Robert Lewandowski is a more feasible target for Barcelona than Mohamed Salah or Erling Haaland, a report has revealed – and a method to lower the cost has emerged.
Barcelona want to sign a proven goal-getter to boost their chances of getting back where they belong next season. A recent 4-0 win over Real Madrid in El Clasico restored their optimism, but they are still 12 points behind their rivals (with a game in hand) in La Liga.
Next season, having a new number nine could be one of the steps they take to close the gap. President Joan Laporta has revealed they will make up to five signings, working within budget.
Their financial issues practically rule them out of their pursuits of Liverpool winger Salah and Borussia Dortmund centre-forward Haaland. Both have naturally emerged onto the club’s radar.
Instead, a more likely target – per Diario Sport – would be Bayern Munich hitman Lewandowski.
Believed by many to have been the world’s best player over the past couple of years, the Ballon d’Or title has still evaded the Poland international for various reasons. He feels a move to Barcelona could be what he needs to finally write his name in that particular history book.
There have even been reports suggesting he has an agreement in principle to join them. The trouble is, he remains under contract with Bayern Munich until 2023.
Therefore, a transfer fee would be required to prise him away. Given his impressive form, he would represent a huge investment for a 33-year-old player.
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According to Sport, Bayern are asking for €65m as a minimum transfer fee for Lewandowski. That equates to around £54.4m.
To lower the cost of the operation, Barcelona could send Sergino Dest in the opposite direction. The report reminds that the right-back is of interest to Bayern and Barcelona are not against his departure.
TEAMtalk recently revealed in an exclusive that USA international Dest appeals to Jesse Marsch’s Leeds United as well. However, Bayern have a long-standing interest and could get him in return for their star striker.
Lewandowski seeks long Barcelona contract
It would leave room for negotiation when it comes to the net cost of Barcelona potentially signing Lewandowski.
That will be music to the former Dortmund star’s ears. He has made the move to La Liga his priority and wants to become part of the Barcelona project. In turn, their head coach Xavi believes he would be an appropriate recruit.
Lewandowski has broken the 40-goal barrier in each of his past seven seasons at Bayern (including the present one, already). It means he more than meets Xavi’s criteria of wanting a striker who can guarantee at least 20 goals per season.
The sticking point for the deal will remain the length of any contract. Part of the reason Lewandowski considers his cycle with Bayern closed is the fact that they are only willing to offer him a one-year extension.
In response, Barcelona may have to tempt him with a contract that would last from three to four years. It would usually be a gamble for a player of Lewandowski’s age, but he is showing no signs of slowing down.
The strategy could spread the costs of the operation and also impact the transfer fee Bayern would be due, Sport claim.
Overall, the agreement for Lewandowski to join Barcelona is believed to be close. There is work to do, though, regarding the structure of the deal for the clubs.