A quick summary, for those just tuning in: FC Bayern Munich, despite having an incredible scoring record and a pair of excellent strikers on the roster, has been continually linked with another star forward: Robert Lewandowski, of rival Borussia Dortmund. You can read earlier descriptions here and here. The rumors previously had Lewandowski moving to Bayern in this summer's upcoming transfer period, with Bayern's Mario Gomez first said to be on his way out, then later reports retracting that last bit bit still hinting that 'Dowski would move.
The more recent story is a little different: as first reported L'Equip, Bild, and Joe G in the FanPost section, the new speculation is that Lewandowski will play out his contract and then join Bayern in the summer of 2014, when he becomes a free agent. I remain staunchly opposed to bringing in Lewandowski, but this move makes a little more sense, from an objective standpoint. Here's how I see it ...
From Bayern's point of view:
- we don't need him now, with Mandzukic and Gomez both in solid form
- if one of both of those two struggles over the next year and a half, or suffers a major injury, you'll know which guy needs to be shipped out
- If new-manager-to-be Pep Guardiola wants 'Dowski so bad, we can basically say, "look, we're getting him. Just deal with what you've got for one year." Maybe he'll realize that our current roster is perfect the way it is, and won't even want to make the chance. If he still does, we get him on a free.
From Dortmund's point of view:
- they keep Lewandowski, one of their most vital players, for the next 16 months. He helps them this season in both the Champions League (where they're very much alive) and domestically (where they still want to ensure a 2d-place finish).
- next year, they're going to be playing Champions League ball again, as well as holding renewed hopes of Bundesliga and Pokal success. Lewandowski would obviously be instrumental in all of that.
- conceivably, if they win the Bundesliga next season, or if they win the CL this year or next (or even maybe if they just go on a run to the Semi or the Final), Lewandowski could be excited enough that he wants to stay around.
- even if he still wants to leave, Bayern may have decided to do something else by that point
- even if he still wants to leave AND Bayern still wants him, Dortmund have time to scout a replacement (or even try a Goetze-Reus-Kuba attacking trident, which I'm convinced could work).
The obvious downside for Dortmund would be that they let a star player walk on a free, rather than pick up a huge paycheck for him. That's certainly a concern, but would it really mean THAT much of a difference in money? If he helps them advance deep into the CL this year, helps them finish in the top 3 of the Bundesliga this year AND next, and maybe even helps them get past the group stage and make a deep CL run next season, you're talking about, collectively, up to 30 million Euro the club could be earning from various sources over the next 16 months. Now, clearly, Lewandowski isn't the only key part of that, and they'd certainly be a good team even without him. But he makes a big difference as far as all of their aims for this spring and the following 2 semesters. Would it really be THAT big a loss to let him leave for free, considering how much they have left to do before that date arrives? And especially considering there's always a chance he could stay anyway (or agree to an England sale this summer or next winter)?
Anyway, I remain in the "opposed" camp, just becuase I think Mandzukic and Gomez are so talented and so perfect for our current set-up. Also, I'll note that it's March 1, so my "I'll eat my paycheck if this happens" offer has expired. Nonetheless, we'll continue to track the story and keep everyone apprised. TSG preview coming by tonight. Check out the poll below, and thanks for reading.