Quotes attributed to the agent of Robert Lewandowski claiming that Manchester United were leading the chase for the Borussia Dortmund star have been dismissed by another of the striker’s representatives.
After reports in recent weeks suggested the Bayern Munich were in negotiations with Lewandowski about a move, quotes had been doing the rounds supposedly from Cezary Kucharski which suggested that long-term reported suitors United were the only club to make a firm approach.
“Many clubs follow the player, but really it is only specifically Manchester United,” he is reported to have told TuttoJuve. "Bayern Munich? I know something, but no further details. In June we'll see, but [a move to] Juventus is just a rumor. Nobody at the Italian club has talked to me."
Yet, Mike Barthel, has now claimed that no such interview ever took place.
“No, those are not our words,” he said, according to Goal.com. “We never had contact with that paper."
Lewandowski, who has 18 months remaining on his contract, looks increasingly likely to leave Dortmund this summer. But, with United’s current array of strikers, it remains to be seen whether the club is prepared to battle it out with Bayern for Lewandowski’s signature.
Another reported long-time Manchester United target is also back in the gossip pages, with Metro claiming that the Premier League leaders have offered Nani to Porto in exchange for James Rodriguez.
Colombian winger Rodriguez has continued his fine form this season and is reported to have been watched by United scouts on several occasions over the past year.
Nani, 26, has less than 18 months remaining on his contract and has been the subject of repeated speculation linking him with an exit from Old Trafford. The Portugal winger has been a bit-part player for the club this season, but made a starring performance as a substitute in United’s FA Cup victory over Reading on Monday.
Citing a story coming out of Portugal, Metro reports that Sir Alex Ferguson has already spoken to Porto officials about securing 21-year-old Rodriguez in exchange for Nani.
It is a deal that appears highly unlikely to come to fruition. Due to the various complexities involved, swap deals rarely transpire. In this specific case, it also seems probable that Porto would value Rodriguez significantly higher than Nani, due to their player’s longer contract length and lower age.
Another big name winger has also been linked to Manchester United, with the Daily Mirror reporting that the club have been offered Real Madrid winger Angel di Maria. The Argentinian was a big money signing from Benfica in the summer of 2011, but found himself out of the Madrid side for a spell earlier this season.
There could well be big changes at the Bernabeu this summer with manager Jose Mourinho likely to depart. However, the Mirror reports that Madrid would want close to the £30 million figure that they are thought to have paid Benfica to make him Mourinho’s first signing at the club. If that is the case, then Paris Saint-Germain, who are also said to have been offered Di Maria, would appear a more likely destination.
In other news, Ecuador international Frickson Erazo has revealed that Manchester United have registered their interest in signing him. Reports emerged in recent days claiming that United scouts have watched the center-back in action for Ecuadorian side Barcelona SC.
And the 24-year-old has admitted that it is pleasing to be tracked by a club of United’s standing.
“It's true that there was initial contact, but it will not help if my performance drops,” he said, according to the Daily Mail. “I try not to think about this.
“It's really flattering that big European clubs are watching football in my country, but if you think about playing with Real Madrid or Manchester United you risk losing concentration.”