Prolific striker Robert Lewandowski has got a lot on his plate at the moment.
The hopes of a nation, Poland, rest almost solely on the shoulders of the lanky frontman, and he will be expected to fire the goals that take the Poles past the group stage of the World Cup this summer.
As if that wasn’t enough, his agent has just announced that he has handed in a transfer request to his club side, Bayern Munich.
Lewandowski is contracted to the Bundesliga champions until 2021, but as we know contracts count for very little these days and player power usually wins the day. He has just hired ‘super agent’ Pini Zahavi, who oversaw Neymar’s mind-boggling move to PSG in the summer, to secure him his own bigger money transfer.
“Robert feels he needs a change and a new challenge in his career. The managers of Bayern know about it,” were the words of Zahavi today.
Should Bayern fans be worried? Absolutely. The striker has netted a remarkable 151 goals in just 195 games at the club, and with Zahavi’s experience in brokering huge transfers they should fear the worst that their prolific hitman may never pull on the club’s red shirt again.
Indeed, the timing is rather telling. Lewandowski has now linked up with the Poland squad ahead of their Russian excursion, and there is a strong likelihood that he will not return to Germany at the culmination of the World Cup.
The bookmakers have already made their move, with the Polish ace out to a general 6/4 to stay at Bayern and as short as Evens to seek out a move to pastures new.
At 29, he isn’t getting younger in football terms, but Lewandowski has an attribute that is almost priceless: being able to put the ball in the back of the net on a regular basis.
So which club is likely to take the plunge on the Pole?
Real Madrid (6/4)
The early favourites with the bookies are Real Madrid, who have been linked with Lewandowski on a number of occasions through the years.
There are a couple of obvious obstacles blocking the move, however. It is likely that Cristiano Ronaldo will take a more central role at Real in the coming seasons as his ability to track back on the left flank dwindles, and also there’s the not inconsiderable presence of Champions League final match winner Karim Benzema to consider.
Sky Sports have claimed that Zahavi has already opened talks with the Galacticos on the striker’s behalf, although those negotiations were ‘stopped’ for an undisclosed reason.
Rumours linking Benzema with a return to his French homeland with PSG also continue to persist, so perhaps Lewa to Real does have some legs after all.
Manchester United (7/2)
Jose Mourinho has laid the foundations for his own Harlem Globetrotters of football in recent times by bringing in the likes of Paul Pogba and Alexis Sanchez, and his mission to deliver glory and silverware back to Manchester United continues.
Whether he can convince Lewa to turn down Madrid for Manchester remains to be seen, and any truth in the rumours would depend upon the ‘Special One’s’ belief, or lack of it, that Romelu Lukaku is the man he wants to spearhead United’s attack.
There are rumours that the pair fell out earlier in the month, with Mourinho allegedly angry at a perceived lack of effort on the part of his burly frontman to get fit for the FA Cup final.
If true, a move for Lewandowski might just be a goer.
Paris St Germain (6/1)
PSG certainly have the cash to turn heads – hence why Neymar left beautiful Barcelona behind, and as we know money talks in football (as it does in any walk of life!).
The only question is if Lewandowski would want to ply his trade in the almost competition-free Ligue 1, and having stressed his desire to compete for Champions League honours it is doubtful the Parisians, who rarely look like advancing to the business end of the competition, will appeal.
The rumour mill is suggesting that Alvaro Morata will leave Chelsea this summer, with Juventus one possible location. That would leave a vacancy for a bustling frontman at Stamford Bridge, and the Pole would fit the bill perfectly. But he is unlikely to be interested in a move to a side playing Europa League football next term.