With a year left on his contract with Borussia Dortmund, it was almost certain that Robert Lewandowski would be sold this summer with Bayern Munich the most likely destination. Well this scenario was thrown for a loop on Monday as Dortmund officials stated he would not be sold to Bayern Munich as expected or desired by Lewandowski.
This sudden change of plan from Dortmund caught many for a surprise and clearly upset Lewandowski who reiterated that he had been promised that he would be sold onto a bigger club, with Bayern Munich the desired team.
As pointed out by respected soccer journalist Gabrielle Marcotti, this could just be a strategy by Dortmund to try and get more suitors for Lewandowski to get as much as possible monetarily from his sale. That could be the case, but to play this game of poker with Lewandowski is a risky and frankly unnecessary strategy.
Lewandowski turned down a contract extension on several occasions during the past season. This was one of several indicators from Lewandowski that his intentions were to move on after the 2012-13 season. Previous to this, there had been rumors and speculation that Manchester United were serious suitors in acquiring Lewandowski, but nothing of this supposed interest materialized.
Dortmund’s potential decision to scoff at and decide not to accommodate Lewandowski goes back to how Bayern Munich announced the acquisition of Mario Goetze. This left many of fans and club officials upset that the news of his transfer to Munich this summer was leaked in the manner it was to the German daily Blid.
Clearly Dortmund do not want to willingly sell another one of their young stars to Munich and further strengthen a rival.
It is also understandable that Dortmund want to try and draw other potential suitors into the Lewandowski chase by forcing Munich to up their offer since at the moment they are the ones in control. That said, Dortmund needs to put aside its pride and not play a game of poker it could end up losing.
Dortmund must remember that despite Lewandowksi still being under contract with the club for another year and giving him a token raise, this does not mean his intentions will change. Fact of the matter is he will leave whether it be through a transfer or on a free next summer.
Knowing that, it is in Dortmund’s best interest to just get something from a transfer for Lewandowski. It may not be 30 million euros, but at least something in the neighborhood of 15-20 is much better than zero. Dortmund needs to capitalize on the little leverage and control it has now before that window closes.
While Dortmund certainly is still angry at how it was announced when Bayern Munich acquired Goetze, this should not impede the business decision that they will have to engage in as it relates to Lewandowski. While Dortmund do have some control over the situation now, they risk overplaying their hand and potentially losing Lewandowski and getting nothing for what was a great investment.