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Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski threatens holdout

Direct action gets the goods.

Robert Lewandowski, back turned to the cameras, raises his left fist in the air to celebrate a Bayern goal
PSV Eindhoven - FC Bayern, 1:2, UEFA Champions League 2016-17
Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images

Ah, the smell of preseason in Bavaria. It’s now only a few short weeks to the DFL-Supercup tilt against RB Leipzig, and it’s time for Bayern Munich’s players and coaches to shift back into the season’s grind. The burning question on everyone’s mind now: will Robert Lewandowski be joining them? According to BILD+, that’s very much in doubt.

Lewandowski, of course, is embroiled in quite the standoff with his club. He has tried, to no avail, to force his way out to FC Barcelona, and reportedly a holdout is now his next determined recourse. But would he really do so?

Maik Barthel, his agent during his tense exit from Borussia Dortmund, believes it, sharing with BILD that such a tactic had previously been considered in 2013. That year, Dortmund refused to sell and he eventually left for Bayern on a free transfer.

If history were to repeat exactly, Lewandowski would at least give Bayern one more year of service, and that’s what his bosses in Bavaria want.

“I’m expecting to see Robert in training at Säbener Straße on July 12”, sporting director Hasan Salihamidžić previously told BILD. That’s the date by which all players are due to return for camp.

More recently, Uli Hoeneß weighed in as well. “[Lewy] is not sick and doesn’t have other excuses not to turn up to training. Robert is a sportsman and has always behaved immaculately. I’m sure that he will play for Bayern next season”, the honorary Bayern president told BILD (as captured by @iMiaSanMia).

The other party in this matter, Lewy’s dream club in La Liga, are reportedly not keen to see a strike. Though Barça club president Joan Laporta relished in the past month’s war of words, they’re now focusing their efforts on getting Bayern to the negotiating table. It seems they’re resigned to the prospect of making a fourth offer, perhaps north of €50m, and it can’t be certain whether drastic action would help these efforts along or throw them into chaos.

Regardless, the stakes are high for everyone involved, and the clock is ticking. Who will blink first?

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