Lewandowski will be at Dortmund next season, claims Klopp

The 45-year-old coach says that he has heard nothing of the Poland striker’s alleged agreement with Bayern Munich over a summer switch to the Allianz Arena

Borussia Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp has stated that Robert Lewandowski will still be at Signal Iduna Park next season.

The Poland international’s agent has claimed that his client, who has just over a year left on his current contract with die Schwarzgelben, will be joining Bundesliga rivals Bayern Munich this summer.

However, Klopp insists that he knows nothing of Lewandowski’s alleged move to the Allianz Arena and claims that he has been left baffled by the comments made by the striker’s representative, Maik Barthel.

“My understanding is that Robert will still be here next year,” the Dortmund coach told reporters at a press conference on Thursday.

“The fact is that we are going very well this season. Why should we care about next year? Nobody knows what will happen next year.

“I cannot understand why an agent is speaking about a player that is under contract. I have many strange thoughts about all of this.”

Meanwhile, Klopp revealed that Lewandowski’s international and club colleague, Lukasz Piszczek, is a doubt for the second leg of Dortmund’s Champions League semi-final tie with Real Madrid.

“He’s definitely out of the game against [Fortuna] Dusseldorf this weekend,” the coach explained. “And it’s even going to be tight for the return fixture against Madrid on Tuesday.”

Dortmund hammered los Blancos 4-1 in Wednesday night’s first leg at Signal Iduna Park, with Lewandowski scoring all of the home side’s goals and Cristiano Ronaldo grabbing Jose Mourinho’s side’s solitary away strike.

Timing of Gotze deal suspicious, says Low

The Germany national coach is not surprised that the 20-year-old has decided to join the Bundesliga champions but he finds it strange that the news was leaked this week

Germany boss Joachim Low has admitted that he found the timing of the announcement of Mario Gotze’s imminent move from Borussia Dortmund to Bayern Munich “questionable”.

The summer switch, which will make Gotze the most expensive German player in history, was confirmed on the eve of the first leg of die Schwarzgelben‘s Champions League semi-final tie with Real Madrid, after details of the deal started appearing in the press on Monday night.

In the end, Dortmund were totally unaffected by the news, with Jurgen Klopp’s men romping to a 4-1 win over los Blancos on Tuesday but, in discussing the deal, Low confessed that he found the way in which the story broke suspicious.

“I was not surprised that a player is going to Bayern Munich,” the 53-year-old coach told Sky Sport Germany. “This is a top destination in the league, and I’m glad that Mario will remain in the Bundesliga.

“However, the timing of the announcement surprised me and I think that it was very questionable.”

Gotze also made light of the controversy to turn in yet another impressive performance against Madrid but Low expected nothing less from the 20-year-old.

“Mario was very good [on Wednesday],” he told ZDF. “But then, Mario is very cool on the pitch; he forgets about everything else.”

Gotze, who has been capped 22 times by die Mannschaft, is a product of Dortmund’s youth academy but is now bound for Bavaria after Bayern agreed to meet his €37 million buy-out clause.

Iniesta: Bundesliga not better than La Liga

The Spain international believes it would be a mistake to read too much into the significance of the Blaugrana’s beating in Bavaria and Dortmund’s mauling of Madrid

Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta insists that this week’s Champions League results do not prove that the Bundesliga has overtaken La Liga as the dominant domestic competition in European football.

It has been argued that Bayern Munich’s stunning 4-0 rout of the Blaugrana on Tuesday night, coupled with Borussia Dortmund’s 4-1 demolition of Real Madrid, represents a significant continental power shift.

However, Iniesta feels it would be a mistake to read too much into the outcome of two games.

“[Like Bayern], Borussia Dortmund are also in a very good spell but it’s not that the Spanish league is below [the Bundesliga],” the midfielder told reporters on Thursday. “It’s just that the Germans have outscored their opponents.

“But there are second legs to play and we can try to match those results.”

Indeed, despite the one-sided nature of their meeting with Bayern in Bavaria, Iniesta still feels that Barca can, at the very least, salvage some pride at Camp Nou next week.

“We must believe if we are to have a chance,” he stated. “Overturning four goals is very difficult but you have to have the mentality that you must first go and win the game, and then see what might happen.

“We have 90 minutes to try to achieve something very difficult. The result [at the Allianz Arena] was terrible and I’m not saying we’re going to do it, but if we are to have a chance, we must play with the conviction that we can.

“They were better than us in every way, and not for lack of attitude or wanting on our path. They outplayed us.

“Let’s face it, it hurts but we have to just focus on the second leg at home, trying to adjust as much as possible to get a great result. Even if we go out, we must leave everything on the field.”

Iniesta, though, is glad that Barca do not have to dwell on their Bavarian beating for too long, given the Catalans could clinch the Spanish title this weekend should they win at Athletic Bilbao and Atletico Madrid beat the Blancos later in the day.

“After the Champions League, we have had to start thinking about the league, so we have no choice but to get back up and start focusing on clinching the title as soon as possible,” he explained.

“And it’s never a bad year when you win the league, as it’s the most important title.

“It is clear that the Champions League is the most prestigious and it’s very difficult to win, but one would be mistaken if they thought that this would be a bad season if we do not win it.”

Iniesta admitted, though, that winning Europe’s premier club cup competition could be about to become even more daunting a task, given former Barca boss Pep Guardiola is set to take the helm at Bayern this summer.

“Guardiola is obviously taking over a super team and he will improve them,” the World Cup 2010 final hero warned.

However, Iniesta added that he has no plans to join his former coach in Germany.

“It would be nice to finish my career here,” he confessed. “It would be a dream if all goes well and I can renew my contract.”

The 28-year-old Iniesta, who has been capped 80 times by Spain, is a product of Barcelona’s youth academy.

Lewandowski agent stuns Dortmund with transfer revelation

The striker’s representative has brought the club down to earth with a bang after claiming the player will definitely be leaving in the summer

Robert Lewandowski’s agent Maik Barthel has stunned Borussia Dortmund by revealing the striker has agreed terms with another club – less than 24 hours after scoring four goals in BVB’s 4-1 win over Real Madrid.

The likes of Bayern Munich, Juventus, Manchester United and Manchester City are all believed to be keen on luring the Poland international away from Signal Iduna Park this summer.

BVB have so far stressed that they have no intention of selling their star attacker, though a transfer now seems inevitable following comments made by the player’s representative on the the back of one of the finest nights in the club’s history.

“We have reached an agreement with another club and intend to switch clubs this summer,” Barthel was quoted as saying by Sport Bild.

“All of Borussia Dortmund’s demands will be met.”

Lewandowski’s agent then went on to stress that BVB have promised the striker that he will be allowed to leave under the right conditions and expects Jurgen Klopp’s side to honour their promise.

“There is an interesting offer for Robert that meets Dortmund’s criteria and satisfies Robert’s demands. BVB have assured us that Robert will be allowed to leave under these circumstances. It’s now up to the clubs to sort it out.”

The 24-year-old has a contract until the summer of 2014, with his exit another potential hammer blow for Dortmund following the news Mario Gotze will join rivals Bayern Munich in the summer.

Germany humbles Spain to leave Mourinho on the brink

Borussia Dortmund matched Bayern Munich’s brilliance against Barcelona with a stunning show of their own versus Real Madrid, as the Portuguese moves closer to a summer exit

By Ben Hayward | Spanish Football Writer

Spain stands in Germany’s significant shadow. Ravaged by a fierce financial crisis, high unemployment and dimishining social conditions, the Iberian nation faces an uncertain future as Deutschland dictates the European economy, with continental control centred in Berlin these days and certainly not in Madrid or Barcelona. Football had always been different. Not now. 

When the draw for the Champions League semi-finals was made earlier this month, it was quickly noted how the two Spanish sides could meet in a high-profile Clasico clash at Wembley in May. Few, it seemed, held out much hope for an all-German Klassiker between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund. Even less expected what followed on Tuesday and Wednesday as the Bundesliga bullied La Liga and smashed eight goals past the two teams considered to be Europe’s finest, with just one in reply: Germany 8-1 Spain.

The combined final score in those two first-leg fixtures tells a tale of German greatness, Spanish stagnation and a significant shift in power among Europe’s elite on the football field. The Bundesliga handed a harsh lesson to the Primera Division this week and it is now Bayern and Dortmund who look set to rule on the continent, not Barca or Madrid.

Bayern’s spectacular season meant many made the Bavarians slight favourites to edge out Barcelona in the teams’ semi-final tie. What came next, however, was incredible as Jupp Heynckes’ men thrashed the team often dubbed the best in history, leaving the Catalans to pick up the pieces. Indeed, with Barca seemingly in decline, the result and nature of the game itself seemed to represent a changing of the guard at Europe’s top table.

And exactly 24 hours later, Dortmund did precisely the same to Real Madrid with a stunning show of their own. “What Bayern are doing to Barcelona, we will do to Real Madrid,” Robert Lewandowski had written on social media during the clash between Bavarians and Catalans on Tuesday. And he was true to his word.

Lewandowski scored all four goals for a devastating Dortmund side as Madrid fell apart alarmingly in tne type of beating suffered so rarely by a Jose Mourinho team. “There is hope for the second leg,” the Portuguese claimed afterwards. Not very much, however.

With Angel Di Maria left out after attending the birth of his daughter before rushing back to Germany and having barely slept, Mourinho’s men lacked width in midfield and, like Barca the previous night, simply couldn’t cope with the Germans’ incredible intensity.

Like Bayern, Dortmund pressed powerfully and even though Cristiano Ronaldo’s 43rd-minute leveller looked to have given Madrid a psychological edge just before the break, it proved to be anything but the case as Lewandowski added three more in the 50th, 55th and 66th minutes.

There were problems all over the pitch for Madrid. Pepe was at fault for two or even three of the goals, full-backs Fabio Coentrao and Sergio Ramos were unable to push forward and aid the midfield, Xabi Alonso was uncharacteristically poor and conceded a penalty with a clumsy challenge. Luka Modric was overrun in the middle, Mesut Ozil imprecise, Gonzalo Higuain ineffective and Ronaldo unable to exert his influence in dangerous areas apart from the goal and one late effort which was smothered by Roman Weidenfeller.

Before the game, Mourinho had said he hoped “justice would be done” for his players after they were defeated in the 2011 and 2012 semi-finals. But justice was done on Wednesday – and Dortmund deserved their wonderful win, with Jurgen Klopp later claiming the triumph for his €29 million team over €345m Madrid was “like Robin Hood taking from the rich”.

Madrid have failed to reach the final of Europe’s premier club competition since their last continental crown, in 2002, while Barcelona have not featured in the showpiece since their 2011 success. And barring huge surprises, neither will be in it this time. Last term, Madrid were edged out by Bayern on penalties in the semi-finals, while Barca suffered a freak loss to Chelsea in the last four.

Then, it seemed the best two teams had lost. Not now. This time, Spain’s sides were overwhelmingly outclassed by the brilliance of two great German teams. So as Pep Guardiola takes over at the Allianz Arena and seeks to build a dynasty at Bayern, while Klopp stays to continue his wonderful work at Dortmund, it is the Bundesliga and not the Primera Division which now houses Europe’s elite. Mourinho, meanwhile, moves a step closer to the exit door at the Bernabeu, under pressure from this latest loss (the club’s 10th of the season) amid reports from Bild late last night that he will rejoin Chelsea this summer. Not the happy ending, or La Decima, that anyone at Madrid had been hoping for.

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