Bayern Munich saw off late interest from Arsenal, Chelsea and Real Madrid to finally tie up the signing of Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski.
The Polish international, 25, has been confirmed as a Bayern player starting from July 1st 2014, when his contract with Dortmund expires. The move had been rumoured for around 12 months, and despite also being a target for Arsene Wenger, Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti, the goalscoring machine will make the same move as Mario Gotze and leave Jurgen Klopp's Dortmund for Pep Guardiola's Bayern.
But despite landing a star striker to add to the likes of Frank Ribery, Arjen Robben and Thomas Muller, Bayern have received criticism for buying players simply to weaken their title rivals. After all, Bayern do already have Mario Mandzukic up front, who has hit 35 goals in two seasons for Bayern and will be targeted by some of Europe's biggest clubs upon Lewandowski's arrival, so did the Bavarian side really need to sign Lewandowski?
In recent history, Bayern have certainly bought from their rivals, as seen by the list below:
- Lucio and Michael Ballack – signed from Bayer Leverkusen after they had reached the Champions League final and finished second (2001-02)
- Sebastian Deisler – signed from Hertha Berlin after they had finished sixth, fifth and fourth (1999-2002)
- Miroslav Klose – signed from Werder Bremen after they had finished first, third, second and third (2003-2007)
- Mario Gomez – signed from Stuttgart after they had finished first and third (2006-2009)
- Manuel Neuer – signed from Schalke after they had finished second, third, eighth, second and reached the Champions League semi-final (2006-2011)
- Mario Gotze and Robert Lewandowski – signed from Borussia Dortmund after they had finished first, first, second and reached the Champions League final (2010-2013)
So now, with Lewandowski set for his move to the Allianz Arena, Bayern have taken two of Dortmund's best players and in turn, strengthened their hold on the Bundesliga title.
They are even being linked with another swoop on their rivals, as Schalke's Julian Draxler continues to be suggested as a signing – despite Bayern already having Ribery, Robben, Muller, Gotze, Toni Kroos, Thiago Alcantara and Xherdan Shaqiri, which again begs the question – do Bayern really need these players from their rivals or are they simply doing it to weaken the opposition?
image: © jiazi