Robert Lewandowski is poised to seal a move to Barcelona after Bayern Munich reportedly accepted a €50million offer from the LaLiga giants.
Rather than appear at Bayern’s team presentation event at the Allianz Arena on Saturday, Lewandowski is expected to travel to Spain to put the finishing touches to his transfer.
It will mark the end of a saga that began in May, when it emerged there was a mutual attraction between Lewandowski and Barcelona.
Reports indicate Barcelona will pay an initial €45m, plus €5m in performance-related add-ons, to secure the player who hit 50 goals for Bayern across all competitions last season.
That made him the leading scorer from Europe’s top five leagues, and it came as a jolt to the Bundesliga champions when the 33-year-old Polish striker made clear his desire to leave.
Barcelona have been pulling together funds to allow the deal to proceed, and the arrival of Lewandowski will follow the signing of Brazilian winger Raphinha from Leeds United as Xavi pieces together a team he hopes can compete for honours with Real Madrid.
According to Bild journalist Heiko Niedderer, Lewandowski arrived at Bayern’s Sabener Strasse training headquarters shortly before 08:30 local time (06:30 GMT) to collect his possessions and say his goodbyes.
Mia San Meister@FCBayern pic.twitter.com/ZPXstf6Sdo
— Robert Lewandowski (@lewy_official) May 8, 2022
Later in the day, the presentation of the team at Bayern’s stadium was due to see the first team and new recruits paraded in front of supporters. That had promised to be awkward if Lewandowski’s future had remained unresolved.
As he departs, having won eight consecutive Bundesliga titles since arriving in 2014 from Borussia Dortmund, Bayern are expected to step up their efforts to bring in Dutch defender Matthijs de Ligt from Juventus.
Barcelona are due to fly to the United States for a pre-season tour on Saturday, with games scheduled against Inter Miami, Real Madrid, Juventus and the New York Red Bulls.
Lewandowski is not anticipated to be on the team flight but will hope his transfer can be completed to allow him to join his new team-mates within days.
Bayern are also heading to the US in the coming week to step up their own pre-season work.