EDIN Dzeko could be offered a return to Germany this summer with Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund preparing to test Manchester City’s resolve over the out-of-favour forward.
Dzeko’s future at the Etihad Stadium is becoming increasingly uncertain after dropping to fourth-choice striker behind Sergio Agüero, Mario Balotelli and Carlos Tévez.
The Bosnia international, who cost £27 million from Wolfsburg in January 2011, has started just once in the Premier League since scoring in the 3-0 victory at home to Fulham on Feb 4 and is understood to be unhappy with his reduced involvement in Roberto Mancini’s plans.
Dzeko has scored 24 goals in 62 games for Citybut the 26 year-old’s lack of mobility has been exposed in the Premier League. Mancini’s reluctance to structure his team around Dzeko’s strengths, by playing wingers capable of exploiting his aerial ability, has left the player frustrated.
His reputation remains high in Germany, however, where he scored 66 goals in 111 league games for Wolfsburg and helped guide the club to the Bundesliga title in 2008-09.
Bayern are keen to bolster their forward line this summer with Ivica Olic expected to leave and the Champions League semi-finalists would be prepared to match Dzeko’s £160,000-a-week City wages in Bavaria.
Although no contact has been made by Bayern, senior figures at City are aware of their interest in Dzeko.
Dortmund’s interest is dependent on the future of Polish forward Robert Lewandowski, who has been watched regularly this season by City, Chelsea and Arsenal.
Lewandowski, whose goal in Dortmund’s 1-0 victory against Bayern last week moved his club to within two points of the German title, has two years to run on his contract and is refusing to commit himself to a new deal prior to Euro 2012.
Dortmund are determined to hold on to their leading scorer, but if the 23 year-old is tempted away from Signal Iduna Park, Dzeko has been identified as the top target to replace the Pole.
But while Bayern’s financial power will enable them to match City’s valuation and Dzeko’s wage demands, the player could be forced to take a pay cut if he moved to Dortmund.
The club operate a rigid pay structure after being driven to the brink of bankruptcy in 2005.