Mandzukic-Lewandowski swap denied
Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has dismissed the idea the club could swap Mario Mandzukic for Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski.
Mandzukic is reported to be unhappy with his role within the Bayern set-up, with Sport Bild the latest publication to report rifts between the Croatia international and coach Pep Guardiola.
The striker appears to be seen as a back-up option under the new regime and former Bayern boss Felix Magath suggested at the weekend that a swap with Lewandowski might be the best solution.
“I don’t think that’s a good idea,” Rummenigge told Sport1. “We are totally satisfied with Mario. He is a very important player for Bayern Munich. We have also seen that in Rheden [the recent DFB-Pokal clash]. The coach was very satisfied with Mario’s performance and attitude.”
Rummenigge, moreover, did not want to rule out “that, in the future, both maybe play on one team.”
Lewandowski, who finished fourth in the UEFA Player of the Year vote, has made plain his desire to join Bayern and appears certain to move to the Allianz Arena when his contract expires next summer.
However, recent events have suggested Lewandowski still hopes for an earlier exit. The Poland international told the media in his homeland last week that he felt “cheated” by Dortmund for not granting him a pay-rise in his final season, and was also quoted as saying the ongoing saga could negatively affect his performances for Borussia.
Dortmund have remained calm, with coach Jurgen Klopp saying he is more concerned with what Lewandowski does on the pitch rather than what he is supposed to have said, while the club’s CEO, Aki Watzke, said he was not interested in any remarks the striker had made to the Polish media.
Maik Barthel, the player’s agent, said that the quotes attributed to Lewandowski were inaccurate.
“It is complete baloney that Robert is alleged to have said he will refuse to perform on the pitch,” Barthel told Sport Bild. “I don’t have any understanding of the one-sided media coverage. This only leads to massive threats.”
Dortmund midfielder Nuri Sahin, meanwhile, said the transfer saga is “not an issue in the dressing room” and believes his team-mate will deliver.
“He has to accept the club’s decision,” Sahin said. “I am not afraid. He will perform.”
Bayern sporting director Matthias Sammer maintains that there has been no movement over Lewandowski.
He told Sport Bild: “Lewandowski is a pure speculation, and it will stay that way. At this time, I don’t see any reason to make any comments.”