Chelsea are set to rival Barcelona in the race to sign Robert Lewandowski from Bayern Munich.
Lewandowski will enter the final season of his deal this summer and has made clear his desire for a new challenge, having turned down the chance to renew his deal at the Bundesliga champions amid interest from Barcelona.
The Spanish side are working on a deal to sign the 33-year-old, though a move is complicated as the club look to avoid La Liga’s Financial Fair Play (FFP) sanctions.
Chelsea’s interest is also complicated due to the sanctions currently in place on the West Londoners, though progress has been made on a takeover with an American-based consortium fronted by LA Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly having agreed a £4.25bn deal.
Goal are reporting that the Chelsea will target a move for Lewandowski once permitted to conduct transfer business with the Blues having held a long-standing interest in the Poland international.
Thomas Tuchel’s side signed Romelu Lukaku in a club-record £97.5m deal from Inter Milan last summer, but the Belgium international has endured a challenging campaign and has been linked with a return to Italy.
Bayern sporting director, Hasan Salihamidzic, confirmed Lewandowski’s desire to leave the club, though insisted the Bavarians have no intention of selling the forward this summer.
“I spoke to Lewa. In the conversation he told me that he did not want to accept our offer to extend the contract and that he would like to leave the club,” he told Sky.
“He said that he would like to do something else but our attitude hasn’t changed.
“Lewa has a contract until June 30, 2023. That’s a fact. I don’t deal with that because our stance has always been clear.”
Lewandowski has scored 344 goals in 375 games across his eight seasons with Bayern, winning eight consecutive Bundesliga titles and finishing as the league’s leading scorer on six occasions.
He previously won two Bundesliga titles and a leading scorer accolade at Borussia Dortmund and is the second-highest goalscorer in the history of Germany’s top flight.