Chelsea are poised to rival Barcelona for the signing of Robert Lewandowski though face a plethora of obstacles to sign the Bayern Munich frontman, according to reports.
The 33-year-old – who was the Bundesliga’s top scorer yet again this season with 35 goals in 34 appearances – has informed the club he will not be signing a new contract and has encouraged them to let him leave this summer.
Lewandowski’s current deal runs until 2023, when he can leave Bavaria on a free transfer, and this represents the last window where Bayern can still negotiate a significant fee.
The Poland international is believed to have already verbally agreed a three-year deal with Barcelona, though Bayern are adamant he is not for sale and the Catalan club lack the funds to make an offer big enough to change their mind.
According to The Guardian, that has created a potential opportunity for Chelsea and the club are monitoring the situation very closely.
Thomas Tuchel has long been an admirer of Lewandowski and ‘would have loved’ to sign him last summer, though a deal was considered off limits and Chelsea ultimately decided to bring Romelu Lukaku back to Stamford Bridge.
But the Belgian has struggled back in England since his £97.5million transfer from Inter Milan, only netting eight times in the Premier League, and his style of play feels like a poor fit for Tuchel’s football.
There are four main obstacles preventing any swoop for Lewandowski, however; firstly, the club are still unable to buy or sell any players until Todd Boehly’s consortium have completed their purchase of the club from Roman Abramovich.
Second, Chelsea would also need to offload Lukaku first before moving for Lewandowski, but he has very few suitors and his agent has already ruled out a return to Milan – with Inter or even AC.
There is also a feeling that the club need to prioritise strengthening their defence before anything else, with Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen both leaving on free transfers and Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso potentially leaving too.
Finally, Lewandowski himself will take some convincing over the transfer, with the former Dortmund frontman believed to be unsure about making a move to England at this stage in his career and he appears to have his heart set on a move to Camp Nou.
Asked about the striker’s future at the weekend, Bayern chief executive Oliver Khan was adamant the club would not allow him to leave this summer – even if it means losing him for nothing in a year’s time.
He explained: ‘We know this alarmism from the past. It’s not something that causes us a headache. We made an offer to his agent. He rejected this offer. That’s his right.
‘The fact is: He has a contract and he will fulfil it. We are very clear and consistent about that. That’s the way things are here at Bayern. There is no player above the club.’
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