Dortmund feels righteous about keeping Lewandowski for a year
Borussia Dortmund has seen many of its big players leave in the past couple of years, but perhaps their biggest test will be when Robert Lewandowski makes his exit this summer. Borussia Dortmund CEO Aki Watzke believes its the club’s right to keep their assets with them, especially if they are bound by contract, but seeing that they had made a promise to Lewandowski they will not stop him from leaving.
Lewandowski, who has scored 22 goals in 32 appearances for Dortmund this season, has been a vital pillar of success to the German side’s success in the past couple of years. Dortmund refused to sell Lewandowski to rivals Bayern Munich last summer, having already just lost Mario Gotze to them.
The 25-year-old Poland international was given a big pay raise for his final year with Dortmund and in return Lewandowski has granted the German outfit with 22 goals and 13 assists. Dortmund boss Juergen Klopp is happy with Lewandowski side’s performance and would has already said that he would like for him to stay, but Lewandowski is adamant about joining Bayern Munich this summer.
Reports have confirmed that Lewandowski has already inked a gentleman’s agreement with Bayern Munich with a five-year contract and a salary raise. Watzke feels Dortmund did everything right in handling the whole saga.
“We've acted out of conviction,” Watzke told Sport Bild. “Nobody thought we'd pull this through. But we have this strength to make courageous decisions -- just like Real Madrid.”
Watzke explained that each club had to make strong decisions. The German gave the example of Real Madrid who sold Mesut Ozil to Arsenal and signed in Tottenham Hotspur winger Gareth Bale as replacement.
“While Mesut Ozil is a really strong player, who can now help Arsenal, it apparently was the right decision for Real,” Watzke continued. “The club bosses' courage was justified.”
Dortmund’s mass exodus may not have ended yet. German midfielder Ilkay Gundogan is in his last year of contract with the club and is already attracting interest from the likes of Real Madrid. Gundogan has remained quiet on the transfer saga, but drama can be expected this summer.
For now Dortmund officials have labelled Gundogan’s exit reports as falsified and baseless rumors.