The rise of player power has been pronounced in recent years and clubs have often been forced to cede ground to the wishes of their star players. However with institutions of such size, there is always like to be a backlash on some level.
That has been the case with Bayern Munich and Robert Lewandowski. The Polish striker has been in Bavaria for 8 successful years but shocked many by publicly announcing his desire to leave at the end of the season.
Lewandowski seems intent on moving on this summer, with Barcelona the supposed destination. Yet various figureheads have come out to stand firm in the face of those of those demands, reassuring that he would see out his contract with Bayern. The latest was Oliver Kahn, as quoted by Mundo Deportivo.
“With regards to Robert, not much has changed. He has a contract until 2023 and we are hoping that he is present with us on the first day of training.”
Previous reports had suggested that Lewandowski was not willing to partake in pre-season with the club. With the players due back on the 12th of July, it looks like it might be the next key date in the drama.
“Robert is evaluating the options of Barca and others. But it’s worth remembering that he has a contract with Bayern and, this is very important, we are not worried.”
Whether Lewandowski forces his way out or not, it could set an important precedent for Bayern. Allowing him to leave would should some willingness to listen to their players but also perhaps a weakness on their part, that an exit from the club can be manoeuvred. Alternatively keeping Lewandowski would show strength, but also a rigidness that may make others reluctant to commit to the club long-term.