Robert Lewandowski has declared his time at Bayern Munich to be “over” and said he does not believe the club will hold him against his will.
The striker wants to join Barcelona after reaching a verbal agreement on a three-year contract but Bayern have insisted he must stay for the final season of his deal.
Lewandowski, speaking at a press conference with Poland before Wednesday’s Nations League game at home to Wales, said: “My era at Bayern is over. I don’t see any possibility to continue playing for this club.”
The 33-year-old has been at Bayern since 2014 and is hopeful they will show flexibility regarding a transfer. “Bayern’s a serious club and I believe they won’t keep me – I don’t want to play there any more,” he said. “A transfer is the best solution. I hope they don’t stop me.”
Bayern’s chief executive, Oliver Kahn, responded by telling the German TV channel Sport1: “I can’t tell you why Robert chose this path. Public statements like that don’t get you anywhere … I think he should know what he has at Bayern.” The club’s former goalkeeper went on to say: “Appreciation is not a one-way street.”
Two weeks ago Bayern’s president, Herbert Hainer, was adamant that there was no room for manoeuvre. Hainer told Sport1: “Robert has a contract until 2023. That’s how long he will play with us.”
Hainer noted that Lewandowski had joined Bayern on a free after his deal at Borussia Dortmund expired and said the club were willing to lose him for nothing in a year’s time.
“There is no substitute for such a world-class player,” Hainer said. “He has a contract, so I assume he fulfils it. It is his right not to extend his contract.”
Lewandowski scored 35 Bundesliga goals in 34 appearances this season and 13 goals in 10 Champions League matches.
Corentin Tolisso is leaving Bayern on a free after no agreement was reached over a new contract for the 27-year-old France midfielder.