Premier League trio on Klopp’s shortlist as Lewandowski closes in on Dortmund exit.
Borussia Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp has identified three Premier League-based strikers that could replace Robert Lewandowski if the prolific Pole leaves the club this January, CaughtOffside understands.
The Champions League runners-up have been facing speculation about Lewandowski’s future for much of the last few months, with it being widely expected that the 25-year-old has made the decision to join rivals Bayern Munich when his contract expires at the end of this season.
Having already lost young German playmaker Mario Goetze to Bayern in the summer, Klopp is desperate not to see another of his star players move to the Allianz Arena, and is reportedly willing to offer Lewandowski to Premier League clubs for a knock-down price of just £7m this January.
This should spark interest from the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City, who have all been linked with the Dortmund star several times of late, though it is unclear if he will choose a move to England over signing for Bayern.
Regardless, Klopp already has plans in place to bring in a new striker as a replacement for Lewandowski, and could move as early as this January if the forward does leave for the Premier League in the middle of the season.
As well as several other players around Europe, the Dortmund boss has his eye on three of the Premier League’s best strikers, with Chelsea’s Romelu Lukaku and Aston Villa’s Christian Benteke high on his list, and Queens Park Rangers’ Loic Remy, currently on loan at Newcastle, also in consideration.
Lukaku, who is highly rated at Chelsea, but who has spent two seasons in a row out on loan, may feel a move away from the club is what he needs to establish himself as a world class performer, as the Blues have been reluctant to make him their first choice so far, despite his undoubted potential.
Although the Belgian starlet is set to remain with Everton for the rest of the season, Dortmund will hope to complete a deal in time for next season, and if Lewandowski decides on a move to Stamford Bridge, that could help the Bundesliga giants land Lukaku in return.
Another up-and-coming Belgian star, Benteke, has also caught Klopp’s eye after some fantastic displays last season and this, with the powerful 22-year-old looking capable of making the move up to a bigger club after almost single-handedly saving Villa from relegation.
The likes of Tottenham and Arsenal are also keen on Benteke, who would be one of Dortmund’s more expensive options, as he is valued by his club at close to £30m.
Finally, Klopp could also try to strike a deal with Queens Park Rangers for Remy, who has been in prolific form since moving to the Premier League from Marseille last January. The Frenchman reportedly has a £10m release clause at the club, though it is not clear if Newcastle, where he is currently on loan for the season, have first refusal on the player.
The 26-year-old has certainly impressed at St James’ Park, and manager Alan Pardew is known to be keen to keep him permanently, though with the likes of Arsenal also interested in snapping him up, Remy himself may have his eye on a permanent move to a bigger club.
Other strikers from around the continent on Klopp’s shortlist include Porto’s Jackson Martinez and Olympiacos’ Kostas Mitroglou, though a move may not happen until the summer if Lewandowski decides to see out the season with Dortmund.