Chelsea could join the race to sign Robert Lewandowski despite the Bayern Munich forward favoring a summer move to Barcelona.
Lewandowski’s future is up in the air after he made clear he was unwilling to extend his Bayern contract, which expires in the summer of 2023. The Poland international has long been interested in playing in Spain and sources have indicated that he has verbally agreed a three -year deal with Barça, who are working to sign him.
Bayern insist that Lewandowski is not for sale and that they will keep him until his contract is up, raising the prospect of the prolific striker leaving the German champions on a free transfer.
It remains to be seen whether Bayern decide it would be best to receive a fee for the 33-year-old. There have been claims they are reluctant to sell to Barcelona because the Nou Camp club are emerging from a difficult financial period and could struggle to pay a figure appropriate for a player of Lewandowski’s stature. Barça have told the former Borussia Dortmund striker’s camp that they can afford him.
If negotiations between the clubs remain difficult, Lewandowski’s hopes of moving to Spain would be dim. Real Madrid are not an option. Madrid have Karim Benzema and are pushing to sign Kylian Mbappe from Paris Saint Germain.
Lewandowski, who helped Bayern win the Champions League in 2020, could yet be forced to consider the Premier League. He has been unsure about playing in England but it is understood that Chelsea are paying close attention to the situation. Thomas Tuchel is a huge admirer of Lewandowski, who has scored 343 goals since joining Bayern in 2014, and would have loved to bring him to Chelsea last summer.
Lewandowski was considered off limits last year and Chelsea ended up buying Romelu Lukaku. The Belgian has struggled since his £97.5m move from Internazionale, even though he has 15 goals this season, and produced a lethargic display when Tuchel’s side lost Saturday’s FA Cup final to Liverpool.
Chelsea’s chances of signing Lewandowski are slim at the moment. They cannot buy or sell players until Todd Boehly’s consortium purchases the club from Roman Abramovich. It will then be fascinating to see how much Chelsea are capable of spending. They will need to devote funds towards sorting out their defence, with Andreas Christensen joining Barcelona and Antonio Rüdiger heading to Madrid.
Much will also depend on what happens with Lukaku. The striker does not appear to suit Chelsea’s system but his agent, Federico Pastorello, last week dismissed suggestions of the Belgian joining Inter or Milan. It would be financially challenging for an Italian club to sign Lukaku. If there is a solution, though, then Tuchel will want Chelsea to be in the running for Lewandowski.