Manchester United look set to miss out on the signing of Robert Lewandowski after Borussia Dortmund insisted that the striker will not be leaving the club this summer. The comments come after the club had already ruled out the possibility of Lewandowski getting his preferred move to Bayern Munich.
It had been thought, though, that, with the player having just a year remaining on his contract, Dortmund would still be tempted to sell him to a team outside of Germany, with United, Chelsea and Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona thought to be interested. But Dortmund are now keen to put the issue to bed.
“Robert is now definitely going to be playing with Borussia Dortmund next season,” general manager Hans-Joachim Watzke told German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung. “We need clarity in order to be able to plan [for the coming season].”
It remains to be seen what Lewandowski’s reaction will be, having claimed that Dortmund made a promise that he could leave this summer; something which his club denies. United, though, are now likely to have to turn their attentions elsewhere in search for a marquee signing it is believed is being sought to kick-start the David-Moyes era.
Speculation that the Premier League champions are trying to bring Cristiano Ronaldo back to Old Trafford refuses to go away. The Sun reports that United are trying to use former boss Sir Alex Ferguson to lure the Real Madrid star back to a club he left in a record £80 million deal in 2009. Ronaldo and Ferguson still enjoy a close relationship and it appeared likely that the manager’s resignation would dampen the appeal for Ronaldo of wanting to rejoin United. But, apparently, Ferguson, who is now a director at the club, will attempt to persuade the 28-year-old into a move.
It is said that United are prepared to offer £65 million plus a player for Ronaldo, while Monaco have recently been linked with an £85 million bid. Ronaldo’s future remains uncertain as he enters the final two years of his contract at Madrid. Last week he Tweeted that stories that he was poised to sign a new deal with the club were false.
It also seems that Tottenham’s Gareth Bale is intrinsically linked into Ronaldo’s future. The Sun claims that if Ronaldo stays then United will bid for the Welsh forward, while if Madrid are successful in their attempts to sign Bale then it is likely to help United’s attempts to capture their former idol. A story in Spanish sports daily Marca claims that United are now very much interested in Bale, who is said to be ready to leave Tottenham.
One Manchester United target, who certainly appears ready to move is PSV Eindhoven’s Kevin Strootman. The midfielder is thought to have been on United’s radar for some time and the club had him scouted during this month’s European Under-21 Championship. The 23-year-old has already appeared for the Dutch senior side and even captained them in World Cup qualifying action earlier this year. And Strootman’s agent has said that the player is now set on a move to the Premier League.
"He is focused on England because that would suit his style," Chiel Dekker explained, according to Sky Sports. "He has the physique, the character and the fitness for it. I am certainly not afraid he could handle that level."
"Kevin has ambition but it is not in my hands," he added. "From PSV it would have to be a step up to a good club. It is not simple though because the price will be expensive and not many teams can afford him. The clubs know what he can do now. It is up to them whether they want to reach an agreement with PSV and take him."