Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski was a wanted man during the summer transfer window. The 24-year-old Polish international scored 30 times for the Bundesliga champions in last season's title win and followed that with an impressive outing for his country at the 2012 European Championships.
The striker's form earned him interest from Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal in the summer but a combination of steadfast refusal to sell and other targets becoming available meant none of the three Premier League giants made a concrete offer. When pushed though, Hans-Joachim Watzke, Dortmund's chief executive, slapped a price tag of £35m on his star forward.
"It doesn't matter what's being said. I don't know how often I have to repeat this, but Lewandowski will definitely stay with us. There have not been any official approaches," Watzke emphasised. That declaration was followed by the player himself admitting a desire to move abroad. He was quoted as suggesting this could be his last season at the Signal Iduna Park.
It now appears that Chelsea and other interested parties have been firmly warned off Lewandowski, with the player's agent, Maik Barthel, declaring his client will remain loyal to the German club, despite contractual difficulties. The Polish international is in the middle of talks to extend his contract... and they have not been going very well.
"We are not thinking about a potential move to a European top club at this point," Barthel told Goal.com, adding, "We have an ongoing contract with Dortmund, and were fully aware of the terms of the deal when we signed it. We will honour his current deal. He [Lewandowski] is only thinking about the Bundesliga season, the next DFB Pokal trophy, and Champions League progress."
However, like all good agents, Barthel left a door open, stating that if there were another team were interested in his client, the situation, contract or no contract, might change. Lewandowski's current contract expires in 2014 and he is reportedly on a £1.2m deal... something almost any major English club can match without a problem. He has been offered a £2.4m deal but the player is said to want something that puts him in the same wage bracket as German internationals Marco Reus and Mario Gotze, who earn about £4m each.