Bayern Munich have declared Robert Lewandowski “not for sale.” “What about a trade, then?” Pini Zahavi shrewdly replies. According to the latest news, that is exactly what Zahavi is attempting to pull off right now, a player-swap that would take Lewandowski from Munich but provide the club with a suitable replacement on the pitch rather than a mountain of euros that notoriously cannot score goals.
In that spirit, we asked our staff to play “let’s make a deal.” The rules are simple: what player would you accept in exchange for Robert Lewandowski? We left the parameters open-ended:
- The replacement player can come from any club. Obviously, Lewandowski has been linked especially to Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United, and lately also Chelsea. But we might all give the same answers if we limited the choices to those clubs alone.
- The deal need not be a like-for-like swap. Zahavi supposedly envisions a striker-swap, but that is not strictly necessary. We opened the door to other options—especially wingers.
- The deal can include a varying amount of cash. Not all players are valued equally. Our writers could set any amount of cash to sweeten the deal for their target.
And away we go!
Tom Adams: Karim Benzema + cash (Real Madrid)
For me this is deductive reasoning: I just can’t see Lewandowski wanting to go anywhere besides Real Madrid. Chelsea aren’t in the Champions League; I doubt Lukaku would want to leave Manchester United, and Lewandowski has apparently already expressed that PSG is not his preferred destination. I would be shocked if he wound up going to Paris. Also, Zidane leaving Real Madrid could mean that a handful of Madrid players will be on their way out this summer. If there’s a surplus of cash with the deal, I would love to see Bayern pursue Kevin Volland.
Ryan Cowper: Toni Kroos (Real Madrid)
As long as we’re entertaining the fantasy of selling Robert Lewandowski in a swap deal, there’s really only one way to make this work for Bayern Munich: Lewandowski for Toni Kroos straight up. Take that money Bayern Munich pay for the best #9 on the planet and give it to the best midfielder on this planet. Then go out and hire someone nearly as good like an Alvaro Morata or Timo Werner and watch the magic happen.
Jacob Dorman: max value (then buy Mo Salah!)
There has not been a single non-Bayern player I can recall in the past five or so years who I have enjoyed watching succeed as much as Mo Salah. In my dream scenario, Lewy is shipped to Real or PSG for as much as possible and Bayern reinvests that ransom across the roster. Salah has the potential to go to one of the bigger clubs, but I believe Bayern would be the best opportunity for him to flourish. He would not be competing for starting time or dealing with potentially toxic management. He strikes (pun intended) me as the kind of player who recognizes that there are more important things in this game than money and fame; and that is an enduring legacy and the ability to express that aforementioned joy on the field. He can find that in Munich.
Gopika: Eden Hazard + cash (Chelsea) — but really Timo Werner
To be honest, I don’t want Lewandowski to leave. It’s the “5 in 9,” 3-consecutive-Torjägerkanonen-winning Lewandowski that I’m talking about, and not the Lewandowski who feels like he’s bigger than the club. A swap deal, for me, is unexciting. Although, among many choices, I’d rather have Hazard and some money over Cavani and Lukaku. If Lewy leaves, then I guess the only thing I’d looking forward to is snatching Timo Werner from RB Leipzig.
Sir Drake Hills: Edinson Cavani (PSG)
Sport Bild sent the football world scrambling when they reported that Robert Lewandowski’s agent, Pini Zahavi, said the Polish striker wants to leave Bayern Munich. Fine. Bayern can let Lewandowski leave, but for a price. Considering that Real Madrid’s big-boy spending is no more, and Manchester United have no room, the best deal from the lens of Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is to seal a player swap to Paris Saint-Germain. Yes, Chelsea has also been linked with Lewandowski. That would make a great fit for the Pole. However, receiving Álvaro Morata would be a mistake on Bayern’s hands. Therefore, Edinson Cavani is the best swap deal, scoring 89 goals in 98 matches for club and country the past two seasons. Bayern, bring on the Uruguayan.
Ineednoname: Harry Kane (Tottenham)
I’d swap Lewandowski + a bit of cash for Harry Kane. Do we have to be realistic here?
Mike Lynch: Mauro Icardi (Inter)
My Lewy dream transfer: Lewy to whatever club will pay the most. At this point, I don’t care about acquiescing to his dream transfer demand. Sell him to whoever will pay the most and get it over with. Once Bayern does that, do whatever possible to bring in Mauro Icardi. He recently only turned 25 and has already scored 100 goals for Internazionale. He’s probably unattainable, but then again Lewandowski should also be.
Phil Quinn: Lukaku (Manchester United)
If (and it’s a big IF) Robert Lewandowski does indeed depart Munich this summer for another team, I have a preference to replace him, and that preference is named Romelu Lukaku. The 25 year old Belgian combines skill and physicality like few players in the game, and he would be a force to be reckoned with at the pinnacle of the Bayern attack.
Chuck Smith: Eden Hazard (Chelsea)
If I am selling Lewandowski, I want max value. I don’t want short-term solutions, but I don’t think I need a like-for-like swap as Pini Zahavi may want to facilitate. In looking at the possibilities, I think I would try to unload the “Foul Pole” on Chelsea with a return of Eden Hazard, who I would play on the left wing. From there, I would buy Timo Werner and roll with a scary good offense that includes Werner, Hazard, Thomas Muller, Kingsley Coman, James Rodriguez, Leon Goretzka, Corentin Tolisso, etc. This would make me excited to watch the collective skill-level, desire, and pace.
So who would you choose if you could? Take the poll or tell us about your pick below!
Who would you swap Robert Lewandowski for?
This poll is closed
Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)
Edinson Cavani (PSG)
Eden Hazard (Chelsea)
Mauro Icardi (Inter)
Harry Kane (Tottenham)
Toni Kroos (Real Madrid)
Lukaku (Manchester United)
Mo Salah (Liverpool)
Cold hard cash (to invest elsewhere)
Another player (explain in the comments!)