The complicated saga over the future of Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski shows no signs of abating. Manchester United have been encouraged in recent days by Dortmund’s refusal to countenance an approach for the player from Bayern Munich, yet the story does not end there.
The Poland international believes that there was an agreement that he could join the Bavarians this summer and is now set to escalate the matter by having his representatives provide evidence of such a promise, according to German publication Bild. Dortmund, though, have a different take on the matter.
“Such a promise to Robert has never existed,” Dortmund's chief executive Aki Watzke said, according to the Independent. “We have said everything that had to be said. 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.
“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.”
There has been hope from United, as well as Chelsea, that the impasse could open the door for them to sign the player and save Dortmund the prospect of losing Lewandowski for nothing next year. But Watzke refused to be drawn on whether other offers will be countenanced.
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”I can only call off the wish I know about,” he added. “Why should I bother about other clubs when all we know about is that he only wants to join Bayern.”
Those comments would appear to leave the door open for United, yet the Independent’s article curiously claims that Dortmund will block the 24-year-old moving to Old Trafford. Whatever happens the saga looks set to drag on for much of the summer.
The same may well be true of the speculation over Cristiano Ronaldo’s future. Doubts about the former World Player of the Year leaving Real Madrid had appeared set to be put to bed with both the club’s president Florentino Perez and Ronaldo intimating that he was poised to sign a new contract. But a Tweet from Ronaldo on Thursday has contradicted those reports and indeed comments.
“All the news about my renewal with Real Madrid are false,” he wrote. For Ronaldo to be so adamant in denying the stories suggests once more that all is far from well with his relationship with Madrid. While Monaco and Paris Saint-Germain have the money to offer both Madrid and Ronaldo unprecedented sums, United will still hope that the 28-year-old’s emotional connection will lead him back to Old Trafford.
Another summer transfer target for Manchester United appears committed to staying at his current club, however. With new Manchester United boss David Moyes believing he needs to strengthen his midfield, it is thought that former Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas is a prime target. But, contrary to reports that he is unsettled at Barcelona, the Spain international insists that he has never considered leaving the Camp Nou. Fabregas has been evasive about speculation he will move back to England.
"I can't really discuss that," said Fabregas, when asked by IB Times if he would be interested in returning to the Premier League.
"I've always said that I'm happy at Barca,” he said, according to BBC Sport. “Whoever says that I'm leaving doesn't know me and has never spoken with me. If someone says I don't want to play at Barca, it's completely absurd."
While there are set to be major arrivals at Old Trafford this summer, there are also likely to be departures with certain players reaching the end of their lifespan at the club. One of those certainly appears to be Nani. The Portuguese winger endured a disappointing campaign last term and has just a year remaining on his contract. Galatasaray have confirmed that they have had a bid rejected for the 26-year-old, but revealed that United were prepared to sell for the right price.
"We offered €7million (£6m) for him,” the Turkish champions’ chairman, Unal Aysal, said, according to Sky Sports. “But they didn't accept. We can't give more than this."We are not going to follow Nani anymore. We can't give more than €7m for him. They want €10 million (£8.5 million). Because of this he is not on our transfer list anymore."
The Daily Telegraph reports that both Juventus and Monaco could be willing to pay a fee that would see Nani end his six-year stay at United.