With Erling Haaland ruled out, set to move to Manchester City, Robert Lewandowski has become Xavihernandez's first choice to strengthen Barcelona's attack next season. Director of football Mateu Alemany is working hard on a deal for the striker, who will turn 34 in August and is keen for a new challenge after winning everything with Bayern Munich.
There is one obstacle, though, and it's not a small one. Lewandowski has one more year to run on his contract with Bayern, until 2023. Therefore, any deal is dependent on an agreement with the German club, who so far are not ready to negotiate an exit. Honorary president Uli Hoeness and coach Julian Nagelsmann have both expressed a desire for him to extend his deal in Bavaria.
But Lewandowski feels his cycle in Germany has reached an end and has decided he wants to leave. In fact, with the Bundesliga finishing this weekend, we're entering key weeks. The transfer market is beginning to wake up and Barça are optimistic of completing a complicated but not impossible operation.
Laporta and Xavi
Beyond the work being done by Alemany and his partner in the sporting department Jordi Cruyff, two people are key in the move for the striker: Xavi and Joan Laporta. Xavi wants to improve his attacking options with the signing of a top No.9 and Laporta has accepted it as a personal challenge. He has a good relationship with the player's agent, Pini Zahavi.
Zahavi is working hard to make the move a reality. He is in permanent contact with Barça about the state of play. Barça know what Bayern have offered to try and convince Lewandowski to change his mind but his idea is set. Neither he nor his agent are even contemplating staying in Munich for another year.
40 million tops
Lewandowski is not happy in Germany and, even though he has a good contract, wants a new project. That's Barça. Zahavi knows that. He understands Bayern's point of view but has translated to Barça that there is a real chance of a deal this summer.
Zahavi believes that eventually Bayern, aware of the player's position, will open the door to negotiations. He is convinced, in addition, that the transfer fee would not be more than 40 million euros, which is the maximum amount Barça are willing to pay. In a week, things could move quicker. At Barça, there is optimism.