By refusing to sell Robert Lewandowski to Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund keep their best striker and their dignity - at least for another 12 months

The defeated Champions League finalists have ruled out selling the Poland international to their rivals

The deal had seemed all but done. After the Champions League final, both Jupp Heynckes and Robert Lewandowski were quick to fuel the rumours of the latter's impending move to FC Bayern. With Heynckes having celebrated the end of his Bundesliga career and Lewandowski safely removed from the limelight, though, it is Borussia Dortmund who have had the last word.

The last word, in this case, was that the Polish striker would not be moving to Munich in the summer of 2013, regardless of how much Bayern were to offer for him. BVB chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke told Bild that "Robert will definitely not move to Bayern this year. That's final, and we've told him and his agent as much."

It is a remarkable statement of intent from the losing Champions League finalists. For the whole season, they have been one step behind Bayern, both on and off the field. The transfer of Mario Goetze was a body blow arguably just as vicious as that of losing at Wembley, and the newfound strength of the Rekordmeister ensured that Klopp's Dortmund side were unable to get their hands on even the smallest piece of silverware this season.

To have lost Lewandowski to their rivals as well was to have been the cherry on the cake. No matter how lucrative it may have been, there is no striker in the world who could have effectively replaced the Pole this summer. No other striker of his calibre could have fit with the same ease into the now notorious Klopp system. And while he will no doubt be gone in a year's time, BVB have at least bought themselves some time in looking for a suitable substitute.

Director of Sport Michael Zorc was quick to qualify the decision, stating "We are not naive, we know that Robert only ever wanted to go to Bayern." Therein lies the issue. Had a move abroad ever been on the cards, Dortmund may well have relented. But Lewandowski is not simply a wantaway. He is a want-to-Bayern. Selling to Bayern is one of the few things that could seriously harm BVB's campaign next year. And they have already been forced into doing that once.

Indeed, the difficulties the club is having replacing Götze may well have served as sufficient warning against letting Lewandowski go. Chelsea all but confirmed that they would not be letting go of Kevin De Bruyne last week, while the move for Danish star Christian Eriksen is still far from being a done deal.

There is also the slim hope that, come this time next year, Bayern's interest in Lewandowski may have waned. Both he and Götze were hoping to force their way into a Bayern side undergoing the reforms driven by new coach Pep Guardiola, but in twelve months, the Catalan should have an established side. With Mario Gómez seemingly on his way to Italy, moreover, Bayern will be looking to buy a third striker this summer, Lewandowski or no Lewandowski.

Certainly, there is little likelihood that the Pole will not be at his best again for Dortmund next season. Disgruntled at having lost his dream move he may be, but he will know that to realise it next year, he has to remain at the top level. Or, as Watzke puts it a little more romantically "He'll perhaps have a little period of disappointment now, but he'll be back to his best soon. That's what players with character do. And he has a great deal of character."

So much character, indeed, that he nearly forced his employers into selling him to their most powerful rivals. BVB, though, have resisted, and there will be many in the Bundesliga who welcome their resilience. Not only does it deny Bayern apparently total invincibility, but it also prevents Dortmund from raiding the squads of smaller sides. For all the talk of Bayern being the bullies of the Bundesliga, it was Dortmund who had six players poached from other German clubs in their starting line up at Wembley. The likes of Hamburg and Hannover will be relieved to hear that BVB are now in less drastic need of some attacking talent.

Lewandowski's transfer had the potential for a knock on effect which would have set Bayern and Dortmund even further away from the chasing pack. As it is, Lewandowski stays, Dortmund preserve their squad, and their dignity, for at least another twelve months, and next year's title race remains wide open.

News
people
News
people And here is why...
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
Life and Style
Laid bare: the Good2Go app ensures people have a chance to make their intentions clear about having sex
techCould Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Burr remains the baker to beat on the Great British Bake Off
tvRichard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
News
i100
Sport
footballArsenal 4 Galatasaray 1: Wenger celebrates 18th anniversary in style
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
tv
News
people
News
The village was originally named Llansanffraid-ym-Mechain after the Celtic female Saint Brigit, but the name was changed 150 years ago to Llansantffraid – a decision which suggests the incorrect gender of the saint
newsWelsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Scott Thomas in Electra at the Old Vic
theatreReview: Kristin Scott Thomas is magnificent in a five-star performance of ‘Electra’
Life and Style
Couples who boast about their relationship have been condemned as the most annoying Facebook users
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Hayley Williams performs with Paramore in New York
musicParamore singer says 'Steal Your Girl' is itself stolen from a New Found Glory hit
News
i100
Life and Style
The spring/summer 2015 Louis Vuitton show for Paris Fashion Week
fashion
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Time to stop running: At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity

Time to stop running

At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

An app for the amorous

Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

She's having a laugh

Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?