Dortmund offer Lewandowski to Real Madrid
Manchester United could face competition from Real Madrid for summer target Robert Lewandowski following attempts by Borussia Dortmund to encourage the Spanish club to move for the Polish forward.
Dortmund's efforts to prevent Champions League final opponents Bayern Munich signing Lewandowski have caused relations between the German rivals to deteriorate before tomorrow's Bundesliga fixture.
Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke has refused to honour the tradition of entertaining Bayern's directors this weekend. "There have been a couple of irritations recently," he said. "Why should we act as if everything is hunky-dory? There won't be any lunch with Bayern, just a handshake."
With United reporting a steep year-on-year rise in commercial revenue in financial figures released yesterday, the club are expected to have substantial funds for at least one high-profile summer addition to their squad.
Lewandowski is understood to be Alex Ferguson's priority target, despite Bayern being prepared to meet the player's personal demands.
Dortmund are determined to resist all attempts by Bayern to take Lewandowski in the wake of the Bundesliga champions' £32m move for Borussia's Mario Gotze, and Dortmund officials are understood to have held informal discussions with the Real hierarchy about the 24-year-old.
United's off-field earnings are likely to prove the bedrock of any summer investment, with the club's commercial revenue of £36m for the three months ended March 31 growing by 31.9pc on the same period 12 months ago. The club's gross debt of £367m has dropped by 16pc since this time last year, falling from £423.3m, despite a 25pc year-on-year rise in wages of £44.9m. (© Daily Telegraph, London)