Chelsea are watching the situation around Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski, who has opted not to renew his contract after interest from Barcelona.
The 33-year-old has just one year left on his current deal with the German giants and his desire to leave is now public.
Barca are targeting a deal but have work to do first in order to avoid La Liga’s Financial Fair Play (FFP) sanctions and are concerned that Thomas Tuchel’s personal interest could play a part in the Pole’s decision.
What would it take for Chelsea to sign Lewandowski?
Currently, Chelsea are sanctioned and unable to make transfers – but that’s projected to end soon, with the Todd Boehly takeover into the final administrative details.
After that, they will begin planning their summer, as they are already behind most of Europe’s big clubs who have begun making moves for new players.
Why do Chelsea want Lewandowski?
Chelsea has long seen Lewandowski among the world’s best strikers and have struggled in that position ever since selling Diego Costa to Atletico Madrid in 2018.
It’s not the first time Chelsea have been interested in signing Lewandowski, having tried to sign him at least three times in the past.
It is believed that as well as a long-standing interest, Tuchel would be open to working with him.
What has been said about Lewandowski at Bayern?
“I can confirm that I spoke to Hasan [Salihamidzic, sporting director] and informed him that I am not extending my contract with Bayern,” Lewandowski explained to Sky on Saturday.
“Both sides have to think about the future. It’s best if we find the best solution for both sides.
“I said [to Salihamidzic] that if an offer comes, then we have to think about it – also for the club. Both sides have to think about the future. That’s all I can say.”
Salihamidzic also spoke to Sky this weekend, stating: “I spoke to Lewa. In the conversation he told me that he did not want to accept our offer to extend the contract and that he would like to leave the club.
“He said that he would like to do something else but our attitude hasn’t changed.
“Lewa has a contract until June 30, 2023. That’s a fact. I don’t deal with that because our stance has always been clear.”
Would Lukaku have to be sold to sign Lewandowski?
In short, yes, Romelu Lukaku would would have to be sold. Unfortunately, part of the government restrictions have forced players to stay and any move for Lewandowski is contingent on what happens with the Belgian.
The £100 million ($136m) record signing from Inter has rumoured interest from Italy, but his £325,000-a-week wages are a major stumbling block.
There have been no active talks to force a move away over the summer, with the Belgian instructing his entourage that he wants to get the most out of his season first.
However, it is clear that Tuchel has been unwilling to adapt his style of play to suit Lukaku and that the striker has been unable to slot into this particular style of play.
Indeed, the signing of Lukaku came after Chelsea held talks over moves with other options last summer, including Lewandowski, Tottenham’s Harry Kane and Manchester City-bound Erling Haaland. None were viable so Lukaku was signed instead.