Manchester United close in on Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski
Manchester United will use funds from a series of lucrative commercial deals to press ahead with plans to sign Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski, who stunned Europe on Wednesday with four goals against Real Madrid in the Champions' League semi-final.
United have been heartened by Bayern Munich's denial that any agreement is in place for the Polish international to join Mario Götze, who is already set to move between the German clubs this summer.
Bayern have agreed to pay a ¤37m (£31.5m) release clause for Götze, and United believe that Dortmund dare not allow Lewandowski to follow him to the team they expect to meet in the Champions' League final at Wembley next month.
There has been fierce rivalry between the clubs, and Bayern, in reclaiming the Bundesliga title, are 20 points ahead of Dortmund.
"Dortmund fans are not going to be happy and I don't think they will sell him to Bayern Munich," United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, said. "I think they'll let his contract run out, or sell him somewhere else. Have I got room for him? I can find room for anybody."
Ferguson is in a financial position to do so because United's commercial department continue to rack up so many deals all over the world. The latest came three days ago in a two-year sponsorship deal with a Japanese social gaming company. Other tie-ups this season include a Vietnamese mobile phone group and a £160m deal for Aon to sponsor the training ground.
Lewandowski himself was reported yesterday as telling friends he wants to go to the Premier League "because it's the biggest and best in the world".
Today United – including former Gunner Robin van Persie – will receive a guard of honour from Arsenal before they play at the Emirates as newly-crowned Premier League champions.