Robert Lewandowski’s potential destinations – ranked

In a post-Lionel Messi world, Barcelona desperately needed a star. They pivoted to Robert Lewandowski.

Barca didn’t merely turn to the Polish superstar to aid an ailing on-field outfit, but they regarded the prolific striker as the perfect profile to alter the opinions of an alienated fanbase. In Lewandowski, the club had a name; a star capable of selling a bucket-load of shirts.

And while Lewandowski’s goals propelled Barcelona to the La Liga title less than a year after his €45m move, questions remain regarding to overall success of the move. Vintage sequences have come few and far between in year two, with Barca enduring an indifferent title defence.

Tension and disagreement with coach and teammates have plagued the striker’s 2023/24 season amid a downturn in production. Lewandowski remains well-admired in the Barca dressing room, but a sale this summer certainly hasn’t been ruled out.

The 35-year-old must back himself to prolong his stay at the top table, but elite-level suitors might be hard to come by should Barca opt to cut ties.

Here are five possible candidates for Lewandowski’s signature.

Robert Lewandowski

Lewandowski was once a hero in Dortmund / Boris Streubel/GettyImages

Borussia Dortmund took a chance on a young Lewandowski in 2010, with the Polish forward having only starred in his homeland. However, the €4.5m arrival would prove to be one of the club’s greatest ever signings.

The Pole was forced to be patient in Germany, but he took his chance in 2011/12 as Dortmund won the Bundesliga title and reached the Champions League final a year later. His reputation soared at Signal Iduna Park, but his decision to depart Dortmund in favour of Bayern Munich as a free agent wrecked his relationship with the Yellow Wall.

While Lewandowski fondly recalls his time at Dortmund and many supporters may have forgiven the forward they once adored, a reunion appears unlikely – even if BVB could be in the market for a striker this summer.

Likelihood rating: 2/10

Rasmus Hojlund

Man Utd could sign a veteran to support Rasmus Hojlund / Catherine Ivill/GettyImages

In Rasmus Hojlund, Man Utd may well have found their number nine for the long-term, and INEOS have an exciting young forward to build around.

However, United are bereft of cover options. Anthony Martial will move on at the end of the season, while Marcus Rashford rarely stars in a central position.

The Red Devils have targeted veterans to fill their striker void in recent years, with the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Edinson Cavani, and Wout Weghorst (who must be thrilled to be included in the same list as the two previous names) enjoying spells at Old Trafford.

Perhaps United could pivot to Lewandowski to serve as an experienced back-up/competitor to Hojlund? This, however, is a move the previous regime were more likely to make, not the shrewd folk at INEOS.

Likelihood rating: 3/10

Todd Boehly

Will Tood Boehly succumb to the allure of Lewandowski? / Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/GettyImages

Speaking of shrewd (not), Todd Boehly loves a big name, right? Chelsea are undoubtedly more likely to get sucked into the allure of signing 35-year-old Lewandowski this summer than Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s United.

The Blues wouldn’t have to pay a monster fee to sign the Pole, and wage demands are unlikely to be a major issue given the the club’s riches. They’ll also likely hand the veteran a multi-year deal because, well, that’s what they do.

Despite their recent shoddy recruitment, Chelsea will only turn to Lewandowski should they miss out on priority targets. Victor Osimhen is currently at the top of the Blues’ wishlist.

Likelihood rating: 4/10

Robert Lewandowski

The Polish star is a huge name / Pedro Salado/GettyImages

The Saudis also love a big name, probably more than Boehly, and given Lewandowski’s reputation as one of the finest strikers of his generation, he’s surely a profile of player they’ll consider this summer.

Al Ittihad offered Karim Benzema – who was 35 when he put pen to paper – a monster contract last summer, and the Polish forward might fancy garnering a similar contract at one of the Saudi-backed PIF clubs. With Aleksandar Mitrovic starring for Al Hilal, Cristiano Ronaldo the leading man at Al Nassr, and Benzema leading Al Ittihad’s line, Al Ahli are the most likely option.

Roberto Firmino hasn’t quite starred as projected during his first season at the club.

However, Lewandowski is more likely to favour an alternative retirement voyage.

Likelihood rating: 6/10

Robert Lewandowski

MLS has been touted as a future destination for the striker / Jonathan Moscrop/GettyImages

Lewandowski admitted last year that MLS was firmly at the forefront of his mind before the Covid-19 pandemic before admitting that he’s had a change of heart since.

Still, while the striker doesn’t imagine moving to America quite so soon, the 35-year-old might have little choice if Barca decide to sell him this summer.

With the US hosting the 2024 Copa America as well as the 2026 World Cup, a Lionel Messi-inspired MLS might be in a position to capitalise. The financial might of several franchises is yet to be realised, and Lewandowski could emerge as one of multiple big-name additions to the American game over the coming years.

Likelihood rating: 7/10


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