Bayern Munich hot-shot Lewandowski drops exit hint

AFP , Sunday 31 Jan 2016

Bayern Munich's Polish striker Robert Lewandowski celebrates the 1:0 during the German first division Bundesliga football match of FC Bayern Munich vs TSG 1899 Hoffenheim in Munich, southern Germany, on January 31, 2016. (AFP)

Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski took his Bundesliga tally to 19 goals on Sunday and hinted that he might follow Pep Guardiola in leaving the Bavaria giants next season.

Lewandowski scored both Bayern's goals in Sunday's 2-0 win at home to strugglers Hoffenheim which left his club eight points clear in the table.

He has scored 19 goals in 18 league matches and is battling Borussia Dortmund's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who has scored 20, to be Germany's top scorer this season.

The Poland star has a Bayern contract until 2019, but hinted to German daily Die Welt on Sunday that he might quit when Carlo Ancelotti replaces Guardiola as head coach next season.

Lewandowski has been linked to both Real Madrid and Paris St-Germain in recent weeks after Bayern president Karl-Heinz Rummenigge admitted they were interested in Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain.

When asked if he thinks he will end his career at Bayern, Lewandowski, 27, was non-committal.

"As a professional footballer, it's hard to say," he said.

"Many times I have heard players say such a thing and then comes another coach and they were no longer in such high demand. Or they got a very interesting offer.

"In any case, I feel very well at Bayern and will always give everything for the team while I'm here. I focus exclusively on Bayern.

"Ever since I was 18, there have been enquiries and rumours and even then I learned to deal with it. I can shut it out, it does not distract me.

"For me, this has become normal. However, it does not interest me."

Lewandowski joined Bayern from Dortmund in 2014 and he has a market value of 70 million euros ($75.81m) after growing his reputation as one of the world's top strikers.

The Bayern squad are determined to sign off Guardiola's three-year tenure with the treble of Champions League, Bundesliga and German Cup titles.

And Lewandowski shares the thirst for silverware to toast Guardiola's exit.

"That's a long way off," he said with Guardiola to leave in June.

"We now all know that Pep leaves the club in the summer but, until then, we are a unit.

"And we want to celebrate another title with him at the end of the season. That's why I concentrate fully on this season.

"Under Pep I always learned something new, especially in terms of tactics."

With several Bayern defenders struggling for fitness, Lewandowski says they must focus on their Champions League last 16, first leg, clash away to Juventus in three weeks time.

"Juve is a great team that plays defensively, is very compact and waits for a chance to counterattack," said Lewandowski.

"Italian teams are always dangerous. At the beginning of the season they had problems, but now they are right there.

"If we want to win the Champions League, we have to get through these games."

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