Monday medical for Altidore
Sun, 07 Jul 2013 16:54:00
Borussia Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp believes star striker Robert Lewandowski will be a Bayern Munich player the season after next.
Lewandowski's future has been the source of much speculation over the last few months, with a host of Europe's leading clubs coveting the prolific Poland international.
For a while it looked as though Lewandowski, whose contract at the Westfalenstadion runs out in 2014, was destined to join Bayern once the recently-completed campaign was over, but Dortmund have ruled out selling the 24-year-old to any team - domestic or foreign - this summer.
However, Klopp feels it is only a matter of time before Lewandowski, who has also been linked with Real Madrid, Chelsea and Manchester City, will be seen in Bayern colours.
"I believe it's a fact that Robert Lewandowski will move to Bayern after the coming season," Klopp told German newspaper Welt am Sonntag.
"Now it's about this: how do we build in the time until then? That is our concern, and it is our duty to our fans and members to take care that in the coming season we also have a more than competitive team.
"Up until a certain point we were ready to talk, concerning Robert's desire for change. But as nothing happened in this time, we had to say at some point: That is no longer happening.
"And now we want to prove that we can develop, with a quality player like Robert, in the coming year. Our results in the coming season are the most important thing. And with Robert I know that he also sees it like that."
Lewandowski has scored 54 goals in 98 Bundesliga appearances for Dortmund and became the first player to score four goals in a semi-final of the Champions League when he single-handedly dismantled Real Madrid.
He was unable to fire Dortmund to victory in the final, though, as Bayern claimed a 2-1 win at Wembley thanks to a last-gasp Arjen Robben goal.
Altidore briefly revealed on Friday that a deal had been done before removing the confirmation from his personal website.
However, it appears there has been no late hitch and the United States international will now fly into Wearside on Monday to complete his move.
The 23-year-old spent time on loan in the Premier League with Hull City back in 2009/10, scoring one goal in 28 appearances.
However, his reputation has blossomed since then and the powerful player registered 31 goals for the Dutch club in all competitions last season.
His arrival is just the latest in a series of acquisitions by manager Paolo Di Canio as he looks to overhaul a squad he inherited from Martin O'Neill.
The Black Cats unveiled Bosman free signings Valentin Roberge, Cabral and Modibo Diakite last week having also added youngsters Duncan Watmore and David Moberg Karlsson to the mix, and the Italian has a series of other targets in his sights.
However, the striking department is a priority, with Steven Fletcher having to carry much of the burden last season before injury struck, and Di Canio will hope the American is the man to provide the support.
January signing Danny Graham has to date been unable to contribute on the goals front, while Connor Wickham and Ji Dong-won have struggled to make an impression and Stephane Sessegnon's future remains uncertain.