It’s no secret that Robert Lewandowski was seriously considering a move away from Bayern Munich this summer, but the club have done everything in their power to keep hold of their record-breaking talisman. When the Polish international switched his agents earlier this year to Pini Zahavi, it all looked, on the surface, like it was a decision engineered to broker a deal to Real Madrid. However, Bayern have maintained all along that they were not interested in selling the striker, even for a substantial fee, and they’ve stayed true to their principles of being a non-selling club.
Bayern’s principles more important than any amount of money
Both Uli Hoeness and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge have always been adamant that no one player is bigger than the club, and that signed contracts are meant to be honored completely, not broken. Speaking on Lewandowski (via tz), Rummenigge brought up the heavy interest Franck Ribery received 9 years ago from both Chelsea and Real Madrid when Louis Van Gaal was manager to draw a parallel:
We have a completely different philosophy [regarding loyalty] from other clubs. With Franck this little topic also came up, when Chelsea and Real were after him. Franck has also shown desire; but we informed him that we would not sell him under any circumstances. And now he’s one of the happiest footballers in the world, because he’s at Bayern and has found his home in Munich. I think he’s also happy that we made that decision then. With players, you have to show a clear position.
For Lewandowski, Rummeigge continued, the philosophy hasn’t changed at all; the top talents who have contracts with Bayern, stay at Bayern and are expected to fulfill their commitments regardless of how much money other clubs might be willing to spend on them:
He also wanted to change his focus, but we informed him that we won’t do that. We’re completely satisfied with the player; there’s little comparable at his position, and accordingly it’s also not in our interest let him leave – regardless whether someone puts 100 or 150 million on the table. Since we decided that we won’t open this door in 2008 with Franck, that’s our creed: the top quality that we have stays at Bayern Munich.
While Rummenigge, and the rest of Bayern’s front office, are quite firm on the stance that the club will not change their philosophy on holding on to their top players, he’s understanding of the fact that certain offers from other top clubs peak players’s interest:
In principle, I have a lot of understanding for players; I was one myself, after all. I also transferred to Inter Milan despite an ongoing contract, but Bayern Munich had interest in the transfer for financial reasons. What’s important is that one has a clear philosophy on the subject. Hence, we wanted to set a very clear precedent with Robert to show people both on the inside and outside: Bayern Munich thinks completely differently from other clubs, which get weak at price X. We wanted to show: our door stays closed.
Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke recently stated that he might be interested in giving Bayern a 100-million Euro offer to bring Lewandowski back to Dortmund, to which Rummenigge comically replied; “(Laughing) That would not have been enough anyway.”
Moving forward, Rummenigge is confident that Lewandowski is going to have another fantastic season for Bayern under new manager Niko Kovac. Speaking to SportBild, the club CEO expressed his belief that the Polish international will push himself to greater heights this season:
I’ll predict today: Lewandowski will play a super season and beat his goal record of 30 goals for Bayern Munich. He’ll push himself like never before.