Doors closed on Lewandowski transfer, says Rummenigge

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Berlin, Aug 2 (IANS) FC Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has ruled out any possibility of star striker Robert Lewandowski being sold this summer.

“As for Robert, we wanted to send out a signal and show the public that Bayern Munich acts differently to others that get nervous when vast sums of money are bandied around. We want to let everybody know that our doors are closed,” he said.

Rummenigge and head coach Niko Kovac confirmed that Lewandowski is still looking to join a top-class outfit abroad. Both the 29-year-old and his agent have informed Bayern on several occasions of his intention to depart this summer, reports Xinhua news agency.

“We know about his thoughts and plans,” Kovac said.

“But his plans are one thing, what we want is another. It is us who are in charge, and we are the ones that decide. Robert has a valid contract and we insist on it being fulfilled,” the former midfielder stressed.

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Kovac added that his side is happy with the Pole’s performance on the pitch. Rummenigge bemoaned the lack of available alternatives.

“(There is) not much of the same quality on the market. Therefore we are not interested in letting him go,” he said.

The Bayern official said no sum of money would make the club change its mind.

“Not 100 or 150 million euro,” he said.

According to the latest media reports, Real Madrid and Manchester United are said to be interested in Lewandowski.

Rummenigge criticized the “overheated transfer market” and said that Bayern would not be part of the madness.

Rather than paying every transfer fee demanded, Bayern plan to find an alternative way of continuing in the top echelon of European football. Rummenigge said the club will do everything on its power to remain one of the key figures in the Champions League.

“Our trip to the US and the Champions Cup showed us just how massive the reputation of the Champions League is worldwide. We will attack,” said Rummenigge when talking about clubs with greater financial clout like Manchester City, Manchester United, Real Madrid, FC Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain.

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In the last five years, Bayern have reached the Champions League semi-finals on four occasions.

The 2018 Bundesliga champions left for their second pre-season training camp close to the Tegernsee Lake in Bavaria. For the first time this summer, Kovac has his full squad available, including every international player.

The Croatian said he is convinced Bayern have enormous potential “when all our key performers are around.” Bayern intends to retain its quality, but Jerome Boateng and Arturo Vidal will be allowed to leave for the right price, with Paris Saint-Germain and Inter Milan respectively said to be interested.

Meanwhile, Rummenigge warned the German Bundesliga and the country’s governing bodies that they should not lose contact with the other leading international leagues.

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The former German international demanded German football open up for modern market tools when it comes to new investment models. The Bayern official said the “50+1 rule” is old-fashioned and has to be changed.

The rule doesn’t allow investors to take over the majority shareholding of a club. The majority of the shares have to be owned by the club itself.

“Otherwise we one day will have to pay the bill and furthermore lose more and more influence and attractiveness,” commented Rummenigge, who played 95 times for Germany.

The international impression is what counts today, Rummenigge said, adding that without opening up to new ideas, the Bundesliga won’t remain among the world’s most successful leagues.

“Spain, England, Italy and France handle these things differently. The Bundesliga and German football have to catch up. We either join this strategy, or we will lose the option to be part of the race,” Rummenigge stressed.

–IANS

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