LONDON • Bayern Munich will block any bid by Manchester United to sign Robert Lewandowski, despite the Poland striker's agent claiming an offer in excess of €50 million (S$75 million) might tempt the German football club to sell.
Having spent more than £75 million to sign midfielders Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin, Matteo Darmian, the Italy right-back, and Memphis Depay, the Netherlands winger, Louis van Gaal, the United manager, wants to bring in a striker and a centre-half.
The departures of Radamel Falcao, who has joined Chelsea on loan, and Robin van Persie, who has moved to Fenerbahce, has left United light on attacking options.
With Harry Kane, of Tottenham Hotspur, and Karim Benzema, of Real Madrid, out of reach, Lewandowski is thought to be among United's alternative targets, along with Edinson Cavani of Paris Saint-Germain and Christian Benteke, the Aston Villa forward.
Lewandowski has been at Bayern for only a year after his free transfer from Borussia Dortmund last summer. However, while he is thought to be happy at the Allianz Arena, his representative, Cezary Kucharski, has muddied the waters by intimating that the 26-year-old could be available for the right price.
HIGH STRIKE PRICE
I think it would have to be a very high offer, definitely higher than €50 million (for Bayern to consider selling). With a player of Robert's class... there are only two directions in which he could go in the future, England or Spain.
CEZARY KUCHARSKI, agent of Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski
But Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, the German club's chairman, has said: "I can reassure our fans.
"We will give no other players to Manchester United."
Kucharski's comments could yet tempt United to test Bayern's resolve. Speaking on Polish television, he said: "I think it would have to be a very high offer, definitely higher than €50 million (for Bayern to consider selling).
"With a player of Robert's class, the truth is that not a lot of work is required because really there are only two directions in which he could go in the future, England or Spain, and only with Bayern Munich's acceptance."
Alex Ferguson, the former United manager, enquired about signing Lewandowski during his final two seasons in charge at Old Trafford but instead opted to buy van Persie from Arsenal.
Meanwhile, Victor Valdes' agent has claimed that his client wants to stay and prove himself at United, despite the goalkeeper being dropped from a pre-season tour of the United States.
The surprise decision to omit Valdes, who is not injured, from a 26-man travelling party raises serious doubts about the former Barcelona goalkeeper's future at Old Trafford, where he made two appearances last season.
Valdes, 33, has one year left on his contract and his agent said the goalkeeper wants to stay and compete for a place in the first team.
THE TIMES, LONDON