Bayern issue hands-off warning over to Man United and Chelsea over Robert Lewandowski
Bayern Munich took the unusual step yesterday of publicly reminding striker Robert Lewandowski that he was under long-term contract to the club and warned any potential suitors that they would take legal action if the player was approached.
The statement released to Sky Deutschland followed a flurry of reports suggesting that the Poland striker was available and that Manchester United and Chelsea were among those interested.
Lewandowski had not been on any of England's leading clubs' shopping list at the start of the summer because of the four-and-a-half-year contract he signed at Bayern last December, but something must have changed for the club to issue a public warning about his future.
In the statement, Bayern said: "Robert Lewandowski has a contract with FC Bayern, which he recently extended to 2021. Bayern are not thinking about any move for Lewandowski. There are no talks with other clubs, and there will not be.
"If other clubs negotiate with a player who still has a long-term contract, they risk punishment from FIFA. The player's agent also assured us that he did not hold talks with any other club."
United are in the market for a striker following the release of the injured Zlatan Ibrahimovic but have been unable to agree a price for Alvaro Morata who is valued at £50m by Real Madrid. They have looked at Torino striker Andrea Belotti as well.
Chelsea are also looking for alternatives to Diego Costa. While Lewandowski and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang would both be very attractive options, they were not considered viable at the start of the summer.
There has been some suggestion of problems between Lewandowski and Bayern, with his agent Maik Barthel saying in an interview that the player wanted greater support from his team-mates to end the season as the Bundesliga top goalscorer.
He finished the campaign one behind Aubameyang, who was top of the charts with 31.
Meanwhile, Roma's Mohamed Salah will undergo a medical at Liverpool today after after the clubs agreed a €39m transfer fee.
Olivier Giroud is interesting a range of clubs beyond just West Ham, who hope to sign the Arsenal striker even though he signed a new contract extension in January. (© Daily Telegraph, London)