Bayern won't rush Lewandowski contract but want him to stay

By Sports Desk January 23, 2022

Agreeing a new contract with Robert Lewandowski is not a matter of urgency for Bayern Munich president Herbert Hainer, though he hopes the striker will stay put.

With his deal set to expire at the end of next season, Lewandowski's future has been the subject of much speculation. 

It was reported this week that Bayern were open to selling the Poland captain at the end of the season to avoid losing him on a free transfer. 

Lewandowski on Monday won The Best FIFA Men's Player award for the second straight year, having scored an astounding 82 goals in 68 games in all competitions for Bayern since the start of last season.  

That is the most of any player from the top five European leagues. Erling Haaland is his closest rival with 64 strikes in 61 appearances for Borussia Dortmund. 

Hainer remains keen for Lewandowski to extend his stay at the Allianz Arena, though he insists there is no rush for an agreement to be reached. 

"I've already said this a few times. I would be happy if Robert ended his career at Bayern," Hainer told Sky. 

"Our sporting management is in constant contact with the players. We still have a little time with him. The contract runs until 2023." 

Hainer suggested a new contract for goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, reportedly until June 2025, is much closer to being confirmed. The Germany star's existing deal is also due to expire at the end of next season. 

"I am absolutely convinced Manuel will end his career at Bayern Munich. He can certainly play at this level for a few more years," said Hainer. 

"He's still the world's best goalkeeper for me, and I'd be happy if we can announce it at some point. 

"We are in no hurry. Manuel knows what he has in us. We know what we have in him. He's been with us long enough now, so there is no rush. But at some point, I hope, it will happen." 

Defender Niklas Sule is only under contract until the end of this campaign and he has been linked with Barcelona and a number of Premier League clubs. 

Hainer confirmed an extension has been offered to Sule and he has a deadline to make his decision so the club are not left scrambling for a replacement. 

"We made Niklas an offer. Now it's up to him to accept or reject that," said Hainer. 

"Of course, it has to be within a certain period of time because we have to position ourselves accordingly. 

"I don't know the exact date right now, but it will certainly be at some point in the foreseeable future that he will say what his wishes are. Then we will take to him." 

Related items

  • Milan and Italy legend Gattuso appointed Hadjuk Split coach in surprise move Milan and Italy legend Gattuso appointed Hadjuk Split coach in surprise move

    Former Milan and Italy great Gennaro Gattuso has completed a surprise move to Hadjuk Split, taking over as head coach in Croatia.

    Gattuso, a World Cup winner with Italy in 2006, has signed a two-year deal with the Croatian giants.

    The 46-year-old will be officially welcomed at Poljud next week after Split announced his appointment on Wednesday.

    Gattuso's coaching career began as player-coach of his final club, Sion of the Swiss Super League, and he also had short spells in charge of Palermo and OFI Crete.

    The former midfielder then led Pisa to Serie B promotion before taking charge of old club Milan and subsequently joining Napoli, where he won the Coppa Italia in 2020.

    Short tenures followed with Fiorentina, Valencia and Marseille before his sacking from the Ligue 1 side in February.

  • Southgate succession plan in place after Euro 2024 despite no approaches for England boss Southgate succession plan in place after Euro 2024 despite no approaches for England boss

    England have started to plan for life after Gareth Southgate but Football Association executive Mark Bullingham insists no approach has been made for the manager, nor has his future been decided.

    The Three Lions boss raised questions over his future after German media outlet BILD published an interview this week from Southgate, who suggested Euro 2024 this month is his last chance with England.

    Manchester United were reportedly interested in the 53-year-old as well before reaffirming their commitment to under-fire manager Erik ten Hag.

    As the European Championship awaits in Germany, Bullingham sought to ease any fears over the future of Southgate, though reiterated the FA has already thought through a succession plan.

    "Gareth has been really, really clear that he wants to talk about that after the tournament," Bullingham said.

    "And I don't want to provide any distraction for him and the team, and I want to respect the fact that he wants to talk about the future after the tournament.

     "I've seen some things about, 'Have we got a plan, haven't we?' Any organisation has a succession plan in place for their top employees, and we are no different to that.

    "A succession plan normally includes everything from what you do for the short-term cover, through to a process you follow, through to [drawing up] a candidate pool. We have that for all our top employees."

    Bullingham also assured that Southgate's future will not be dictated by success at Euro 2024, with the manager's contract set to expire in December.

    "[The team] could go further but be playing poorly or have a really unlucky result where you get a couple of red cards and hit the woodwork three times," the FA chief added.

    "I think setting an arbitrary figure isn't the right way to go. I think we step back and look at everything after the tournament."

    In a staunch defence of Southgate, Bullingham lauded the job the former England international has done, guiding the Three Lions to the Euro 2020 final and World Cup semi-finals in 2018.

    "I would say I think the world of Gareth, I think he has done a phenomenal job," Bullingham said.

    "I think he has transformed the fortunes of our team, and that's not just off the pitch, and you can see the culture, but also the performances on the pitch.

    "Since 1966, he has won about half of our knockout games, which is a measure we really use, so we value him massively."

    Should Southgate leave, Bullingham remains open to bringing in another homegrown talent to manage England.

    "We have two senior coaches," he continued. "One of them is English, one of them [England women's boss Sarina Wiegman] is not.

    "Any federation in the world would always want to have a pool of top homegrown talent playing and managing at any time."

  • Milan target Zirkzee called up for Netherlands squad at Euro 2024 Milan target Zirkzee called up for Netherlands squad at Euro 2024

    Joshua Zirkzee is reportedly drawing interest from Milan, Juventus and Manchester United, and will have the chance to further his stock after a late call-up for the Netherlands at Euro 2024.

    Oranje boss Ronald Koeman has lost Frenkie de Jong and Teun Koopmeiners, as well as midfielder Marten de Roon, in the build-up to the tournament in Germany.

    Koeman criticised former club Barcelona for their handling of the injured De Jong before Koopmeiners' absence was also confirmed this week in another blow for the Netherlands.

    Ajax forward Brian Brobbey is another said to be struggling for fitness, forcing the Dutch to act swiftly with reinforcements.

    Zirkzee's inclusion was confirmed on Wednesday as the Netherlands added the striker to their international camp ahead of their tournament opener against Poland on Sunday.

    The 23-year-old does not have a single senior cap under his belt for the Netherlands, but did score seven goals in 19 caps for the Under-21 side.

    Zirkzee found the net 12 times in 37 appearances for Bologna in the 2023-24 campaign as the Serie A side qualified for next season's Champions League.

    That form has reportedly drawn interest from Erik ten Hag's Man Utd, Juventus – who appointed Thiago Motta as their new head coach on Wednesday – and Milan.

    Ian Maatsen, who reached the Champions League final with Borussia Dortmund this year, is the other man brought in for the Netherlands to fill the void left by De Jong and Koopmeiners.

    The Netherlands also face Austria and France in Group D at Euro 2024, where Germany open the tournament against Scotland on Friday.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.