Lewandowski to leave Bayern for Barca

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Lewandowski to leave Bayern for Barca

Bayern Munich have agreed a fee with Barcelona for the transfer of world footballer of the year Robert Lewandowski, club president Herbert Hainer confirmed Saturday.

"We have come to a verbal agreement with Barcelona," he said at the Allianz Arena as the 2022/23 squad were introduced to fans.

"It's good to have clarity for all parties. Robert is an incredible player and he won everything with us. We are incredibly grateful to him."

Chairman Oliver Kahn had previously made similar comments to the Bild newspaper after reports said Lewandowski was to fly to Spain later Saturday after bidding farewell to his team-mates following a final training session.

"These eight years were sepcial and you don't forget them," he told Sky television. "I had a fantastic time in Munich."

Lewandowski plans to sign a four-year contract with the Catalans on Sunday, according to reports, which put the agreement between Bayern and Barcelona at an initial €45 million ($45.3 million) for the transfer.

The 33-year-old had returned to Munich for pre-season training this week despite having asked to leave at the end of last season, with still a year left on his Bayern contract.

In contrast Bayern have managed to retain Germany winger Serge Gnabry, whose deal was also expiring, by agreeing a new contract to 2026.

"I thought a lot about what I want as a player in the coming years, and came to the conclusion that I want to stay at Bayern, win everything again here and experience things – in particular celebrating another Champions League title, but this time with our fans," Gnabry said.

"I want to experience more great moments here – and nowhere else. The hunger for major honours isn't going away."

The 27-year-old Gnabry joined from Werder Bremen in 2017 and contributed to four Bundesliga titles, two German Cups and the 2020 Champions League, won behind closed doors in Lisbon due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Barcelona have had major financial worries but have managed to go ahead with a deal for Lewandowski as they bid to bounce back after a difficult season last term.

Lewandowski said everything moved quickly at the end of the process and he hopes to return to Munich to say goodbye properly after Barcelona's pre-season trip to the United States.

Bayern will be disappointed to lose a superstar player, who has dominated the league scoring charts, broken records aplenty and helped deliver countless trophies since arriving from Borussia Dortmund in 2014.

However, banking millions and saving the huge salary of a player soon to be 34 and determined to leave will undoubtedly cushion the blow.

Lewandowski first mooted his departure at the end of last term politely but in the face of official resistance became more and more stringent in his demands.

That left Bayern in a near impossible position, although it is one many clubs have to face in the modern transfer market.

Among his personal milestones in season 2020/21 Lewandowski even broke the previously eternal scoring record of Gerd Müller from 1971/72 with 41 Bundesliga goals.

Bayern themselves have already succeeded in tempting striker Sadio Made from Liverpool to Munich and the funds from Lewandowski could help complete a move for Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt.

Stade Rennes' 17-year-old talent Mathys Tel (17) and Konrad Laimer from RB Leipzig are also being linked with the club.

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