Tag Archives: robert

Sam Allardyce reveals how he once missed out on Robert Lewandowski

Big Sam: How I missed out on Champions League hotshot Lewandowski

By
John Drayton

PUBLISHED:

08:25 GMT, 26 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

09:01 GMT, 26 April 2013

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West Ham manager Sam Allardyce has revealed how he missed out on signing Robert Lewandowski – during his time in charge at Blackburn.

The Borussia Dortmund striker was set to hold talks with Rovers in 2010 as he looked for a move from Polish club Lech Poznan.

But the cash-strapped Blackburn board struggled to find the money and the Iceland volcanic ash cloud put the final nail in the coffin when Lewandowski's flight to England was cancelled.

Dortmund stepped in to secure a deal for a fee reported to be around 4.5million euros and the rest is now history.

On target: Lewandowski was set to hold talks with Sam Allardyce at Blackburn Rovers in 2010

On target: Lewandowski was set to hold talks with Sam Allardyce at Blackburn Rovers in 2010

Allardyce told Sky Sports: 'It's true. He was put forward to sign very strongly by our recruitment staff and unfortunately it was one that got knocked back.

'My distant memory isn't that great but I think (former Rovers chairman) John (Williams) and the board said we are not going to commit that amount of money.

'I think they wanted three or four million euros but we were particularly strapped financially at the time at Blackburn. I watched him play. But I didn't get the chance to meet him.

'I think his agent said he couldn't come over because of the ash cloud, yes. He's probably worth 40 million euros now.'

Missed out: Allardyce was keen to sign Lewandowski but the Rovers board could not find the cash

Missed out: Allardyce was keen to sign Lewandowski but the Rovers board could not find the cash

Allardyce is now left to rue the missed opportunity to sign the Pole who scored four goals against Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg on Wednesday night.

He said: 'I think about it every time I see him play.

'He would have had a period of getting used to the level and the physical presence, but with a talent like that it wouldn't have been too long before he started to shine and score goals.

'The level he is playing at now is unbelievable, not just his scoring ability but his ability to retain possession.

'There were a lot of people looking at him at that time as well but we had the edge over everyone else because of the attraction of the Premier League.

'He could have used us as a stepping stone but it didn't happen.'

The one that got away: Lewandowski moved from Lech Poznan to Dortmund for a reported 4.5million euros

The one that got away: Lewandowski moved from Lech Poznan to Dortmund for a reported 4.5million euros

Dortmund 3 Malaga 2 (agg 3-2) – match report

Dortmund 3 Malaga 2 (agg 3-2): Klopp's side complete stunning comeback with injury- time double

PUBLISHED:

20:41 GMT, 9 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

21:11 GMT, 9 April 2013

Borussia Dortmund scored two goals in injury-time to complete a stunning 3-2 comeback win against Malaga and advance to the Champions League semi-finals.

Joaquin put the visitors ahead in the 25th minute but Polish striker Robert Lewandowski brought the Germans level five minutes before the break.

Jurgen Klopp's side threw everything they had at the Spanish side in an attempt to score a second goal that would sent them through.

But Dortmund left themselves exposed at the back and Eliseu looked to have sent Malaga into the semi-finals when he turned the ball home to put his team 2-1 ahead with eight minutes to play.

However, Marco Reus and Felipe Santana both scored in injury time as Jurgen Klopp's men pulled off an incredible turnaround and book their place in the last four.

More to follow

Back from the brink: Borussia Dortmund completed a stunning comeback with two goals in injury time

Back from the brink: Borussia Dortmund completed a stunning comeback with two goals in injury time

MATCH FACTS

Borussia Dortmund: Weidenfeller, Piszczek, Subotic, Felipe Santana, Schmelzer, Gundogan (Hummels 86), Bender (Sahin 72), Blaszcykowski (Schieber 72), Gotze, Reus,
Lewandowski.

Subs Not Used: Langerak, Kehl, Leitner, Grosskreutz.

Booked: Bender, Schmelzer.

Goals: Lewandowski 40, Felipe Santana 90, Reus 90.

Malaga: Willy, Jesus Gamez, Demichelis, Sergio Sanchez, Antunes, Joaquin (Francisco Portillo 87), Toulalan, Camacho, Duda (Eliseu 74), Isco, Julio Baptista (Santa Cruz 83).

Subs Not Used: Kameni, Lugano, Saviola, Piazon.

Booked: Jesus Gamez, Toulalan.

Goals: Joaquin 25, Eliseu 82.

Att: 65,000

Ref: Craig Thomson (Scotland).

Ahead: Joaquin gave Malaga the lead after 25 minutes in Germany

Ahead: Joaquin gave Malaga the lead after 25 minutes in Germany

Ahead: Joaquin gave Malaga the lead after 25 minutes in Germany


Away goals advantage: Joaquin's strike left Dortmund needing to score twice to advance

Away goals advantage: Joaquin's strike left Dortmund needing to score twice to advance

Reliable: Robert Lewandowski brought Dortmund level in the 40th minute

Reliable: Robert Lewandowski brought Dortmund level in the 40th minute

Reliable: Robert Lewandowski brought Dortmund level in the 40th minute

Leading from the front: Lewandowski celebrates his goal at Signal Iduna Park

Leading from the front: Lewandowski celebrates his goal at Signal Iduna Park

All over Eliseu's goal with eight minutes remaining looked to have sealed Malaga's place in the semis

All over Eliseu's goal with eight minutes remaining looked to have sealed Malaga's place in the semis

All over Eliseu's goal with eight minutes remaining looked to have sealed Malaga's place in the semis

No way back Eliseu left the German side needing to score two more goals in the closing minutes

No way back Eliseu left the German side needing to score two more goals in the closing minutes

Turnaround: Felipe Santana bundled home a winner from close range in injury time for Dortmund

Turnaround: Felipe Santana bundled home a winner from close range in injury time for Dortmund

Dubious: Santana was arguably offside when he scored from less than one yard

Dubious: Santana was arguably offside when he scored from less than one yard

Dortmund

Delight: Santana runs off in celebration of his dramatic winner

Delight: Santana runs off in celebration of his dramatic winner

Pitch invasion: Dortmund head coach Jurgen Klopp leaps with delight at the final whistle

Pitch invasion: Dortmund head coach Jurgen Klopp leaps with delight at the final whistle

Joy: Santana is congratulated by Dortmund players and head coach Klopp

Joy: Santana is congratulated by Dortmund players and head coach Klopp

Dortmund hoping Champions League history repeats itself

Dortmund hoping history repeats itself as they take on Malaga for place in Champions League semi-finals

By
Darren Witcoop

PUBLISHED:

12:55 GMT, 3 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

13:02 GMT, 3 April 2013

Borussia Dortmund will still remain dark horses to win the Champions League, but the omens might just be in their favour if they can progress beyond Malaga in the quarter-final showdown.

Dortmund have given up the ghost retaining the Bundesliga title with runaway leaders Bayern Munich destined for the trophy.

But in Europe, it is a different matter all together.

Star man: Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski helped knock out Shakhtar Donetsk in the last-16 tie

Star man: Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski helped knock out Shakhtar Donetsk in the last-16 tie

Masked man: Dortmund defender Marcel Schmelzer will be forced to wear a mask in Malaga

Masked man: Dortmund defender Marcel Schmelzer will be forced to wear a mask in Malaga

There is little doubt Dortmund, who have already knocked out Manchester City, are an emerging team under highly-rated manager Juergen Klopp.

Now Malaga, another of the season's surprise packages, stand in their way of a semi-final place.

Dortmund's only ever win in Spain came in the same season when they won Europe's biggest club competition in 1997.

A coincidence or destiny Only time will tell.

No panic: Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp and Brazilian defender Felipe Santana are in relaxed mood ahead of the last-four tie

No panic: Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp and Brazilian defender Felipe Santana are in relaxed mood ahead of the last-four tie

But Klopp claims Dortmund's 2-1 bruising win over Stuttgart on the weekend, which took its toll on his players, was ideal preparation for the first-leg challenge that lies ahead.

'We got manhandled', he said.

'At times I was worried about the health of my players.

'But it was a good preparation for the Champions League game in Malaga, because they fly into challenges with just as much intensity.'

Despite their underdog tag, Malaga, the Qatari-backed side who were in Spain's Second Division just five years ago, will not just roll over.

Top job: Manuel Pellegrini has defied the odds to lead Malaga into the quarter-finals

Top job: Manuel Pellegrini has defied the odds to lead Malaga into the quarter-finals

The money might have dried up at this cash-strapped club but they have still punched above their weight this season.

As well as reaching the last eight of the Champions League, they are also in the hunt for a top-four finish in La Liga although UEFA have banned them from playing European football next season due to outstanding debts.

'Nobody gave us a chance at the start and yet the players have responded so well,” said coach Manuel Pellegrini.

'We eliminated Porto and that represented a huge achievement for the side. We don't want our run to end here.'

Prized possession: Isco is wanted by Europe's leading clubs

Prized possession: Isco is wanted by Europe's leading clubs

Dortmund will be favourites to progress but they have been hit with injuries.

Marcel Schmelzer will need a face-mask but is likely to play, despite breaking his nose against Stuttgart.

Jakub Blaszczykowski has travelled but is struggling to overcome a groin injury.

Midfielders Sven Bender and Kevin Grosskreutz (ankle) are doubts and Mats Hummels is certain to miss out.

Robert Lewandowski, who has scored 13 goals in as many games, will lead the line and will be supported by Mario Goetze and Marco Reus.

In contrast, Malaga have few injury worries.

Portuguese winger Eliseu has been ruled out with a knee ligament injury but defender Diego Lugano is likely to return.

Ignacio Camacho and Duda are also back in contention after serving suspensions and star striker Isco will start.

Harry Redknapp gives Julio Cesar the nod to save Queens Park Rangers from relegation

Redknapp set to give Cesar the nod ahead of Green in bid to save QPR from Premier League relegation

By
Stuart Fraser

PUBLISHED:

12:23 GMT, 1 April 2013

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UPDATED:

12:24 GMT, 1 April 2013

Julio Cesar is tipped to be the man Harry Redknapp will rely on to save Queens Park Rangers' season during the relegation run-in.

The former Inter Milan goalkeeper, who joined as a free transfer during the summer and earns around 60,000-a-week, has been in scintillating form at times this season and grabbed the attention of plenty of Premier League clubs including Manchester United.

Well held: Cesar's good form at times this season looks like it has clinched him the No 1 shirt

Well held: Cesar's good form at times this season looks like it has clinched him the No 1 shirt

He has fought for the No 1 shirt with Robert Green all season, although the rivalry has been tapered by injuries, but will be given the job of helping keep QPR in the top flight for the final push.

Cesar has started in 21 Premier League matches to Green’s 11 and has kept five clean sheets to Green’s none.

Run-in: QPR's final eight Premier League games

Run-in: QPR's final eight Premier League games

The Brazilian has only dropped one ball all season — give him a catch success rate of 98 per cent — and has saved 74 per cent of shots to Green’s 60 per cent.

He has also made on average twice as many saves per game (4.1 saves per match).

Meanwhile, Harry Redknapp has been maths teacher as well as manager to his players this week.

The Queens Park Rangers boss reckons that four wins plus two draws equals Barclays Premier League survival.

On the eve of the short journey to Fulham, winger Andros Townsend insisted: ‘The gaffer has said he thinks 37 points might be enough and we feel we are capable of achieving it.

‘We’re a confident group of players and we’re playing well at the moment. We can really take the game to the opposition.’

QPR will have to find a way past Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer, as his side aim for a top-10 finish.

Schwarzer, 40, has been instrumental in Fulham securing a mid-table berth with eight matches remaining this season and manager Martin Jol sees no reason why he cannot continue to do a first-rate job at Craven Cottage.

Jol has opened contract talks with Schwarzer and believes the Australian can continue playing until he is at least 42.

Calculations: Redknapp reckons four wins and two draws will see QPR safe

Calculations: Redknapp reckons four wins and two draws will see QPR safe

Wales" Gareth Bale is back in the frame to play Croatia

Bale back in the frame for Wales clash with Croatia after coming on leaps and bounds

By
Thom Drake

PUBLISHED:

16:03 GMT, 25 March 2013

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UPDATED:

16:04 GMT, 25 March 2013

Wales winger Gareth Bale has been training as he recovers from both a stomach virus and the ankle injury which forced him off early against Scotland on Friday.

Bale was a doubt for Wales' World Cup qualifier with Croatia, but he seemed as athletic as ever bounding around the training session.

If Wales want to stand any chance of going to Rio they have to overcome a seven point gap between themselves and both Belgium and Croatia who lead the group on 13 points.

Flying high: Gareth Bale appears to be fit again by the look of this acrobatic celebration

Flying high: Gareth Bale appears to be fit again by the look of this acrobatic celebration

Smiling wide: Wales will be hoping Bale can get round the Croatian defence as easily as he did this marker

Smiling wide: Wales will be hoping Bale can get round the Croatian defence as easily as he did this marker

Aaron Ramsey is ruled out of the game through suspension because of his sending off against Scotland.

Wales came from behind to with two goals in two minutes. Grant Hanley had put Scotland ahead on the stroke of half-time, but when Robert Snodgrass fouled Chris Gunter, not only was he given a red card but Ramsey put away the penalty.

Only a minute later Wales scored the winner as Hal Robson-Kanu headed past Alan McGregor.

Man down: Ashley Williams keeps Bale in his sights as they train

Man down: Ashley Williams keeps Bale in his sights as they train

Cheeky: Wales lost the away fixture with Croatia 2-0

Cheeky: Wales lost the away fixture with Croatia 2-0

Bale's incredibly season has included 23 goals for club and country, and has taken his tally of international strikes up to 10 in 37 appearances.

He failed to get on the score-sheet against Scotland when he was hampered by injury, and will be chomping at the bit to continue his goalscoring run.

Croatia's biggest threat will come from former Tottenham and now Real Madrid playmaker Luka Modric, Bayern Munich's Mario Mandzukic and Wolfsburg's Ivica Olic.

Gently jog: Bale and Craig Bellamy warm up before their session

Gently jog: Bale and Craig Bellamy warm up before their session

Gareth Bale

Gareth Bale

Star man: Manager Chris Coleman will be delighted to have Bale back in his first 11

Star man: Manager Chris Coleman will be delighted to have Bale back in his first 11

Puffed out: Even Bale has to take a rest at some point

Puffed out: Even Bale has to take a rest at some point

Burnley 0 Hull City 1 – match report

Burnley 0 Hull City 1: Quinn fires Tigers into second as Bruce ploy pays off

By
John Edwards

PUBLISHED:

22:17 GMT, 11 March 2013

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UPDATED:

01:55 GMT, 12 March 2013

Steve Bruce had good cause for a jubilant two-fisted salute after his double substitution helped lift Hull into second place in the Championship at Turf Moor on Monday night.

In a game where quality was as low as the sub-zero temperature, little had gone right for Hull prior to Bruce sending on Jay Simpson and Robert Koren in an attack-minded change in the 64th minute.

Just two minutes later, Simpson controlled a Koren pass with his back to goal and quickly relayed it to Stephen Quinn, whose unerring left-foot volley flew low past Lee Grant on its way into the net.

Flying high: Quinn celebrates the winning strike

Flying high: Quinn celebrates the winning strike

Upward force: Stephen Quinn hit a rocket against Burnley to send the Tigers into second place

Upward force: Stephen Quinn hit a rocket against Burnley to send the Tigers into second place

Championship table

It was enough to lift Hull above
Watford into second, and a relieved Bruce could afford to smile as he
said: ‘It was a great result that puts us in a great frame of mind for
the weekend, but I think Sky viewers might have been switching over to
the History Channel long before the end.

‘If you lot managed to scribble
anything worthwhile from that, then good luck to you. ‘It was never
going to be pretty on a horrible night, and it was a case of battling
for everything we got. I felt we had to try and win the match with the
substitutions, but I didn’t expect it to happen inside two minutes.

‘This is a crazy league, with nothing
much between top and bottom, but we have given ourselves a wonderful
chance of going up. We’ve got Watford at home in a couple of weeks and
we are really looking forward to the challenge.’

In a first half full of misplaced
passes, Burnley carved out the only semblance of a goal threat when Ross
Wallace went on a purposeful run and let fly with a 25-yard drive that
had keeper David Stockdale stretching to tip over.

Taking a tumble: Charlie Austin collides with Hull's Paul McShane at a snowy Turf Moor

Taking a tumble: Charlie Austin collides with Hull's Paul McShane at a snowy Turf Moor

There were few signs of improvement in
the second half, though Grant was finally extended in the 52nd minute
when George Boyd set up Gedo for an angled drive that was pushed round
the post by the diving Burnley keeper.

Bruce decided it was time for a change
and he can scarcely have made many better judgments as Hull manager as
his two substitutes combined to set up Quinn for the cleanest of
strikes.

Charlie Austin headed narrowly wide in
the last minute of added time to leave Burnley manager Sean Dyche
admitting: ‘It was nearly but not quite, and we are paying the price for
playing with fear.

‘Too many are not playing with the freedom and effervescence you need to affect games.

‘There is an expectation level, but I have told the players they have to deal with that.’

On the ball: Alex Bruce (left) gets a foot in against Burnley's Keith Treacy

On the ball: Alex Bruce (left) gets a foot in against Burnley's Keith Treacy

Gedo handed Grant a more thorough examination in the 53rd minute, drawing a sharp near-post stop after Boyd rode a couple of challenges in midfield to play him through.

In response Dyche sent on Vokes in place of Treacy and the Wales international striker almost made an immediate impact when he looped a glancing header from Charlie Austin's right-wing cross past the far post.

Steve Bruce went one better in the 64th minute with a double change, Koren and Jay Simpson replacing Bruce Jnr and Gedo, that paid instant dividends.

Dejected: Burnley manager Sean Dyche walks off after his side's defeat to Hull

Dejected: Burnley manager Sean Dyche walks off after his side's defeat to Hull

Koren drifted into space on the right and his cross found Simpson, whose calmly rolled pass teed-up Quinn to finish clinically.

Burnley failed to mount a sustained response, Vokes seeing a first-time effort deflected behind by Chester in the 75th minute, and when Austin hesitated in a promising attacking position by turning back and hitting a pass out of play the locals showed their displeasure.

The 26-goal striker has scored his side's only two goals in the past six games and might have levelled late on had he not misjudged a header from Vokes' centre.

Norwich"s Robert Snodgrass is fitter than ever after cutting out pre-match McDonald"s

I'm loving it! Norwich ace Snodgrass is back on song… after giving the boot to Big Macs

PUBLISHED:

14:34 GMT, 8 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

17:54 GMT, 8 March 2013

Bad diet: The famous Big Mac

Bad diet: The famous Big Mac

Robert Snodgrass says he feels like a machine after putting his bad diet and lazy training days behind him.

The Norwich winger used to enjoy a pre-match McDonald's as a youngster in Livingston, but accepts today what you fuel up on can have a major impact on performance on the pitch.

'I have learned off each nutritionist or fitness coach how to get your body in the best possible shape for match-days, because that is what managers want.'

Mean machine: Robert Snodgrass feels his fitness has helped his performances

Mean machine: Robert Snodgrass feels his fitness has helped his performances

Feast: The Norwich midfielder used to enjoy a pre-match McDonald's

Feast: The Norwich midfielder used to enjoy a pre-match McDonald's

'This Premier League is about high-energy and athletes. It is about preparing yourself from Monday to Saturday so you can be in as good a shape as possible, mentally and physically for a game.

'Sometimes you are just like a machine – you need to eat the right things and take care of your body, on and off the park, especially as the game is so physical now, and as an individual I do that.

'We have got a great nutrition and fitness side of things and that is why people have noticed this season that Norwich do work very, very hard.'

Snodgrass and the rest of the Canaries come up against Southampton on Saturday knowing a win well edge them closer to securing their Barclays Premier League status.

The Scotland midfielder, signed from Leeds in the summer, has provided a good link-up between defence and attack for Chris Hughton’s men, who will be out to make it back-to-back home wins and put last weekend’s 4-0 defeat at Manchester United out of their system.

And the 25-year-old is happy to put another 90 minutes of hard graft in up and down the flanks if it means Norwich get the result at full-time.

Stuck in: Snodgrass' defensive game has improved since moving to Norwich

Stuck in: Snodgrass' defensive game has improved since moving to Norwich

Relegation battle: Norwich will take on Southampton on Saturday

Relegation battle: Norwich will take on Southampton on Saturday

'The fitness coaches show you your numbers, and as an individual you try to beat that each week, so with me running six or seven miles, it is about trying to help the team,' said Snodgrass, who has been called up for Scotland’s World Cup qualifiers against Serbia and Wales.

'People can speak about it taking individuals to win games, but if those individuals are not on their day, then you look for a team (effort) to pull you through – maybe Sebastien Bassong or Michael Turner flicking one in on 94 minutes to keep us in this league.

'We know what it takes as players and as a team – the most important thing is we get the three points and everyone as a club pulls in the right direction.'

Shakhtar Donetsk 2 Borussia Dortmund 2: match report

Shakhtar Donetsk 2 Borussia Dortmund 2: Hummels grabs late leveller for Germans

PUBLISHED:

21:38 GMT, 13 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

21:47 GMT, 13 February 2013

Mats Hummels headed home a late equaliser to giver Borussia Dortmund the advantage in their last-16 clash with Shakhtar Donetsk in Ukraine.

Douglas Costa looked to have given the home side a narrow lead with a well-taken goal in the second half before Hummels nodded in Marcel Schmelzer's corner.

Shakhtar took the lead just after the half-hour mark when Darijo Srna whipped home a free kick from 25 yards only for Robert Lewandowski to score a crucial away goal 10 minutes later.

More to follow…

Game on: Borussia Dortmund celebrate after Mats Hummel's header earned them a draw in Ukraine

Game on: Borussia Dortmund celebrate after Mats Hummel's header earned them a draw in Ukraine

Match facts

Shakhtar Donetsk: Pyatov, Srna, Rakitskiy, Chygrynskiy, Rat, Fernandinho, Hubschman, Alex Teixeira (Eduardo 83), Mkhitaryan, Taison (Douglas Costa 62),Luiz Adriano.

Subs Not Used: Kanibolotskiy, Stepanenko, Shevchuk, Devic, Ischenko.

Booked: Fernandinho.

Goals: Srna 31,Douglas Costa 68.

Borussia Dortmund: Weidenfeller, Piszczek, Felipe Santana, Hummels, Schmelzer, Kehl, Bender, Blaszczykowski (Leitner 80), Gotze, Reus (Schieber 90), Lewandowski.

Subs Not Used: Langerak, Subotic, Sahin, Bittencourt, Halstenberg.

Goals: Lewandowski 41, Hummels 87.

Att: 52,000

Ref: Howard Webb (England).

Curler: Darijo Srna whips a free kick over the wall and into the net to give Shakthar the lead

Curler: Darijo Srna whips a free kick over the wall and into the net to give Shakthar the lead

Curler: Darijo Srna whips a free kick over the wall and into the net to give Shakthar the lead

In front: Shakhtar celebrate after taking the lead against Borussia Dortmund in Ukraine

In front: Shakhtar celebrate after taking the lead against Borussia Dortmund in Ukraine

Equaliser: Robert Lewandowski pulls the trigger to level the score for Dortmund in Ukraine

Equaliser: Robert Lewandowski pulls the trigger to level the score for Dortmund in Ukraine

Equaliser: Robert Lewandowski pulls the trigger to level the score for Dortmund in Ukraine

Crucial: Dortmund celebrate after grabbing a vital away goal against Shakhtar in the first leg

Crucial: Dortmund celebrate after grabbing a vital away goal against Shakhtar in the first leg

Cracker: Douglas Costa looked to have won the first leg for Shakhtar when he scored in the second half

Cracker: Douglas Costa looked to have won the first leg for Shakhtar when he scored in the second half

Advantage Shakhtar: Douglas Costa celebrates after giving his side the lead against Dortmund

Advantage Shakhtar: Douglas Costa celebrates after giving his side the lead against Dortmund

Manchester United are to lose out to Bayern Munich in the race to sign Robert Lewandowski

United left reeling as Bayern set to sign hot shot Lewandowski

By
Simon Peach, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

13:37 GMT, 10 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

13:58 GMT, 10 February 2013

Manchester United have been left reeling after Lothar Matthaus has said that Bayern Munich are closing in on the signing of forward Robert Lewandowski from Borussia Dortmund.

Recent reports in the German media claimed the 24-year-old, whose contract expires next year, was set to become Pep Guardiola’s first recruit upon taking charge at the Allianz Arena in June, meaning United would miss out on the striker.

Despite Dortmund’s continual denials that they have agreed a deal to sell Lewandowski , the legendary midfielder appeared to add fuel to the speculation that he will leave, but stay in Germany.

Scroll down for video

In demand: Robert Lewandowski has attracted interest from many top clubs

In demand: Robert Lewandowski has attracted interest from many top clubs

'I was on the road this week. I heard that Lewandowski has an agreement with Bayern. Only the date of the move remains undecided,' Matthaus told Sky Bundesliga.

'Lewandowski’s contract runs out in 2014 and Dortmund will only get a fee in 2013 – surely a high fee. I heard it was something between 20m-25m, otherwise he will go to Bayern for free next year.'

Detemrined: Up to now Dortmund have be insistent that he is staying

Detemrined: Up to now Dortmund have be insistent that he is staying

Matthaus then explained how the Poland international would serve as a better option in Guardiola’s attack than central striker Mario Gomez.

'I think he is a player that fits more into the system of Guardiola than Gomez,' he added.

'He showed Guardiola last week in Leverkusen how a forward is not only an attacker but also drops deeper.'

However, the striker showed his temperamental side after getting sent off for a wild tackle against Hamburg, appearing to have lost his head.

Michael van Gerwen draws with Phil Taylor

Van Gerwen unable to hold out for win over The Power on thrilling opening night

runner-up Simon Whitlock was also a winner at the Odyssey Arena as he crushed a poor Adrian Lewis 7-3.

There was nothing to separate the players early on as the first five legs went with throw. But the Aussie struck a 121 finish to break and go 4-2 up before Lewis hit back immediately to reduce his arrears to 4-3.

Whitlock broke again, though, to lead 5-3 before hitting double top in the next leg to guarantee at least a draw. ‘The Wizard’ didn’t have to wait long to complete his win as the 10th leg summed up Lewis’s evening.

Eagle eyed: Simon Whitlock in action

Eagle eyed: Simon Whitlock in action

The two-time world champion missed six darts at a double and Whitlock stepped in to hit double eight and wrap up a comfortable win in Northern Ireland.

In the first match of the evening, Robert Thornton secured a 7-5 win over Andy Hamilton on his Premier League debut.

The UK Open champion raced into a 5-1 lead and appeared to be cruising towards victory before Hamilton fought back to level at 5-5.

But Thornton checked out a 120 finish against the throw in leg 11 before sealing a 7-5 victory in the deciding leg.

In week one’s other match, perennial Premier League slow starter James Wade earned his first opening-week win since 2008 as he cruised past debutant Wes Newton 7-4.