An alleged secret meeting between Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski and Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has fueled speculation that the Poland international is headed to the Bernabeu this summer.
Originally reported by German newspaper Bild, Perez whisked the 24-year-old into a secret office for a quick, 10-minute discussion after he notched four goals against Los Blancos in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final.
Lewandowski’s dominating performance essentially sealed Dortmund’s aggregate victory and booked a place in the championship match on May 25 with Bayern Munich.
His superior attacking skills have been on display throughout the Bundesliga season, with Lewandowski tied for first in the league with 23 goals. In all competitions he has totaled 38 goals, including 10 in Champions League play, and surpassed his career best 33 goals from a year ago.
Signing Lewandowski away from Dortmund could be insurance for Los Blancos, considering the growing rumors that forward Cristiano Ronaldo could make a return to his former club, Manchester United.
The Portuguese superstar reportedly admitted to a United official that he would welcome another go-round at Old Trafford, according to the Daily Star. The admission may have something to do with Madrid manager's Jose Mourinho's expected departure after this season.
Before he announced his retirement this week, the Star quoted Sir Alex Ferguson about his and the Glazer family’s desire to spend this summer and bring top talent like Ronaldo to Old Trafford.
“The Glazers have been great - every time I have asked for anything, they have delivered,” Ferguson said. “If I was to ask about going for a certain player now, I think they would do it. There has been a wind change. I could maybe go for a top player, if that’s possible.”
United originally sold Ronaldo to Madrid for £80 million four years ago, and since then he has continued his development as one of the best players in the world.
Lewandowski’s value has been pegged above £24 million, and Ronaldo could go for as high as £100 million. Funds have never been scarce at the Bernabeu, but bringing in a young player like Lewandowski at a cheaper price would allow Madrid to spend in other needy areas like a backline consisting of 30-year-olds Pepe and Alvaro Arbelo, and 34-year-old Ricardo Carvalho.
It has been reported that Lewandowski may actually prefer to say in Germany, and instead sign a huge deal with Bayern. Ronaldo may also have changed his mind after news of Ferguson’s retirement, and the signing of David Moyes as his replacement. However, Ferguson will still stay on as an advisor and a member of United’s board.
Madrid could address their needs on defense with Real Sociedad sensation Inigo Martinez, as reported by Marca last week. The 21-year-old has impressed both Los Blancos and Barcelona, but his contract has a £25 million release clause.
Another striker that has caught the eye of Bernabeu officals is Uruguayan Edinson Cavani of Serie A’s Napoli. There are, however, complications to a move.
Spanish newspaper Marca quoted a radio interview by Cavani’s brother, Walter Guglielmone, who said his brother has a very expensive release clause. Guglielmone did also say he wants Cavani to play in Spain.
Cavani leads Serie A with 27 goals, and has lifted Napoli to second place on the table and a Champions League berth, a huge improvement from their fifth-place finish last season.