Manchester United Transfer News: Red Devils Coy on Move for Robert Lewandowski

Dan Talintyre@@dantalintyreSenior Analyst IIApril 21, 2013

MALAGA, SPAIN - APRIL 03:  Robert Lewandowski of Borussia Dortmund duels for the ball with Manuel Rolando Iturra of Malaga CF during the UEFA Champions League quarter-final first leg match between Malaga CF and Borussia Dortmund at La Rosaleda Stadium on April 3, 2013 in Malaga, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
David Ramos/Getty Images

The Robert Lewandowski to Manchester United rumor has been around for what seems like forever now (per the Mirror), and it doesn't seem to be going away anytime soon.

At least not heading into this year's summer transfer window, with United boss Sir Alex Ferguson remaining quite coy on what he plans to do regarding Lewandowski in the summer—a drastic change from the dismissal he's given the rumor all the times before now.

Speaking ahead of United's clash with Aston Villa on the weekend, Ferguson told reporters that the club could lose out in the race to sign the Polish international in the summer (per Yahoo! Sports):

Yeah, but Bayern Munich are strong with that [interest in Lewandowski] too. We just have to wait and see where we are in terms of if we win the league. Then it may be different. ... Big signings [this summer]? You are normally talking about forwards but it's complicated enough as it is with the forwards I've got.

The revelation comes as an interesting move from United, who have seemingly changed their tune from earlier in the season, when any interest was quickly dismissed.

That's not to suggest that the Red Devils are definitely going to move for the Borussia Dortmund striker in the summer transfer window; the move is more unlikely to happen than likely. But the recent comments from Ferguson do present an interesting storyline to follow.

United will already have a number of strikers on their books—Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney, Javier Hernandez and Danny Welbeck, plus Angelo Henriquez, who is currently on loan. Even if we consider Rooney now as a midfielder, that's five strikers (should Lewandowski come) that United would have to try and fit into their system next year throughout various competitions and the like.

Formation-wise, the only option for the Red Devils would seemingly be to go to a 4-3-1-2 formation, with van Persie, Lewandowski and Rooney at the top of the attack. On the flip side, that would put the futures of Nani, Ashley Young, Antonio Valencia and Shinji Kagawa all up in the air, as there is no guarantee for them in the starting team.

In that sense, it's hard to see United seeing the move for Lewandowski as a positive thing—as good and successful as he may well be at Old Trafford.

It's also important here to consider the very real and likely possibility that Lewandowski won't leave Jurgen Klopp's side and will remain at Dortmund next season.

Forget the interest from Bayern, for it's hard to see him swapping sides to Dortmund's biggest rival—the biggest interest United need to worry about if they're trying to sign Lewandowski is that of his current club, who can seemingly offer him everything United can (and potentially even more).

Dortmund can offer Lewandowski the money, not having to move and a strong and vibrant squad that has an abundance of young talent. They can give him Champions League football and the chance to build his image even further by playing as the star striker in the team—something that Lewandowski would seemingly have to share with van Persie and Rooney if he moved to the Red Devils.

As big and strong as United are, Dortmund are every bit as strong now, and the Red Devils will be hard-pressed to convince the star striker that a move is needed.

Transfermarkt lists Lewandowski as a £24 million prospect, which could well end up being closer to £25-30 million by the time they convince Dortmund to sell. 

I cannot see United spending that money to try and bring a player in and completely change a team that, in reality, was not that far off the treble in 2013.

The Red Devils would be much better served by strengthening their defense and midfield with good squad players who are young and can replace their outgoing veterans.

They've already made the big move to get Kagawa, van Persie and Wilfried Zaha; now they simply need to strengthen and consolidate for a strong few seasons in England and Europe.

Dortmund shouldn't sell Lewandowski, and United shouldn't buy him.

But there is something intriguing about Ferguson's comments that suggests this rumor might not be completely done heading into the transfer season.

What that something is? I guess we'll know soon enough.

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