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Operation Lewandowski could cost in the region of €100 million

Florentino looked into signing the Pole after his four-goal haul against Real Madrid, but with Karim Benzema already on the books, decided against the 25 million euro signing fee

Operation Lewandowski could cost in the region of €100 million
MICHAEL DALDER REUTERS

Madrid made a move to sign Robert Lewandowski back in 2013. Florentino Pérez sat back and took notice of the Polish striker as he dumbed José Mourinho’s team out of the 2012-13 Champions League semi-finals with a four-goal haul and, as the then Borussia Dortmund player told The Sun, the Real Madrid president approached him after the second leg in the Bernabeu. “It was in the office near the dressing room at the Bernabeu straight after the match. We spoke to each other briefly”. But it was already too late by that stage. The Bundesliga goal machine had already signed a precontract with Bayern Munich.

Nonetheless, Lewandowski’s representatives continued to hint at a Madrid move. In a conversation with this very publication, his inner circle conceded that “he could join Los Blancos for 20 million euros”, the signing-on fee required at the time to break his contract with the Bavarian club. But for Florentino that seemed like more trouble than it was worth – having waited too long to act the Madrid president would now have to cough up 20 million euros, enter into a war with Bayern and depart with, at the very least, 10 million euros net to bring in another striker to compete with Karim Benzema.

Bayern are now planning for a future without Lewandowski and have 100 million euro kitty to explore the market for potential replacements. Franz Beckenbauer even went on the record to say that Gonzalo Higuaín “is a player who Bayern admire, a statement that didn’t go down well with Lewandowski who responded in turn with, “he who has a beautiful girlfriend shouldn’t be looking elsewhere”.

The evidence suggesting that Lewandowski’s preference is Madrid came on 16 November, when he agreed to a photo shoot with the Polish publication Przeglad Sportowy, which days before ran with a story linking the front man with a move to the Spanish capital. A month later AS revealed that the player’s agent, Cezary Kucharski, was in attendance in the Santiago Bernabeu presidential box to watch the Getafe match. The two parties have been in contact with each other, however, everything hinges on one of the prongs in the BBC trident moving on (talk of Cristiano joining PSG seems to have stalled and Benzema has responded to his personal problems off the pitch with his best form on it). And that’s without mentioning the impending Fifa registration ban, something Real Madrid are hoping to postpone long enough so they can make transfers in the summer.