
Lewandowski’s situation is nothing new – we’ve seen it happen time and time again all over the world. We saw it last summer with Manchester United’s capture of Robin van Persie from Arsenal.
When a club’s most valuable players refuse to sign a contract extension, it effectively holds the club to ransom – the club must sell the player to avoid losing one of their biggest assets for nothing the following summer. However, could Borussia Dortmund be about to set a monumental precedent with Lewandowski?
Of course, the club and the manager could merely be bluffing to ensure they receive his value for the eventual transfer, wherever he goes but there are huge assurances being made in this case that the player will stay.
It all depends on whether Borussia Dortmund are prepared to lose out on a potential £30 million – the Bundesliga outfit are not considered a superpower in Europe based on their resources – they signed the Polish front man in 2010 from Lech Poznan for just €4.5 million.
He’s scored 54 goals in the Bundesliga this term and, after losing Mario Gotze to Bayern Munich (along with the Champions League final) it would really add insult to injury if their most valuable player signed for them.
However, realistically, he could sign for them anyway – for free next year – that surely would be a far greater travesty from Dortmund’s point of view. He could sign a pre-contract with a foreign club (Manchester United or Chelsea) in January if he so wishes.
Dortmund and making all the right noises to suggest they will not be held to ransom by Robert Lewandowski and his representatives this summer but, alas, we’ve seen this happen before.
We’ve heard the same noises made by clubs all over the world in relation to their big name players who are ‘definitely not for sale’ and ‘definitely staying’. If Dortmund refuse to sell him this summer, they will lose out on £30 million but they will set an example for clubs the world over.
image: © DrabikPany