Robert Lewandowski has said his time at Bayern Munich is “over” and said he doesn’t believe the club will retain him against his will.
The striker wants to join Barcelona after reaching a verbal agreement on a three-year contract, but Bayern have insisted he must stay for the final season of his contract.
Lewandowski, speaking at a press conference with Poland ahead of Wednesday’s Nations League game at home to Wales, said: “My era at Bayern is over. I don’t see any possibility of continue to play for this club.
The 33-year-old has been at Bayern since 2014 and hopes he will show flexibility over a transfer. “Bayern are a serious club and I believe they won’t keep me – I don’t want to play there anymore,” he said. “A transfer is the best solution. I hope they won’t stop me.
Bayern chief executive Oliver Kahn responded by telling German broadcaster Sport1: “I can’t tell you why Robert chose this path. Public statements like that don’t get you anywhere…I think he should know what he has at Bayern. The club’s former goalkeeper went on to say: “Appreciation is not a one-way street.”
Two weeks ago, Bayern president Herbert Hainer said categorically that there was no room for manoeuvre. Hainer told Sport1: “Robert has a contract until 2023. That’s how long he will play with us.”
Hainer noted that Lewandowski joined Bayern for free after his contract with Borussia Dortmund expired and said the club were ready to lose him for nothing in a year.
“There is no substitute for such a world-class player,” Hainer said. “He has a contract, so I guess he fulfills it. It’s his right not to extend his contract.
Lewandowski has scored 35 Bundesliga goals in 34 appearances this season and 13 goals in 10 Champions League appearances.
Corentin Tolisso is leaving Bayern on a free after no agreement was reached on a new contract for the 27-year-old French midfielder.