Robert Lewandowski to snub Manchester United, Chelsea and Man City by leaving Bayern for Real Madrid

The Polish striker has been linked with Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea

Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski is prepared to reject interest from Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea this summer in order to secure a move to Real Madrid once the Spanish club’s transfer embargo is lifted at the end of the 2016-17 season.

Lewandowski, who signed a five-year contract at Bayern after leaving Borussia Dortmund as a free agent in July 2014, is understood to be keen to pursue a new challenge outside the Bundesliga after winning every major honour in Germany since arriving from Lech Poznan in 2010.

With Pep Guardiola confirming last month that he will leave his position as Bayern coach at the end of this season, to be replaced by former Milan, Chelsea and Real coach Carlo Ancelotti, Bayern are bracing themselves for the prospect of established stars such as Lewandowski attempting to follow Guardiola out of the club.

The German champions are willing to extend Lewandowski’s contract to 2021, but the 27-year-old is aware of long-standing interest from United and Real, in particular, and is determined to test himself in another country while still at his peak.

United, who chose to sign Robin van Persie from Arsenal instead of Lewandowski having agreed the framework of a deal with Dortmund in the summer of 2012, attempted to lure the Poland international from Bayern last summer after he had been identified as the club’s priority attacking target by manager Louis van Gaal.

Bayern made it clear they had no desire to sell Lewandowski last summer, however, with the player also happy to remain at the Allianz Arena for this season. But with Real now in the hunt, Lewandowski is ready to wait for the Spanish club to make their move before deciding on leaving Bayern.

Having been hit with a two-window transfer ban by Fifa recently – the suspension begins following the closure of the current transfer window on 1 February – Real will be unable to test Bayern’s resolve over Lewandowski this summer unless they succeed with an appeal against Fifa’s sanction which the club are planning to lodge with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

If Real can secure a delay in the start of the transfer ban, which enables them to do business this summer, the club will intensify efforts to sign Lewandowski at the end of this season.

But with La Liga proving more of a temptation for Lewandowski than the Premier League, the striker is prepared to remain at Bayern for another season before opening the door for Real to sign him next year.

United are likely to pursue Lewandowski this summer, regardless of his preference for a move to Spain, while City and Chelsea would also enter the bidding if Bayern were to indicate a willingness to sell a player who  has scored 25 goals in 27 games in all competitions this season.

Chelsea’s likely absence from the Champions League next season would count against their prospects of persuading Lewandowski to leave Bayern for London.

On the other hand City could prove an attractive proposition if, as expected, Guardiola is confirmed as the club’s new manager ahead of next season.

However, Real are in the strongest position, making it a difficult battle for any of the Premier League clubs to win if they attempt to sign Lewandowski this summer.

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