Barcelona are believed to be close to securing a lucrative financial agreement with private equity firm CVC that will give the club the finances to pursue Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski.
Having seen Sergio Aguero forced to retire due to unforeseen health problems and Memphis Depay unable to re-establish himself following a lengthy injury layoff, Barça remain in the market for a ‘number nine’ this summer. That is despite a strong start from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
The Catalans had been eyeing an ambitious move for Borussia Dortmund talent Erling Haaland. But the figures involved in such a deal – potentially a €250m investment over the next five years – made it challenging for a club still recovering from near financial implosion.
With Haaland now increasingly expected to join Manchester City instead, Barça have repeatedly been linked with Lewandowski as an alternative.
Soon to be 34, the Pole would be more affordable than Haaland because he only offers a more short-term solution, yet there is still the need for a financial boost to Barça’s revenue to make it within their reach.
Mundo Deportivo has reported that a CVC partnership is close to being finalised that would secure €270m worth of investment. Some of that will immediately go on paying urgent costs, but it will leave enough to give Barça the ability to confidently open talks with Bayern.
The German champions have made no secret of their intention to keep Lewandowski, with both chief executive Oliver Kahn and sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic airing that stance in public.
But the player himself hasn’t ruled anything out and could entertain a new challenge after recently securing his eighth Bundesliga in his eighth season at Bayern. He admitted just last month that he remains ‘open to everything’ with regard to his future.
It has been suggested that Bayern could accept an offer of €40m, which is a substantial windfall for them for a player of Lewandowski’s age and out of contract next year.
A critical factor for Barcelona is the involvement of agent Pini Zahavi, who represents Lewandowski and is known to be close with Camp Nou president Joan Laporta. MD claims that Zahavi has already informed Barça that the player would be willing to lower his existing salary.
On a personal level, the chance to live in Barcelona is said to appeal to Lewandowski’s wife, while he himself is even believed to have started learning Spanish.