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Dortmund stand firm on Lewandowski

ESPN staff
June 12, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Press Pass: Lewandowski's future in limbo

Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski has been told that the club did not promise him a move to Bayern Munich this summer, but added he is free to join the European champions next year on a free transfer if he wishes.

Since the two clubs met in the Champions League final last month the Lewandowski saga has taken a bitter turn and now has all the ingredients for an ugly end for at least one of the parties involved.

At the weekend, Dortmund had hoped to put an end to the saga when they put their foot down on Lewandowski's planned exit this summer. Dortmund general manager Michael Zorc and CEO Aki Watzke both said the player will not be allowed to join Bundesliga rivals and revealed they are also yet to receive an offer for the player.

The calm lasted a couple of hours. Speculation about a possible transfer to either Spain or England, with Real Madrid, Manchester United and Chelsea reportedly interested, were discussed in international media and - talking to the press in Poland - Lewandowski stated he was rather surprised to hear about the news from Dortmund.

"He [Watzke] recently told me something different. He knows what I wish for," Lewandowski said. "Everyone at Borussia Dortmund knows what I want and where I want to go to."

Later on Monday a disgruntled Zorc told local paper Ruhr Nachrichten: "Such a promise to Robert has never existed. He then put the ball back into Lewandowski's court and said: "We have said everything that had to be said."

In an interview with Die Welt on Tuesday, Watzke then explained that the best course of action for Lewandowski is for him to concentrate on Dortmund before signing for Bayern next summer.

"I can understand he is disappointed. If I was him I'd also be disappointed to hear about FC Bayern not making an offer for him," Watzke said.

"What I expect from him now is to show the strength in character he has shown over the past years and cope with the situation on a professional level. I am confident that he will do so. 2014, when his contract runs out, he is welcome to join Munich."

He again opened the door for a possible exit to another club, adding: "I can only call off the wish I know about. Why should I bother about other clubs when all we know about is that he only wants to join Bayern."

Bayern officials have, so far, mostly kept out of the unfolding drama ever since Jupp Heynckes hinted at the pending Lewandowski deal directly after beating Dortmund 2-1 in the Champions League final on May 25.

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