Eden Hazard has no intentions of leaving Real Madrid to follow Gareth Bale to Major League Soccer, insisting "I want to show people that I can play in this club".

Hazard has struggled at Santiago Bernabeu since completing his big-money move from Chelsea in June 2019, with injuries and fitness issues hampering the forward.

The Belgium international was largely a spectator last season, making just seven starts for his 17 LaLiga appearances as Madrid earned European and Spanish glory.

That followed the pattern of a frustrating spell in the Spanish capital, where he has made only 48 appearances in LaLiga for the club – 20 of which have come from the bench.

But the 31-year-old, who has just 10 league goal involvements for Madrid (four goals, six assists), is out to prove a point and show his worth to Carlo Ancelotti's side.

"It's been a few seasons that I was not playing that much, so for me... I just want to show what I can do on the pitch – that's my only target," he told ESPN.

"When you play football, you just want to be on the pitch, and when you are out [of] the pitch... [You think] 'What's happened?' because I was not injured before and so it was something new for me to be injured, so you have to learn.

"It's a way to learn the way you have to do things, your body, you take care [of] in different ways, you work more with physios, this kind of thing. But it's a good challenge now... I'm healthy, so I'm just ready to play.

"It's not that easy, especially when you don't know why you're injured. I've been injured at my time at Chelsea, but not like those three years with Real Madrid.

"I knew that it was something wrong with my body, so that's why I asked to do the surgery at the end of the season last year."

Bale ended his spell with Madrid as he joined MLS side Los Angeles FC at the end of June, aiming to gain fitness and match practice to feature for Wales at the upcoming Qatar World Cup in November.

Hazard has no intentions of moving to the United States to join Bale in the near future, though, with his sole focus on playing for Madrid for at least the next two years.

"I don't think about that that much now, I'm just focused," he said when asked about a transfer to MLS.

"It's been three years [which have been] hard for me, so I'm just focused on this season. I still have a contract after two more years, and then we'll see.

"In two years I'm going to be 33, so let's see what can happen."

Former Barcelona full-back Dani Alves is to continue his playing career in Mexico, with the 39-year-old set to join Pumas UNAM.

Alves re-joined Barca last year and, after registering in January, went on to make 14 LaLiga appearances for Xavi's team.

The defender made 13 starts in Spain's top flight and scored one goal, as he returned to Camp Nou after spells with Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain and Sao Paulo in his native Brazil.

Alves is now heading back across the Atlantic to join Liga MX side Pumas, who teased the signing on their official Twitter account on Thursday.

A video showing the club's mascot arriving at Pumas' stadium concluded with the caption "Dani, we wait for you." Alves is expected to arrive in Mexico this weekend to finalise his move.

Barcelona have sold off a further 15 per cent of the club's LaLiga broadcasting rights to Sixth Street, a global investment firm.

In June, Barca confirmed 10 per cent of its TV rights had been sold to Sixth Street, and the company have now increased their investment into the club.

Sixth Street will now receive 25 per cent of the club's TV rights for the next 25 years, as Barca aim to appease their financial issues.

A statement from Barca president Joan Laporta read: "We continue to move forward on our strategy and are pleased to have completed this additional agreement with Sixth Street providing us with a meaningful increase in capital strength.

"Over the past few weeks, we and Sixth Street have engaged and collaborated with a shared understanding of what we are seeking to achieve for our organisation, and we look forward to our long-term partnership."

Alan Waxman, co-founder of Sixth Street and the organisation's chief executive, said: "FC Barcelona is one of the world's premier sporting organisations, and we are glad to be expanding our relationship through this additional investment.

"Our flexibility and cross-platform expertise continue to be of value to management teams when seeking to execute highly strategic initiatives."

Barca have required an influx of cash in order to boost Xavi's squad ahead of the 2022-23 campaign.

While Franck Kessie and Andreas Christensen arrived on free transfers, Barca have spent big on Raphinha and Robert Lewandowski, with the duo arriving over the course of the last two weeks in deals worth around a combined €100million, according to reports.

Barca face rivals Real Madrid in a friendly in Las Vegas on Saturday.

The revolving door at Stamford Bridge could face a potential slow down with the growing wage disparity between the Premier League and the rest of Europe's top five leagues.

Premier League clubs dominate lists of the highest wage spenders in European football and since Roman Abramovich's takeover, Chelsea have long been a prominent figure in that regard.

In a changing marketplace, however, moving players this season has become a trickier task.

 

TOP STORY – WERNER, KEPA STAYING PUT AT CHELSEA

Chelsea are struggling to move Timo Werner and Kepa Arrizabalaga among other players due to wage demands, according to The Telegraph.

The Blues are also finding it tricky to move Michy Batshuayi and Ross Barkley, despite the club's desire to accommodate potential signings.

Werner has seen the Blues search for attackers this off-season and could potentially be joining Romelu Lukaku out the door, while Kepa has notably been Edouard Mendy's understudy.

Finding a suitable club for the two has the potential to be difficult, however, with both being brought in on lucrative wages.

 

ROUND-UP

– Barcelona will make a final attempt to sign Sevilla's Jules Kounde amid likelier interest from Chelsea, Sport is reporting.

Manchester City have had a £30million bid for Marc Cucurella rejected by Brighton and Hove Albion, who value him around £50m, according to The Athletic.

Paris Saint-Germain are looking to offload Georginio Wijnaldum and Roma have emerged as a potential destination for the Netherlands midfielder, Corriere dello Sport reports.

– Juventus are considering the termination of Aaron Ramsey's contract in an attempt to cut heavy wage spending, per Fabrizio Romano.

Raphinha has credited former boss Marcelo Bielsa as the man who changed his career, following the winger's recent signing with Barcelona.

After protracted negotiations with Leeds United, the 25-year-old's signing was finally confirmed last Friday, joining on a five-year deal.

The transfer punctuates what has been a sudden rise to prominence for Raphinha, who spent only one season at Sporting CP and Rennes respectively before heading to Leeds in 2020.

From there under Marcelo Bielsa, the winger believes he played his best football to this date and helped him achieve a "bigger" footballing dream than once imagined.

"He was very important for me," Raphinha told Barca TV. "He got me out of France, gave me confidence, and then I managed to get to the Brazil team, with the way he made me play, he got the most out of me.

"My real dream was to play professionally in Brazil, to show my work for the Brazilian fans. I didn't get it but I had another opportunity, to stay in Europe. It was closer to my dreams, arriving here, playing in the Champions League, playing with Brazil. Today I am realising a bigger dream."

The Porto Alegre native was one of few shining lights for Leeds as they managed to stave off relegation from the Premier League last season, with Bielsa also replaced by Jesse Marsch in February.

Contributing to 29 goals in 65 Premier League appearances, and scoring in his debut on Tuesday against Inter Miami, Raphinha added he hopes to emulate compatriots who have worn the Barcelona shirt on the way to World Cup success with the Selecao.

"When the team goes well, the individual shows up, I really want to win the league, the Champions League, everything," he said.

"Individually, I have the dream of winning the World Cup with Brazil and I will stay at Barca for many years. It was a dream to follow in the footsteps of Ronaldinho and Neymar, Dani Alves too, Romario, Ronaldo, Rivaldo, they are the Brazilian idols.

"Following in their footsteps is a huge honour for me, there are no words to explain the feelings. I always talk about Ronaldinho, because since I remember that I began to understand football, it was when Ronaldinho arrived at Barça, I always saw him play, do spectacular things."

Barcelona may have to rely on selling commercial revenue streams and broadcasting rights to ease financial difficulties should Frenkie de Jong not join Manchester United.

That is the message from football financial expert Kieran Maguire, who outlined to Stats Perform the issues Barca face in meeting LaLiga financial fair play rulings.

The Blaugrana have already spent over €100million to bring in Raphinha and Robert Lewandowski, alongside free agents Franck Kessie and Andreas Christensen, while renewing Ousmane Dembele's deal.

Barca's dealing have led to question marks from pundits given the club are reportedly €1.3billion in debut, with Bayern Munich boss Julian Nagelsmann pondering how they were able to sign Die Roten's prized asset Lewandowski.

Maguire explained Blaugrana president Joan Laporta has relied on two "economic levers", the first seeing the Catalan giants sell 10 per cent of their LaLiga broadcasting rights to investment firm Sixth Street.

The second method, Maguire said, will involve Barca selling up to 49 per cent of their commercial revenues "in a deal which could be worth a couple of hundred million euros".

Maguire suggested Barca would have up to €130m to spend from those two deals, but added they need De Jong – who has been linked with the Red Devils – to leave to allow the LaLiga giants to raise funds and register their new arrivals.

"They can sign players, but they can't register players, and that's the more important issue," he told Stats Perform. "What Barcelona have to be able to do is to reduce the level of their short-term debt under the LaLiga rules.

"Now, the way they're going to do that is to generate short-term income. First of all in respect of their broadcasting rights, so they've been involved in a deal with Sixth Street from the US and I think they've sold 15 per cent of their broadcasting rights, covering around about the next 20 years.

"It's the equivalent of a payday loan, in which you take money now which comes out of your future revenue. And that's being referred to by Laporta as one of the two economic levers that they have. The other way that they're going to do that is in respect of some of their commercial revenues.

"I think they're willing to give up to 49 per cent of those, again in a deal which could be worth a couple of hundred million euros. You put those two together and that will allow them to spend some money.

"I think now the first deal has gone through with Sixth Street, they should be able to register one player. They were relying on De Jong going in order to be able to register the others.

"If that's not going to work, then expect them to pull the other levers, perhaps quicker in order to generate the revenue that will allow them to register the remaining players."

Last week, United and Barcelona reportedly struck a deal for De Jong worth £63m (€75m), with a further £8.5m (€10m) in add-ons also possible.

But reports suggested the move for the Netherlands international is being held up by £17m (€20m) worth of deferred salary payments that Barca owes De Jong.

 

"The player is very much in the right here, the player signed a contract with an agreed amount of remuneration," Maguire added. "The club asked the player to make a sacrifice during COVID-19.

"If the club can afford to recruit Lewandowski and recruit Raphinha, and [Ferran] Torres, then those players will not be taking pay cuts.

"So why should De Jong be the fall guy in respect of this? You can understand the player being angry about this situation.

"Effectively, he's being treated as a disposable asset and asked to take a financial sacrifice at the same time."

Maguire insisted Barca's financial difficulties, the reason Lionel Messi had to join Paris Saint-Germain last August, are due to their own incompetency and not solely down the coronavirus pandemic.

"Barcelona have been run very poorly from a financial point of view for a long period," he continued. "They have relied on Messi to be their focus of attention until things started to deteriorate on the back of COVID.

"But COVID was not the only reason why Barcelona are in this problem – and other clubs aren't. So Barcelona are trying to emotionally blackmail some of their players by focusing on the Barcelona brands, its appealed to a fan base.

"And I think there will be resistance from players because they've acted in good faith. Whether they're worth the money they're being paid, that's not for me to decide.

"Nobody forced Barcelona to offer these players the wages that they are currently being paid. So it's up to Barcelona to honour the contracts and they don't appear to be willing to be honourable."

Robert Lewandowski's Barcelona arrival caused such a stir that the club shop ran out of letters to print his name on shirts – but the Blaugrana have dealt supporters some wonderful news by restocking for the striking sensation.

The Poland international made a long-awaited switch to Barca earlier this week, leaving Bayern Munich in a deal worth up to €50million as he signed a four-year contract.

While Joan Laporta and Xavi finally secured one of Europe's most potent finishers, Barca merchandise stores appeared unprepared for the move as they ran out of the letter 'W' to print on shirts.

With two 'Ws' required, the Nike store at Camp Nou was left unable to stamp the new signing's name on the back of shirts, as one worker was left to explain via the club's social media accounts. 

Having been left wanting in their attempts to snap up a shirt adorning the name of their new arrival, Barca fans will be delighted to hear the Nike store has restocked to resume business as usual.

Lewandowski may get his first taste of action in a Barca shirt when Xavi's side face fierce rivals Real Madrid on Sunday, in their second match of their pre-season tour of the United States.

The former Bayern talisman will hope to help Barca cut the gap to LaLiga champions Madrid this season, having scored the most goals in Europe's top five leagues last campaign across all competitions (50).

If Lewandowski can fire Barca to their first LaLiga title since the 2018-19 season, the Blaugrana club store may need to order a few more 'Ws'.

 

Jurgen Klinsmann labelled Robert Lewandowski as a legend for Bayern Munich after his move to Barcelona, while he has no doubts the Bundesliga champions would welcome the striker back.

Lewandowski secured his long-awaited move to Barca earlier in the week, leaving in a deal worth up to €50million as he penned a four-year contract with the Blaugrana.

The Poland talisman scored 50 goals in all competitions last season, the most in Europe's top five leagues, and leaves behind a legacy in the Bundesliga.

Lewandowski scored 312 Bundesliga goals across spells with Bayern and Borussia Dortmund, with only Gerd Muller (365) managing more in the competition's history.

After departing Bayern having accumulated 344 goals and 57 assists across 375 appearances in all competitions, Klinsmann insists Lewandowski will be remembered fondly by the Bavarian giants.

"Well, I think in the short term, there's a little bit of sadness," Klinsmann, who played for Bayern between 1995 and 1997, told GOAL. 

"Maybe also a little bit of attention because there was still hope that he would stay and not get moved out.

"I think you let the grass grow for a couple of months and then I think all of Bayern Munich fans, the club, everyone involved will be forever thankful to Robert for what he's done.

"He will be definitely one of the biggest legends in the history of the club, one of the most exciting, one of the most exceptional players.

"There will be an opportunity when he comes back. Maybe it's a friendly game, or it's maybe even, down the road, a European cup competition or whatever, where he will get an exceptional reception from the Bayern fans.

"For a couple of weeks, maybe there will be a little bit of bitterness for some of the fans, but that goes away, definitely goes away. So in the long run, he will be remembered as one of their greatest."

 

Bayern had already brought in Sadio Mane from Liverpool, alongside Ajax duo Ryan Gravenberch and Noussair Mazraoui, before signing Matthijs de Ligt after Lewandowski's departure.

Having won the Bundesliga for an unprecedented 10th time in a row last season, Klinsmann cannot envisage Bayern relinquishing their German top-flight dominance in the near future.

"I think they've done tremendously well," Klinsmann added. "They came up with Mane and I was really impressed.

"I thought that he was at the right place there with Jurgen Klopp and he's done fantastic, absolutely fantastic, with Liverpool then also with the national team and we're going to see him in Qatar in November and December. So to get him from Liverpool is a big deal, a really big deal.

"Then they added another huge piece in De Ligt, a very young, highly-promising centre back and growing at the age of 22. He's already a leader. That's huge.

"Knowing Bayern Munich, they're always looking. They're always checking the market and when there's the opportunity to get another one or two very, very crucial pieces for their puzzle, they're going to do it.

"Don't be surprised if they do it but from one of their main rivals because that's what they traditionally did over the last 30-40 years, but they've already kind of covered up a lot in this transfer market and any other player now coming in as just another piece of quality."

Sevilla left defender Jules Kounde out of their pre-season squad for a trip to Portugal, as he looks to be on his way to Chelsea.

Kounde has been linked with a move for much of the transfer window, and it appears he is now close to changing clubs.

Chelsea have reportedly upped their bid to £55million, and Sevilla's decision to leave him out of plans for their camp in Portugal suggests he may indeed be heading to Stamford Bridge.

However, Barcelona are also reportedly keen on the Frenchman and could make a late attempt to pip the English side to his services.

Kounde signed for Sevilla from Bordeaux in 2019 and has impressed with the Spanish side, helping them to win the Europa League in the 2019-20 campaign.

He would add steel to his new side's backline, after he ranked first in duels won (169) and second in blocks (17) among Sevilla players in LaLiga last season, as well as second in headed clearances (56).

Marcos Llorente has praised off-season additions in Axel Witsel and Alvaro Morata, prompting him to suggest Atletico Madrid will compete on all fronts this upcoming term.

While the likes of Luis Suarez, Hector Herrera and Sime Vrsaljko departed this off-season, Witsel joined Atleti on a free transfer upon the expiry of his contract with Borussia Dortmund, while Morata returns from his loan spell at Juventus.

Llorente became a utility of sorts for Diego Simeone last term, earning time on the pitch as a right-back, on the right wing and in central midfield as Atleti sputtered to a third-placed finish in LaLiga.

The 27-year-old believes that while Witsel has needed some time to adapt to Simeone's game plan, he will bolster Atleti's midfield, enabling them to compete on both domestic and continental fronts.

"He is a lovely guy who is going to help us a lot," Llorente told Cadena Ser. "He even has to adapt because coming here is not easy. He is going to give us a better exit from our own half in possession, he has a very good touch.

"He is adapting to what the coach asks of him little by little, and he is a smart guy who learns quickly. I think he is going to have a great season.

"I think the team will compete in all competitions, we have a team for that. The new additions will make us grow more, we are very confident in what we can do."

Despite the lack of positional continuity, Llorente has nevertheless found a home at Atleti under Simeone since arriving in 2019, maximising his dynamism and forcing his way into Spain national team selection.

While adding he "belongs" at Atletico Madrid, Llorente backed his club and international team-mate in Alvaro Morata, who he believes will hit the ground running before the World Cup.

"I see him very well. I think he can bring us many qualities, we all know him even if he has been away," Llorente said. "His matches with the national team show it, he is a top striker who is going to come in handy.

"We want to show what we are capable of. Last season we were very irregular, things didn't work out for us. It was a season that we did not count on, although we finished well.

"The objective is to continue with what was seen in that ending. Players arrive who raise the quality of the team, so we are looking forward to this beginning."

Robert Lewandowski declared "I want to make history" as he addressed Barcelona supporters in Miami following his move from Bayern Munich.

The Poland international pushed for a move to Camp Nou throughout the close season, with Barca finally securing the talisman in a deal worth up to €50million, including add-ons.

Lewandowski, who scored the most goals in Europe's top-five leagues across all competitions last season (50), has signed a four-year contract with the Blaugrana, with a €500m buyout clause included.

The 33-year-old appeared alongside Barca president Joan Laporta in the United States, where the Blaugrana are on a pre-season tour, and was quick to outline his ambitions to leave a legacy with the LaLiga giants.

"I am very happy to be here. It took a lot to get here, but I have finally arrived," Lewandowski said on Wednesday, a day after watching his new team-mates beat Inter Miami 6-0.

"This is wonderful. Yesterday I saw the team win and I saw that it is a team with a lot of potential and great quality.

"I love belonging to this club with so much history. I am very happy, it is a club with many titles.

"As a striker, I want to score goals to help the team, that's the best solution. It's a new challenge for me. In football, you always have to be hungry and I am.

"I always want to score and I always want to win. I want to make history here."

Lewandowski scored the most goals in each of the past five seasons in the Bundesliga, where he is the competition's second-highest scorer in history (312), behind only Bayern legend Gerd Muller (365).

Xavi will hope Lewandowski can partner with new arrivals Raphinha, Franck Kessie and Andreas Christensen as Barca look to remove the gap to LaLiga champions Real Madrid in the upcoming campaign.

Bayern Munich do not need to sign a like-for-like replacement for Robert Lewandowski, the Poland international has insisted.

Lewandowski was finally granted his wish earlier this week when Bayern allowed him to join Barcelona in a deal worth up to €50million including add-ons, as the striker penned a four-year contract with the Blaugrana.

The 33-year-old, who will have a €500m buyout clause at Camp Nou, scored 50 goals across all competitions last season – the most across Europe's top five leagues.

Lewandowski's 312 Bundesliga goals are also the second-most scored by any player in the competition's history, behind Gerd Muller (365), while he leaves Bayern having accumulated 344 goals and 57 assists across 375 appearances in all competitions.

Sadio Mane had already been signed by Julian Nagelsmann's side in preparation for Lewandowski's exit, though the Senegal international spent most of his time at Liverpool playing from the left.

But Lewandowski cannot foresee Bayern struggling for goals during the upcoming campaign, with the Bundesliga champions still having the likes of Kingsley Coman, Thomas Muller, Leroy Sane and Jamal Musiala to call upon.

 

"I think Bayern have so many talented offensive players that you don't necessarily need a number nine, a real centre forward," he told German outlet BILD. 

"Bayern's attack is outstanding, they can manage it very well, even without a one-on-one replacement for me.

"There's Kingsley Coman, Leroy Sane, Thomas Muller, Jamal Musiala. The players are given more responsibility for scoring goals and can grow in this role."

Bayern will begin their Bundesliga campaign without Lewandowski at Eintracht Frankfurt on August 5.

Caretaker Barcelona boss Oscar Hernandez conceded it will be the "first and last time" he runs a game from the touchlines, after his side's 6-0 win over Inter Miami on Tuesday.

There were six different goal scorers for Barca as they played the opening game of their tour in the United States, with Gavi, Memphis Depay and Ousmane Dembele adding to first half-goals from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Raphinha and Ansu Fati.

With Xavi denied entry into the US reportedly after recent visits to Iran in the past five years with Qatari club Al-Sadd as a player and coach, his assistant was tasked with taking over on match day.

The 45-year-old, who was also an assistant at Al-Sadd, said post-match that he hopes his brother's issues can be resolved quickly, with Barcelona still to play Real Madrid, Juventus and New York Red Bulls.

Nevertheless, he was content with Barca's performance.

"Hopefully it will be my first and last game," Hernandez said. "The situation is not easy for Xavi, but let's hope a solution is found and tomorrow he can be with us.

"We are very happy, because despite being a friendly, things have been seen. Those at the front have been very switched on and deploying mechanisms that we have worked on. We have to create competitiveness and that is how we will grow."

After confirming his transfer from Bayern Munich on Saturday, Robert Lewandowski did not make an appearance but the older Hernandez sibling believes he will an influential addition going forward.

"With his arrival we make a huge leap in quality, because he is a top player in the world," he said.

"The club has made a great effort, but we needed a top player. In addition, he is a footballer with a lot of commitment.

"For Xavi and the coaching staff it is a blessing to have so many forwards, because competitiveness is going to make the team grow.

Hernandez also saved special mention for Ansu Fati, who missed significant amounts of last season due to hamstring injuries.

Along with making it 3-0, the 19-year-old was impressive on Tuesday, providing Barcelona with dynamism they sorely lacked in the last campaign.

"It's like a new signing and a signing at a very high level," the assistant said. "He's growing a lot, physically he's getting better and better and we're very happy, because he's a reference."

Matthijs de Ligt leaving Juventus for Bayern Munich is a "good sign" for the Bundesliga champions and the German top flight, according to Julian Nagelsmann.

The centre-back joined Bayern in a deal worth a reported €80million and signed a five-year contract on Monday, ending his three-year spell in Turin.

De Ligt became the fourth arrival this transfer window for Bayern after the additions of Sadio Mane and Ajax duo Noussair Mazraoui and Ryan Gravenberch.

Bayern reportedly beat away interest from Chelsea and Manchester United for De Ligt, who played 2,675 minutes for Juve last season – the most of any outfield player.

Nagelsmann, speaking to reporters on Bayern's pre-season tour in the United States, insists the signing of De Ligt will help his side and German football develop.

"I'm very happy that we got him. He's still very young and he's already had a great career," coach Nagelsmann said. 

"It's a good sign for us and for the whole Bundesliga that we got him. He's a leader and he can do other things, mentoring the players. I hope he can get to know his team-mates soon.

"Of course we don't have [Robert] Lewandowski anymore, so it's important that he also brings his strengths in front of goal as well. I'm hoping for seven or eight goals!"

Lewandowski scored 50 goals in all competitions last campaign, the most across Europe's top five leagues, but has left for Barcelona in a transfer worth up to €50m on a four-year contract.

Though Nagelsmann acknowledged Bayern will miss the talismanic striker, the 34-year-old suggested it is the time for other players to step up in his absence, such as Kinglsey Coman.

"He's one of the most important players for us. He's very good at solving one-on-one situations, whether he's playing left or right," Nagelsmann said of the France international.

"He's also great at crossing and finishing well. He could score more goals in the future. There were many situations in the past where he could have scored.

"We don't have Lewandowski anymore and we need players like him, Sadio, Thomas [Muller and] Jamal [Musiala].

"He's also an important part of the dressing room and speaks German very well. Last season was great but I'm already looking forward to the new season with him."

Lewandowski's 312 Bundesliga goals are the second-most scored by any player in the history of the competition, behind Gerd Muller (365), and team-mate Alphonso Davies is sad to see the forward leave.

"We didn't ask him about his decision. It was his and his family's decision. We wish him all the best," Davies said.

"It's a shame he left us because he's one of the best strikers in the world. But we still have enough quality in the squad.

"Matthijs is an incredible talent, strong, fast, a leader. It's good for us that he's coming. He will bring quality and especially leadership.

"Sadio is a great player and a great person. He's just a good guy and a hard worker."

Barcelona have confirmed the final agreement to sign Robert Lewandowski from Bayern Munich for €50million, including add-ons, on a four-year contract.

The Poland international travelled to Miami to meet his new team-mates on Sunday, the day after Barca confirmed they had struck an agreement in principle with Bayern.

Lewandowski subsequently passed his medical, with Bayern "officially" announcing his departure on Tuesday.

Barca soon confirmed the transfer details for the talismanic striker, who will have a €500m buyout clause.

The 33-year-old scored 50 goals across all competitions last season, the most across Europe's top five leagues, as Bayern lifted their 10th Bundesliga title in a row.

Lewandowski broke Gerd Muller's long-standing Bundesliga record by scoring 41 goals in a single season in the 2020-21 campaign, while his 43 league goals in 2021 serve as the record for a calendar year in Germany's top tier.

The forward's 312 Bundesliga goals are the second-most scored by any player in competition's history, behind Muller (365), while he leaves Bayern having accumulated 344 goals and 57 assists across 375 appearances in all competitions.

 

Though Julian Nagelsmann was reluctant to let Lewandowski leave, he suggested Bayern's game plan will become more "unpredictable" after his departure.

"When someone like Robert plays up front, you play more crosses," he told reporters on Bayern's pre-season tour in the United States. "The way we're going to play will change. It's a new Bayern Munich.

"It will be a challenge – and I like challenges. It's good for everyone, we have to find new ways and be creative.

"In the past it might have been easier for the opponent to prepare for our game. Now we're going to be even more unpredictable."

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