Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez has confirmed the club are working on the signing of Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski this summer.
Lewandowski, 33, still has one year to run on his contract but last week revealed his desire to leave Bayern after eight seasons at the German club. After missing out on Erling Haaland to Manchester City, Barca’s striker search has turned to the Poland international with Xavi desperate to add more firepower to his side.
“Yes, Lewandowski is an option,” Xavi revealed in a news conference on Saturday ahead of Barca’s final game of the LaLiga season against Villarreal.
“He has already said he wants to leave, there are negotiations, but he still has a contract at his club. It won’t be easy being Bayern, but it’s an option.”
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Following Bayern’s final game of the season last weekend, Lewandowski said he would not be signing a new contract with the club and revealed he had asked them to listen to any bids for him.
While Barca’s interest is now official, sources have told ESPN a transfer is still dependent on many factors, such as Bayern finding a replacement and then accepting a bid.
Lewandowski, who has been crowned The Best FIFA Men’s Player two years in a row, scored 50 goals in 46 appearances across all competitions this past season.
Barca president Joan Laporta said earlier this week he is confident of being able to make moves in the market this summer despite the club’s financial problems. Laporta explained the club have a series of financial operations they are working on which would help them avoid any “painful player sales” to fund signings.
Despite that, midfielder Frenkie de Jong’s future remains in the air, with Manchester City and Manchester United both monitoring his situation at Camp Nou. Xavi once again stressed his desire to keep hold of the Dutch international but conceded that finances could dictate the final decision.
“For me, he is a beast of a player and I have told him that,” Xavi said. “He has the quality to mark an era here. I like him a lot, he’s such a capable player who can dominate games the way we play.
“But we will see what the club’s financial situation is. Again, we’re talking about money, which I don’t want to do, but that’s how it is.”
Meanwhile, Xavi confirmed Sunday’s game against Villarreal could be the last for several players at the club, including Riqui Puig, Samuel Umtiti, Martin Braithwaite and Oscar Mingueza, who he has spoken with this week. It could also be the last time Ousmane Dembele pulls on a Barca shirt, with his contract expiring in June, but Xavi is still hopeful the Frenchman will sign an extension.
“It could be his last game or he could renew,” Xavi added. “I like him, he can be hugely important in the future, but we will see what happens.
“It comes down to the negotiations at the end of the day. It could be his last game [on Sunday], but not just his, many other players as well.”
Xavi wants to strengthen across the board this summer after a second trophy-less season for Barca in three years.
“By [climbing from ninth to] finish second, we saved a situation that could have been much worse,” Xavi said as he reflected on a campaign that saw him come in as coach in November.
“But it’s not been a great season, we can’t lie. We have improved and the second half of the season in LaLiga was good, but do we need to strengthen? Yes. We can’t have another trophy-less season. We have to be self-critical and work so hard to be competitive again.”