BERLIN: Robert Lewandowski might only be one of many cases that FC Bayern Munich needs to solve when designing the future of the club's squad. Several experienced players such as Thomas Muller and Manuel Neuer aside from Serge Gnabry are said to be in the middle of negotiations.
As the Polish forward stands for one of European football's most prominent names, the case seems to currently dominate the headlines in European football aside from Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland.
The plans of the 33-year-old Pole though remain a mystery.
Not only TV pundits and experts puzzle about Lewandowski's options and the question if there is a market for the successful but aged Pole.
Ahead of the 2020 treble winners' second leg in the Champions League's quarter-final against the FC Villarreal this Tuesday evening, a media report has triggered a flood of new speculations speaking about the FC Barcelona having made an offer.
'Telewizja Polska' spoke about a done deal regarding a three-year contract worth up to 25 million euros per season from the Spanish side.
The Polish TV station mentioned several meetings have taken place between the strikers' agent Pini Zahavi and Barca. The report indicates, that Zahavi has already updated Bayern about his client's plans.
German media reports deny a done deal scenario due to Barca's financial borders and Lewandowski's valid contract until 2023. International rules only allow new signings six months ahead of an expiring contract with a present club.
Bayern chairman Oliver Kahn said he is relaxed regarding Lewandowski and other issues of the Bavarian club.
Several German media assume Bayern and their striker might soon announce the extension of the contract for two more years.
While Barcelona coach Xavi is on his way to rejuvenating the club's squad, some reports speak about Paris, Real, and clubs from the Premier League as possible targets.
Real and Paris seem blocked. In the Spanish capital, French international Karim Benzema is on his way to new heights. In Paris, the positions upfront seem occupied by Kylian Mbappe, Neymar Junior, and Lionel Messi.
Citizen coach Pep Guardiola is said to have other plans regarding his squad while Lewandowski doesn't seem to fit Liverpool's game style.
Former Bayern midfielder and TV pundit Stefan Effenberg can understand discussions about Lewandowski's age as he is turning 35 in 2023.
"My feeling is, he is trying to leave after seven outstandingly successful years but needs options to join a big club," the former German international said.
Effenberg recommended Bayern not to sell Lewandowski as affordable replacements are not around at present. Reports speak of Bayern demanding 60 million euros for a deal this summer and Barca offering between 25 and 30 million.
The outcome of the quarter-final against Villarreal might affect the plans of all involved parties, Effenberg added. "All that we see right now might be the well-known game of exploring options."