Arsenal looked at signing Lewandowski, reveals Wenger

The Gunners boss claims that the Poland international had opted to join Bayern Munich over a year ago and rules out a move in January for the Bavarians’ Mario Mandzukic

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed that he looked into the possibility of signing Robert Lewandowski before Bayern Munich confirmed the impending acquisition of the Borussia Dortmund striker.

The Poland international, who has scored 15 goals for BVB this term, will join the German champions on a free transfer at the end of the season.

Despite the arrival of Lewandowski to the Allianz Arena in the summer, Wenger claims that Bayern will not be willing to sell Mario Mandzukic during the January transfer window but hinted that the Croatian’s situation could change.

“We looked into it but, honestly, [Lewandowski] signed one-and-a-half years ago,” the Gunners boss told reporters.

“Lewandowski is at Dortmund until the end of the season and Bayern will not sell Mandzukic now. Maybe at the end of the season.”

As exclusively revealed by Goal in December, Lewandowski was part of a five-man Arsenal shortlist for strikers to target in January, including Atletico Madrid forward Diego Costa, but Wenger concedes that securing a high-profile signing will be difficult before the end of the season.

“All the big players are at big clubs at the moment and they go for important targets,” the Frenchman added.

“Unless you have a club in a desperate financial situation, it will be difficult – or if we find someone like [Serge] Gnabry at that age when no-one knows them.”

Robben: Lewandowski a super Bayern signing

The Dutchman is delighted at the latest addition at the Allianz Arena and is happy with his own progress as he recovers from injury

Arjen Robben says Robert Lewandowski is “one of the world’s best strikers” ahead of the Pole’s summer move to Bayern Munich.

One of the worst kept secrets in football was finally let out of the bag on Saturday as Lewandowski’s future switch from Borussia Dortmund to Bavaria was confirmed, and Robben believes his addition will only see die Roten grow stronger.

“I think Lewandowksi is a super player,” the Dutchman, 29, told Sport 1. “He is really good, he’s one of the world’s best strikers.

“Our squad will be even better and we are already really strong at the moment, so this can only be a positive thing.”

The former Chelsea winger also chatted about his current recovery – having picked up an injury at the start of December – and he is hopeful that a return to the pitch can coincide with a new contract, as his current deal ends in 2015.

“My recovery from injury is going well,” Robben added. “The winter break was great, I was able to recover and, at the same time, it allowed me to grow stronger.

“I’m starting with individual training, then we’ll see from day to day how it goes. I can be patient and will try to increase my workload every day.

“I await patiently [on new contract discussions]. Discussions could start in a week or even in a few months.”

Klopp: Lewandowski not bigger than Dortmund

The successful trainer is confident that last year’s Champions League finalists will overcome the attacker’s exit

Borussia Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp has stressed that no one is bigger than the club in the wake of Robert Lewandowski’s decision to leave BVB for Bayern Munich at the end of the season.

The Bavarians announced on Saturday that the Poland international has signed a five-year deal with his new club, but Klopp is not too bothered by Lewandowski’s imminent departure.

“Players can always be bought by other teams, but the club Borussia Dortmund are bigger than any player. It’s all about having a good plan for the future. Things will go on, I have no doubt about that,” Klopp said at a press conference.

“Robert’s decision is perfectly fine with us. We knew about his decision to leave for quite some time. Robert has never looked as if he wasn’t focused on Dortmund.

“That his next club is official now is perfect timing. There would only have been a lof of speculation otherwise.”

Lewandowski himself, meanwhile, has made it clear that he will continue to give his all for BVB.

“Dear BVB fans, I would like to say a few words to you,” an open letter on the Dortmund website reads.

“With half a year to go, there are still some goals we want to achieve together. I hope you will support me, even if some of you don’t agree with my decision! I for one will give my all for BVB! 

“Yours, Robert Lewandowski.”

The 25-year-old has scored 11 goals in 17 league appearances so far this season.

Madrid tabled 'immoral' Lewandowski offer, claims agent

The attacker’s representative has revealed that the Santiago Bernabeu side were keen to lure him to La Liga

Robert Lewandowski’s agent Maik Barthel has claimed that Real Madrid attempted to hijack Bayern Munich’s move for the Borussia Dortmund striker.

The Poland international signed a five-year deal with the Bundesliga champions on Saturday to bring a protracted transfer saga to an end.

However, Barthel has revealed that Madrid were keen to sign Lewandowski, too, and were willing to go far for the 25-year-old.

“There was an immoral offer from Real Madrid,” the striker’s representative was quoted as saying by Spiegel Online.

Madrid were reportedly willing to offer Lewandowski an annual salary of €9.5 million plus an additional €10m signing fee, but Barthel has made it clear that they never considered breaking their promise to Bayern.

He added: “We listened to their offer out of respect for such a big club. But breaking our word never crossed our mind.”

Lewandowski has been in sublime form for Dortmund this season, scoring 11 goals in 17 Bundesliga appearances.

Watzke hunts for new Lewandowski

The 54-year-old says the club are working round the clock to find a replacement for the Poland international following confirmation he will join Bayern Munich next summer

Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke has revealed the club are working “flat out” to find a replacement for Robert Lewandowski after the forward signed a contract with Bayern Munich.

The Bavarians announced on Saturday that the forward would join the club on a five-year deal once his contract with BVB expires this summer.

Watzke, reacting to the news of Lewandowski’s departure, said he was fully expecting the announcement and the club is now committed to identifying a suitable replacement.

“This is not surprising, it is a completely normal process,” the 54-year-old was quoted in Bild am Sonntag.

“In recent weeks it had been clear that it would come to this. Our sports director Michael Zorc is working flat out to find an alternative.”

Lewandowski, who is currently joint top scorer in the Bundesliga with 11 goals so far this season, had long been anticipated to move to the Allianz Arena and Watzke stressed that he had no concerns over the 25-year-old’s commitment to the club for the remainder of the campaign.

“Between us and Robert there is no problem,” Watzke stressed.

“I have not the slightest doubt that there will be any changes to his strong performances.”

Bayern sit at the top of the table with 44 points, 12 ahead of fourth-placed Dortmund.