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Lewandowski saga becomes lost in translation

15 Oct 2013 13:31:59

Lewandowski saga becomes lost in translation

Poland's Robert Lewandowski will be bidding to hamper England's hopes of booking a World Cup place on Tuesday, but the Borussia Dortmund forward's future plans appear lost in translation.

Hot-shot Lewandowski will line up at Wembley against the Three Lions with England needing a win to be sure of their place at Brazil 2014.

Poland, who are fourth in Group H, have no chance of qualifying, but with 20,000 of their red-and-white decked fans expected in north London, they are out to spoil England's party.

Lewandowski is one of Europe's top strikers after scoring 24 goals in 31 Bundesliga games last season plus ten in the Champions League, including all four in the 4-1 semi-final win over Real Madrid.

With his Dortmund contract to expire in June, the Poland forward can leave Dortmund as a free agent at the end of the season.

In the build-up to the England game, the 25-year-old, who was heavily linked to a transfer to Bayern Munich last season, blamed reports to that effect on a 'nieporozumienie' -- Polish for misunderstanding.

"I will be able to sign a contract (with any club] in January, but I have never said that I will sign a contract with Bayern. It was a misunderstanding," Lewandowski told Monday's Daily Telegraph.

Having enthused to the English newspaper about how much he would one day "like to play in the Premier League", Lewandowski's comments contradict an answer he gave in German to a reporter last month.

After Dortmund's German Cup win at second division 1860 Munich in September, Lewandowski was asked on television if he will confirm in January whether he will join Bayern Munich next July.

"Yes, because I can officially sign a new contract then," he replied.

In a bid to keep him, Borussia have tripled his salary to a reported five million euros (US$6.75m) for the last ten months, but Monday's comments fired up a flurry of headlines in the British media.

"Lewandowski hints at Bayern snub, alerting United, City and Chelsea to January switch," wrote the Daily Mail.

It's all a far cry from February when the German media was rife with "Lewandowski to Bayern" tales.

Ex-Germany captain and Bayern midfielder Lothar Matthaeus insisted in his role as a German Sky Sports pundit that he had it on good authority that Lewandowski had agreed terms with Munich.

And Der Spiegel, a high-brow weekly magazine, said a contract had already been signed between Bayern and Lewandowski, while his agent Maik Barthel was quoted in Bild as saying a deal was imminent.

To confuse matters further, Spanish daily AS has now said Lewandowski is set to join Real Madrid in January's winter break for up to 13 million euros.

"He is an awesome player, I know that he wants to play for Real Madrid," AS quoted Real president Florentino Perez.

Since taking charge of Bayern in June, coach Pep Guardiola has stayed true to his preference for a 'false nine' -- a lone striker who can drop deep into midfield.

Guardiola has mainly used Mario Mandzukic, with Germany winger Thomas Mueller or veteran Claudio Pizarro also being used.

"I love this player," Guardiola enthused about the hard-working Mandzukic, rather than Lewandowski.

The Croatian scored 15 goals in 23 league games last season and also netted for Bayern in the Champions League final win over Dortmund.

It remains to be seen who Lewandowski plays for next season and with world football's governing body FIFA allowing clubs to approach players coming out of contract from January 1, there will be news soon.


AFP

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