Corentin Tolisso is hopeful that his move from Bayern Munich to Lyon will help secure him a return to the France fold ahead of the World Cup.

The 27-year-old's return to Lyon, with whom he started his career, was confirmed on Friday following the expiration of his Bayern contract. 

Tolisso spent five trophy-laden campaigns at the Allianz Arena, but he started just 12 matches in all competitions in an injury-plagued 2021-22 campaign.

He did not feature for France at all last season, with the most recent of his 28 senior caps coming at last year's rescheduled Euro 2020.

But after completing a move back to Lyon on a five-year deal, Tolisso is targeting a place in Didier Deschamps' squad in time for Qatar 2022.

"I didn't talk with [Deschamps about the decision. It was a personal one, though I talked a lot about it with my agents and my family," he said at a news conference.

"We said it was the best decision for me. The future will tell if I was right or wrong. Lyon is the right club for me to return to the French team and go to the World Cup.

"I am very proud and happy to be back in Lyon. The project seduced me. It's a good thing for me and my personal goal, which is to play in the World Cup."

Tolisso was a member of France's World Cup-winning squad four years ago and also won five Bundesliga titles and the Champions League during his time in Bavaria.

Injuries, including a cruciate ligament rupture that ruled the midfielder out for the majority of the 2018-19 season, restricted him to 118 games in five years with Bayern.

However, the Lyon youth product feels he learned a lot with the German giants and does not believe his injury issues are any longer a concern.

"I learned on both a human and professional level," he said. "I remember the trophies and how we won them. There are many things to remember. 

"I remember a lot of positive things. Of course, there were not only positive things, but that's also part of life, that's how it is. The negative experiences helped me to grow.

"I have gained more maturity and experience; I have learned a lot at Bayern Munich in these five years. I grew and learnt a new system, a new culture, a new mentality.

"As for the injuries, I passed the medical, which is already a good point. It's true that I had problems.

"I previously said that my worries were more psychological and mental than physical, for reasons I won't necessarily reveal today. 

"A lot of things have been going on in my head over the last year that have influenced the large number of injuries I've had. I did a lot of physical preparation. 

"Now I am ready. I passed some [physical] tests yesterday. It went extremely well so everyone can be reassured about my fitness. There will be no problem."

Sadio Mane insists Robert Lewandowski is "one of the best" strikers in the world, but does not want to be involved in discussions over his future at Bayern Munich.

Lewandowski has been heavily linked with a move to Barcelona, with the striker after a new challenge following eight seasons at Sabenerstrasse, and 12 in total in the Bundesliga.

Mane arrives this off-season at Bayern in similar circumstances, seeking a departure from Liverpool with a year left on his deal after six seasons at the club, helping them win the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League, while also winning the African Cup of Nations with Senegal in 2021.

Speaking in an interview with BILD, Mane did not want to get caught up in any unnecessary drama with that in mind.

"Clearly, Robert Lewandowski is one of the best strikers in the world," Mane said. "But I'm not the right person to talk about his future or to say what the club should do now."

The 30-year-old revealed he was following Bayern Munich during the past season, expressing lament over their Champions League exit at the hands of Villarreal despite dominating play, likening it to Liverpool's own exit in the 2019-20 season.

Mane also insisted with his help, this upcoming season in Europe will be improved for the reigning Bundesliga champions.

"Of course I saw the games. Bayern tried everything, but they couldn't perform at their best" he said.

"I know that feeling all too well, that's how we felt at Liverpool against Atletico Madrid. But I assure you, next season will be different. I'm here now and we'll give everything.

"We have to be convinced that we can do anything. And when I look at the quality of this team, I think it's one of the best in Europe."

Borussia Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke has hit out at "arrogant idiots" in the English media, while praising Bayern Munich in their signing of Sadio Mane.

Bayern confirmed Mane's signing from Liverpool last Wednesday, with Watzke heralding the 30-year-old's transfer as one that improves the quality of the Bundesliga.

With Karim Adeyemi and Adam Hlozek moving to Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen respectively, and with Ryan Gravenberch also set to sign for Bayern, the Bundesliga's top clubs have bolstered with talented youth.

Meanwhile, German World Cup winner Mario Gotze will head for Eintracht Frankfurt ahead of their debut season in the Champions League.

In an interview with Bild, the Dortmund CEO praised the Mane transfer and barked back on the competitiveness of English clubs in response to comments from Dean Saunders on Talksport, claiming Mane will waste his prime playing in "third gear" at a dominant Bayern.

"Sadio Mane is a very good transfer, on which I expressly congratulate Bayern," Watzke said.

"There are always some arrogant idiots like in this case. As a board member of Europe's club association ECA, I know that German football still has a good reputation.

"The English didn't win any of the three European titles last season - even though I would have really given Jürgen Klopp a chance with Liverpool in the Champions League."

Along with his role at BVB, Watzke is also the DFL's supervisory board chairman, overseeing the operation of Germany's professional domestic leagues.

While expressing Dortmund's excitement on the return of fierce rival Schalke to the German top flight with Werder Bremen, he insisted it was important for the overall health of the Bundesliga along with high-profile transfers.

"Not only are we looking forward to the Revierderby but the whole Bundesliga, because it is the mother of all derbies," Watzke said.

"This is important because next year a lot of conditions will already be in place for the resale of the television rights in 2025, and if the Bundesliga booms this season, that will help us a lot with marketing.

"The Bundesliga has to get stars like Mane and Gotze, but also create stars themselves again."

Having finishing 15 points behind champions Real Madrid in LaLiga season, Atletico Madrid are in a bit of a rebuilding process.

While Hector Herrera, Luis Suarez and Sime Vrsaljko head for the exit, Saul Niguez and Alvaro Morata return from loans, with Belgium midfielder Axel Witsel potentially also signing on a free transfer.

Reports suggest that Atleti are also particularly keen on keeping one of Witsel's international team-mates.

TOP STORY – ATLETI TO WARD OFF CARRASCO INTEREST

Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone is unwilling to let go of Yannick Carrasco amid growing interest from Premier League clubs, according to Diario AS.

Although Carrasco's contract expires in 2024, his reported release clause of €60million reportedly makes him an attractive prospect to the likes of ChelseaTottenham Hotspur and Manchester United.

Simeone has apparently ordered the club to not field any offers for the 28-year-old, who he considers fundamental to his future plans.

Though the player is reportedly happy at the Wanda Metropolitano, offers from elsewhere could potentially play a role in any contract negotiations.

ROUND-UP

– Cristiano Ronaldo is considering a departure from Manchester United in response to a lack of recent transfer activity under Erik ten Hag, Record reports.

Barcelona have finally made a bid for Robert Lewandowski, with an opening offer to Bayern Munich of €40m, according to the Telegraph.

– The same publication is also reporting that, with one year remaining on his contract, France international Adrien Rabiot has requested a transfer from Juventus to the Premier League.

Milan are considering making an offer for Aston Villa midfielder Douglas Luiz, per TuttomercatoWeb.

Robert Lewandowski's strained relationship with Bayern Munich can be fixed, according to sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic. 

With just one year remaining on his contract, Lewandowski has made clear his desire to leave Bayern ahead of the 2022-23 season. 

The prolific striker said "something has died" within him at the Bavarian giants, who are reportedly expected to turn down an offer worth €40million for the 33-year-old from Barcelona. 

Salihamidzic told Sky he had "a very good conversation" with Lewandowski and his agent Pini Zahavi last week in Mallorca, with Bayern CEO Oliver Kahn also in attendance. 

The meeting left Salihamidzic optimistic that the relationship between the club and player can be repaired. 

"I'm convinced [it can be fixed]. He's a professional and has big objectives in his career. That's why it's fixable," said Salihamidzic. 

"Up to now it's 100 per cent [that he'll stay]. July 12 is his first day in training, so I'm expecting him. But I'm not dealing with it now because he had other things to do. It's become a little bit quieter. We still have a lot to do. 

"I never deal with things that are in the air at the time. I can only repeat: he has a contract until 2023. He is welcome in Munich on July 12 and will be there for the first training session – I'm expecting him, at least. 

"We had a very good conversation [in Mallorca] ... We talked and each side explained their position, but we also didn't want to talk about the details. But it was a good conversation." 

Winger Serge Gnabry will also be out of contract at the Allianz Arena next year but Salihamidzic is hopeful an extension to his deal can be agreed in the coming weeks. 

"He's a great boy. We really want to keep him. We'd love for him to stay. I think we showed him the necessary appreciation. I hope he decides to stay with Bayern," he said. 

"We'll start to intensify the talks over the next few weeks. But if a player doesn't want to choose the club, then it's only fair to tell us, so a solution can be found that makes everyone involved happy." 

Sadio Mane's selfless attitude increased Julian Nagelsmann's desire for Bayern Munich to sign him from Liverpool. 

Bayern completed a €41 million (£35.2m) move for Mane on Wednesday, with the Senegal international signing a three-year contract at the Allianz Arena. 

The 30-year-old told the media at his presentation he would happily play "in three or four positions" for Bayern, but that decision lied with Nagelsmann. 

It was this team-spirited perspective that motivated Bayern to push the deal through. 

"Right from the first conversation he made a very selfless impression, which is extraordinary for a player with such a big name," Nagelsmann told the club's official website.  

"He said, quite modestly, he can imagine himself in any position.

"It's rare to experience that in a first conversation, that a player puts themselves completely at the service of the club and the coach. That made our urge to get the signing over the line even greater. 

"We have to wait and see what happens in the transfer market, but Sadio is a player who can easily play in four or five positions - and can also switch during the match." 

Nagelsmann was delighted to see a big-name arrival at the club with Robert Lewandowski hoping the Bundesliga champions will sell him to Barcelona rather than force him to see out the final year of his contract. 

The Bayern boss said: "We're Bayern Munich, we always have the chance to bid for big stars. 

"Sometimes we hit financial limits, especially with guys who are playing in England. That was different with Sadio because he has great desire for our project, our club and his team-mates. I was delighted." 

Mohamed Salah has paid tribute to Sadio Mane after the Senegal international swapped Liverpool for Bayern Munich in a €41million (£35.2m) move. 

Mane was unveiled as a Bayern player on Wednesday after signing a three-year contract with the Bundesliga champions, who have moved to strengthen their attack in the face of Robert Lewandowski's attempts to join Barcelona. 

The Senegal international scored 90 Premier League goals for Liverpool in a highly successful six-year spell at the club, with Salah (118) the only Reds player to outscore him during that time. 

Having also impressed for Southampton before making his move to Anfield, Mane hit at least 10 goals in all eight of his Premier League seasons – the most campaigns a player has played in the competition while reaching double figures each time. 

After Jurgen Klopp branded Mane one of Liverpool's greatest ever players in the aftermath of his departure, strike partner Salah moved to thank him for his contribution to a successful era. 

"It's been quite a ride!" Salah wrote on Twitter, alongside several images of the duo celebrating.  

"Thank you for all the good times and I wish you all the best in your new adventure! You will be missed by all of us." 

During his first press conference as a Bayern player, Mane said the decision to join Julian Nagelsmann's side was an easy one and he was already targeting competing for multiple trophies next season. 

"When Bayern showed interest, I was intrigued and didn't have to think twice. I had other offers too, but I chose FC Bayern. They're the right club for me," he said. 

"At Liverpool we fought for every title. It's the same at Bayern. When you play at Bayern you have to have the mentality to want to fight for every title. 

"My whole life is a challenge – and I love challenges. We have the right team together, everyone [here] is made to win titles. We will try everything to win all titles. 

"When you've spoken to the club and the coach, I can see how strong we are. I've followed the Bundesliga and the Champions League and there's no doubt that they're one of the best teams in the world." 

 

Mane represents the first major addition made by Bayern in the transfer window, but chief executive Oliver Kahn hinted he will not be the last. 

"The transfer window is still open for a very long time," he said. "We're watching everything that happens. We weren't satisfied with the second half of the season.  

"We know exactly where we need competition, where we need to set stimulus points in order to be successful." 

Asked about the potential impact of Mane, Kahn said the dynamic forward can raise the level of the Bayern squad as they bid to win a first Champions League title since 2019-20. 

"We want to try to win the Champions League every year," he added. "But you don't win it by saying it, you have to put it into action on the pitch, but also those responsible have to create the conditions. 

"He's a player who can lead the others. His presence can raise the level within a team. That's the quality that players like him have. So it's important to have top stars like him in our ranks." 

Jurgen Klopp has hailed Sadio Mane as one of Liverpool's greatest ever players following confirmation of his exit to join Bayern Munich.

The Senegal international hinted at his desire to leave Liverpool following the club's Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid and his €41million (£35.2m) move to the Bundesliga champions was confirmed on Wednesday.

Liverpool have already made moves in the transfer market to prepare for Mane's exit, landing Darwin Nunez from Benfica, but Klopp admitted it was a significant moment for the club in a passionate tribute to the 30-year-old.

"It’s a big moment. There is no point in anyone trying to pretend otherwise," he told the club's website. "One of Liverpool’s greatest ever players is leaving and we must acknowledge how significant this is.

"He leaves with our gratitude and our love. He leaves with his status among the greats guaranteed. And, yes, he leaves in a moment where he is one of the best players in world football.

"But we must not dwell on what we now lose, instead celebrate what we were privileged to have.

"The goals he scored, the trophies he won; a legend, for sure, but also a modern-day Liverpool icon."

Mane won everything he could during his six years on Merseyside, including the Champions League in 2018-19 and the Premier League in 2019-20, forming a formidable attacking trio alongside Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah.

 

While the entire squad was pivotal for those triumphs, Klopp hailed Mane for helping to make it all happen after quickly settling into life at Anfield following his arrival from Southampton.

The Liverpool manager said of Mane: "Since he first stepped through the door, he made us better.

"If someone had told us in that moment what he would go on to contribute and achieve for this club, I’m not sure it would have been possible to comprehend in that moment. Not the scale of it at least. Sadio made it all possible.

"To be that good for such a sustained period and continuously improve season on season – no matter how high he set his own bar in the previous one – is an example to any player anywhere on the planet that professionalism and dedication leads to reward."

The German coach also made it clear there was no hard feelings towards Mane for his decision to leave and tipped him to continue to grow as a footballer.

Klopp added: "I respect completely his decision and I’m sure our supporters do also. If you love LFC, you have to love Sadio – non-negotiable. It is possible to do this while accepting our loss is Bayern’s gain.

"We wish him nothing but success in every match he plays in, unless, of course, it’s against us. His star will continue to rise, I have no doubts."

Bayern Munich sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic has shut down suggestions that Robert Lewandowski will be leaving the club after they signed Sadio Mane.

The Poland international has entered the final year of his contract with the Bundesliga champions and has made it clear he is keen for a move, with Barcelona his preferred destination.

Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain have also been attributed with an interest in the 33-year-old but, despite any desire Lewandowski may have for a new venture, Bayern's stance seems clear.

Queried by Sport Bild regarding suggestions that Barcelona are preparing a bid for the forward, he replied: "I don't care about that. I'm expecting to see Robert in training at Sabener Strasse on July 12."

Salihamidzic was then asked if Lewandowski's future had been secured with the signing of Mane but batted away the question once again, adding: "I understand your question, but our position is clear: Robert has a contract until the summer of 2023."

 

Bayern's capture of Mane from Liverpool on Wednesday stands as one of the headline transfers across Europe so far but the Bayern chief made it clear the signing was not to cover for a potential loss of Lewandowski.

He explained: "We signed Sadio to increase the competition in our team.

"We weren’t happy with our Champions League exit against Villarreal. We want to strengthen the fight for spots in our team.

"The signing of Mane will reshuffle the cards for every attacking player. We have never thought about having to let a player go when we signed Sadio."

Bayern begin the new season with a DFL Supercup clash against RB Leipzig, before commencing the defence of their Bundesliga crown on the road against Europa League winners Eintracht Frankfurt.

Bayern Munich have completed the signing of Sadio Mane from Liverpool after striking a deal worth up to €41million (£35.2m) to sign the Senegal forward.

Mane hinted at his desire to leave Liverpool after their Champions League final loss to Real Madrid last month, at the end of a season in which he scored 23 goals.

With Liverpool signing striker Darwin Nunez in a reported £64million (€75m) deal from Benfica last week and Mane having just 12 months left on his contract, the 30-year-old has been allowed to depart after six successful years at Anfield.

He has played a key role in Liverpool winning their first Premier League title in 2020, reaching three Champions League finals - and winning one of them - and triumphs in the EFL Cup and FA Cup in the 2021-22 season.

Mane has signed a three-year contract with the Bundesliga champions.

"I'm really happy to finally be at FC Bayern in Munich," Mane said after the transfer was completed on Wednesday.

"We spoke a lot and I felt big interest from this great club right from the beginning, so for me there were no doubts. 

"It's the right time for this challenge. I want to achieve a lot with this club, in Europe too. During my time in Salzburg I watched a lot of Bayern games - I really like this club!"

Stats Perform understands Bayern will pay Liverpool a guaranteed sum of €32million (£27.5m) plus €6m (£5.2m) based on appearances, while a further €3m (£2.5m) is dependent on the Bavarian club and Mane meeting performance-related objectives.

Mane scored 90 goals in 196 Premier League games for Liverpool after joining Jurgen Klopp's side from Southampton in 2016.

Only Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy (104), Mane's Liverpool team-mate Mohamed Salah (118) and Tottenham's Harry Kane (134) have managed more goals in the competition across that period.

 

As well as lifting both domestic cups during a successful final season with Liverpool, Mane played a key role as Senegal won the Africa Cup of Nations title in February and qualified for the World Cup a month later.

Mane also struck up a brilliant partnership with fellow forward Salah at Liverpool, and his sale marks something akin to the end of an era for the Reds.

It remains to be seen what Mane's arrival means for the future of Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski, who has been strongly linked with a move to Barcelona.

Bayern president Herbert Hainer said earlier this month he was "confident" Lewandowski will stay at the Allianz Arena, despite the Poland international declaring his time at the club is "over" and pushing for a move ahead of his contract expiring in 2023.

Sadio Mane's illustrious spell at Liverpool has come to a close after the forward completed a move to Bayern Munich.

The Senegal international had just one year remaining on his contract at Anfield and was yet to agree terms on an extension, leading Liverpool to accept a €41million (£35.2m) bid from the Bundesliga champions for his services.

Mane's departure will leave a void within Jurgen Klopp's attacking ranks, although work had already been done to prepare for the changing of the guard with the signing of Luis Diaz from Porto in January and the capture of Darwin Nunez from Benfica in June.

While Diaz has hit the ground running on Merseyside and expectations are high for Nunez, replacing Mane is certainly no easy feat – as displayed by his record over the past six years...

Reliable return

Mane's contributions have been vital to Liverpool's success, with 120 goals across all competitions for the Anfield club. He averaged a goal every 180 minutes – one every two matches.

With an additional 37 assists, Mane chipped in with a goal involvement every 137 minutes.

In the Premier League, only Harry Kane (134), team-mate Mohamed Salah (118) and Leicester City's Jamie Vardy (104) scored more Premier League goals than Mane (90) over the course of his Liverpool career.

Leading the way

As part of a devastating attacking trio alongside Salah and Roberto Firmino that helped fire Liverpool to multiple honours, including ending a 30-year wait for a league title, Mane was often the provider at crucial moments.

Since the start of the 2016-17 season, Mane's Premier League goals were worth 63 points; only Tottenham's Kane ranks higher in that regard, with strikes worth 75 points.

Mane (38) was also only behind Kane (43) for opening goals in Premier League matches, while he scored 29 winning goals – behind Kane (38) and Salah (34).

 

Crucial role

In six years at Liverpool, Mane made 269 appearances across all competitions for Liverpool, starting 248 of those – resulting in a total of 21,577 minutes for Klopp's side.

In that time, only Firmino made more Reds appearances, with 278, but Mane led the way for both starts and minutes.

Mane, Salah (20,697) and Firmino (20,142) were actually the only three Liverpool players to tally more than 20,000 minutes over this period.

Having Mane available so often was key, too, as Liverpool's win rate improved from 58.3 per cent without the former Southampton man to 65.4 per cent when he featured.

Bayern Munich have completed the signing of Sadio Mane from Liverpool after striking a deal worth up to €41million (£35.2m) to sign the Senegal forward.

Mane hinted at his desire to leave Liverpool after their Champions League final loss to Real Madrid last month, at the end of a season in which he scored 23 goals.

With Liverpool signing striker Darwin Nunez in a reported £64million (€75m) deal from Benfica last week and Mane having just 12 months left on his contract, the 30-year-old has been allowed to depart after six successful years at Anfield.

He has played a key role in Liverpool winning their first Premier League title in 2020, reaching three Champions League finals - and winning one of them - and triumphs in the EFL Cup and FA Cup in the 2021-22 season.

Mane has signed a three-year contract with the Bundesliga champions. Stats Perform understands Bayern will pay Liverpool a guaranteed sum of €32million (£27.5m) plus €6m (£5.2m) based on appearances, while a further €3m (£2.5m) is dependent on the Bavarian club and Mane meeting performance-related objectives.

Mane scored 90 goals in 196 Premier League games for Liverpool after joining Jurgen Klopp's side from Southampton in 2016.

Only Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy (104), Mane's Liverpool team-mate Mohamed Salah (118) and Tottenham's Harry Kane (134) have managed more goals in the competition across that period.

 

As well as lifting both domestic cups during a successful final season with Liverpool, Mane played a key role as Senegal won the Africa Cup of Nations title in February and qualified for the World Cup a month later.

Mane also struck up a brilliant partnership with fellow forward Salah at Liverpool, and his sale marks something akin to the end of an era for the Reds.

It remains to be seen what Mane's arrival means for the future of Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski, who has been strongly linked with a move to Barcelona.

Bayern president Herbert Hainer said earlier this month he was "confident" Lewandowski will stay at the Allianz Arena, despite the Poland international declaring his time at the club is "over" and pushing for a move ahead of his contract expiring in 2023.

Sadio Mane has confirmed he rejected the interest of "other clubs" to join Bayern Munich and has stated he was "immediately excited" by their proposal.

The Senegal international has undergone a medical with the Bundesliga champions and official confirmation of his move from Liverpool is expected on Wednesday.

Mane had a year remaining on his contract with Liverpool, with whom he has won a plethora of honours, but has chosen a new challenge with Bayern – and made it clear it was not a difficult choice for him to make.

"When my agent first told me about Bayern’s interest, I was immediately excited," he told Bild.

"I saw myself there right away. It’s one of the biggest clubs in the world and the team is always fighting for every title. So, for me, it was a very good idea and the right decision to come here.

"My agent told me that there were enquiries from other clubs. That's part of the business.

"But I got the feeling right away when Bayern presented their plan to me. I found myself in Bayern's plan more than anyone else."

 

Mane refused to get ahead of himself when quizzed about the potential of winning the Champions League with Bayern but admitted it is something he is targeting.

He said: "I don't want to say no. Every kid wants to win the Champions League, every football player in the world. I'm with a very, very competitive team now.

"But it's still a bit early to talk about the Champions League final, we haven't even played a game together yet. Nevertheless, we will give everything to get into the final."

Mane could make his competitive debut for Bayern in the DFL Supercup against RB Leipzig on July 30, while they begin their defence of the Bundesliga title the following week away to Eintracht Frankfurt.

Former Bayern Munich striker Ivica Olic insists the club will bounce back after disappointment in the Champions League last season.

The Bundesliga giants were eliminated at the quarter-final stage by Villarreal, with Samuel Chukwueze's late goal at the Allianz Arena stunning Bayern as they fell to a 2-1 aggregate defeat.

That marked the second season in a row where Bayern have fallen at the last-eight hurdle and that disappointment raised questions about their direction, which Olic believes are part and parcel of being a big club.

"It's always like that with big clubs. When the result is right, everything is great, everyone is great, and the dirty laundry doesn't come out," he told Stats Perform.

"But this season the disappointment in Bayern is certainly great, because they have "only" won the [league] championship. 

"They were kicked out of the Champions League pretty early on by a not-so-'attractive' opponent. When I say attractive, I mean it at the highest level.

"No one thought they could be eliminated over two games against Villarreal. But if we now look at the two games, Villarreal deservedly progressed. Bayern weren't good and you have to admit that."

Bayern face a rebuild of their attacking ranks ahead of the next season with Robert Lewandowski pushing for an exit and Sadio Mane poised to arrive from Liverpool, with Olic confident Bayern can be successful in the market.

 

"Certainly, when the problems then become public and interesting topics come up, in terms of players who want to leave the club, like Lewandowski, then it shakes the building blocks of a club, not just those of Bayern," he added.

"It's certainly not a pleasant situation, neither for the sporting director nor the president, so neither for [Hasan] Salihamidzic, nor Oliver Kahn. But they have a lot of experience at Bayern. 

"Sure, managing the club and playing at the club are not the same. But I think they embody FC Bayern's DNA, and they are aware of that.

"You will certainly get a lot of support from [Karl-Heinz] Rummenigge and [Uli] Hoeness. The two are no longer in the club, but they are certainly informed. I am sure that they will advise you.

"You will be involved in larger and more interesting transfers. I am sure that FC Bayern will recover quickly from last season.

"If it comes to it that Lewandowski leaves, they will certainly find a suitable replacement and will continue to be at the forefront of European football."

Former Bayern Munich striker Ivica Olic has admitted he is "surprised" with wantaway forward Robert Lewandowski.

The Poland international is pushing for an exit from Bavaria in the current transfer window, with Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain reportedly among those vying for his signature.

Lewandowski has enjoyed eight trophy-laden years with Bayern, lifting the Bundesliga in every season and winning the Champions League in 2019-20.

Given the 33-year-old scored 50 goals in 46 games for Bayern in all competitions in 2021-22, the most in Europe's top five leagues, Olic believes the club will face a tough task landing a replacement.

"Lewandowski has played at a high level for years, has been one of Bayern Munich's main brands for years and has raised the bar with his goals over several seasons," he told Stats Perform.

"It's about a striker that I was hoping would stay longer and it really surprised me how it all turned out and that he really wants to leave.

"Just as I was a bit surprised at the moment, I think the people at the club were just as surprised.

"Because at the moment there isn't really a player like Lewa that you could get for a normal price.

"It's really not easy to get a real striker these days. There aren't many at the top level like Lewa or anything like that.

"So, I think it's the main concern for Bayern right now and I'm sure that if there is a transfer they will do everything they can to find an adequate replacement for Lewa. 

"[Erling] Haaland, who was in Dortmund, was often associated with Bayern, but he has now gone to England."

Sadio Mane is poised to arrive from Liverpool, but Olic believes he does not quite fit the profile of the player Bayern will need to replace their talismanic striker.

"I don't know who else is there. Mane has been mentioned a lot, but for me he's not a classic number nine and he's not a classic striker. But he's certainly one of the more attractive players," Olic added.

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