Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes has dropped a clear hint that Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski will join the newly-crowned Champions League winners next season.
Lewandowski’s Dortmund contract expires in June 2014, but after his advisor Maik Barthel has insisted Lewandowski will leave in June, Heynckes said he expects the Poland star to join Bayern.
With Dortmund’s Mario Goetze, who missed Saturday’s 2-1 final defeat to Munich at Wembley with injury, confirmed as a Bayern player for next season, the Bavarian giants will rip the heart out of Borussia’s attack if they sign Lewandowski too.
A release clause in Goetze’s contract allows him to leave for €37 million, but Lewandowski’s deal has no such condition and Bayern will have to pay over the odds for him.
“As far as I know, Mario Goetze will be joining Bayern Munich and I don’t think Lewandowski will be hanging about too much either,” said Heynckes, who will be replaced by Pep Guardiola next season.
“Then, of course, you’ve got two top attackers as well.
“My successor will, of course, be able to take over a perfectly functioning team.”
Lewandowski’s four goals in the 4-1 semifinal, first-leg win at home to Real Madrid underlined both his lethal finishing and his status as a target for Europe’s top clubs.
He had his chances in Saturday’s Wembley final before Dutch winger Arjen Robben’s 89th-minute match-winner gave Bayern their fifth European title after losing both the 2010 and 2012 European finals.
With 14 minutes gone, Lewandowski forced Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer to tip the ball over the bar with a shot from 25-yards, then on 34 minutes he slipped his marker, but got his shot away too late.
Interestingly, it was defensive midfielder Ilkay Gundogan who fired home the 68th-miute penalty, rather than regular spot-kick taker Lewandowski, which put Dortmund level before Robben struck.
But Lewandowski’s future at Borussia looks bleak after Barthel told Sport Bild last month there is “an agreement with a club” with the Poland star also linked to Manchester United and Chelsea.
Lewandowski’s manager Cezary Kucharski has told Polish television that the forward will soon “play at a bigger club”, but Bayern have denied there is any deal in place, despite numerous reports to the contrary.
Curiously, both Kucharski and Barthel are reported to have been invited to Bayern’s post-final celebration party in London.
In the event of his departure, Dortmund will have their work cut out to find a replacement, but Borussia are reported to be in talks with Porto’s Colombia striker Jackson Martinez.
Lewandowski’s haul this season includes 24 goals in 34 Bundesliga games, including a run of 12 goals in 12 games, setting a new club record, and he scored 10 goals in the Champions League.
A footballing nomad, Lewandowski has already played for five clubs, working his way up from Polish fifth-tier side Delta Warsaw in 2004.
He proved his goal-scoring mettle at first division Lech Poznan in 2008-09 with a table-topping 20 goals, then 18 in 2009-2010 as Lech won their first title in 17 years.
In June 2010 he signed a four-year deal with Dortmund for a Polish record fee of €4.5 million.
After a first season in the shadow of Paraguay’s Lucas Barrios, he took his chance when injury ruled the latter out and the nickname “Lewangoalski” was born.