Robert Lewandowski’s departure from Bayern Munich portends an uncertain future.

The Poland striker has made it obvious that he wants to depart this summer after scoring 344 goals in 374 competitive outings for the German side.

“My time at Bayern has come to an end. I don’t think I’ll be able to play for this club much longer “During a press conference with the Poland team, Lewandowski said.


These are harsh remarks from one of Bayern’s most stalwarts throughout the last decade. To force a trade, Lewandowski has chosen conflict over conversation with his club, as recommended by his agent Pini Zahavi.


Bayern’s management has maintained frequently in recent weeks that Lewandowski is not for sale, citing his contract, which extends until 2023.


However, the striker, who will turn 34 in August, plans to sign one final expensive contract this year and has chosen Barcelona as the location for what will most likely be his final season.


He has verbally agreed to a three-year contract with the Catalan club. However, the possible deal could take a long time because Barcelona is subject to stringent financial oversight by the Spanish league and cannot afford to pay an anticipated transfer fee of around 40 million euros (£34 million).


However, Lewandowski’s departure is simply one concern for a club that has been regarded as a European superpower for more than a decade but is now in danger of falling further behind the continent’s elite clubs.


In German terms, he is wealthy, yet he is becoming poorer.

Bayern’s competitiveness outside of the Bundesliga has been questioned following their quarter-final loss to Villarreal in this year’s Champions League.


Winning the title for the tenth time in a row means little because Bayern is miles ahead of the local competition, which includes Borussia Dortmund.


Bayern, on the other hand, is battling an uphill battle on the international stage due to budgetary constraints. Bayern have now been knocked out at the quarter-final stage in each of the last two seasons, after making the Champions League semi-finals in eight of the previous 13 seasons – and there are fears things could get even worse.


Bayern Munich has dependable sponsors but no billionaire owners.


As a result, their liquid assets fell from 221 million euros (£188 million) to 113 million euros (£96 million) in the last two years, owing mostly to the impact of Covid-19 on revenue streams. A further drop to 60 million euros (£51 million) is projected.


Bayern just cannot compete financially with Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester City, or Real Madrid. As a result, they must be exceedingly astute in the transfer market while yet maintaining a winning mentality.


Can Mane be Bayern Munich’s saviour?

Bayern Munich has accepted the truth that they will lose their best striker this summer and are preparing for life beyond Lewandowski. According to club sources, they intend to play with a fluid three-man attack rather than a ‘target man.’


While typical number nines such as Austria’s Sasa Kalajdzic and 19-year-old Slovenian Benjamin Sesko have piqued Bayern’s interest, the club’s officials and manager Julian Nagelsmann are well aware that they will not be able to fully replace Lewandowski.


There are just a few strikers who can compete with Lewandowski, and none of them are available to Bayern.


Nagelsmann intends to deploy a three-man assault similar to Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, because Leroy Sane, Thomas Muller, Kingsley Coman, and Jamal Musiala are all capable of doing so.


Bayern has also addressed Sadio Mane’s management and is currently negotiating a deal with the Senegalese forward, albeit there are still some financial concerns to iron out.


He would not be a Lewandowski replacement, but he might be viewed as a statement acquisition for Bayern, maybe preventing them from slipping further behind in Europe.


Rifts and a deteriorating squad

Bayern are more uneasy than they have been in previous years at a time when calm and togetherness are required. Nagelsmann and sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic have opposing viewpoints on a number of issues, notably the squad’s age.


A growing proportion of players appear to be dissatisfied with their current condition.


“After everything that has transpired in the last several months, I can’t envisage good cooperation,” Lewandowski stated recently.


We don’t know if his comment was made to push a move or if it reflects his true feelings, but it’s fantastic fuel for those who have criticised the club’s communication.


Serge Gnabry is another significant player who could leave the team in the near future. Financial incentives are not the main reason for the Germany winger as he weighs his future, as they are for Lewandowski, who recently received a substantial extension offer from Bayern. Instead, he believes he is undervalued.

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Nagelsmann isn’t popular among the Bayern players, which might lead to a schism if Bayern suffer through a dry spell in the first few months of next season as they adjust to life without Lewandowski.


How the German champions, who have been one of Europe’s best-oiled machines for the previous decade, handle the early weeks of next season will be a key indicator of how well they will handle their uncertain future.

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