Manchester United should explore the possibility of a swap deal involving Cristiano Ronaldo and Robert Lewandowski, according to former United striker Paul Ince.
Ronaldo has told United he wants to leave the club this summer, but the club directors have come out to insist the Portuguese forward is not for sale.
Lewandowski is also keen to leave Bayern Munich in this window. Barcelona are thought to be his preferred destination but the La Liga club’s current financial situation makes any transfer tricky at the moment.
The Times claimed on Saturday that Ronaldo has told United he wants to go if an acceptable offer is made. Bayern are one of the clubs interested in signing the Portugal superstar.
United will need to replace Ronaldo if he were to leave. Despite turning 37 last February, he was the club’s top scorer in all competitions in his first season back at the club.
And Ince sees no better option for the Red Devils than Lewandowski. He said on talkSPORT: “If I’m Ten Hag, I’m doing a swap deal with money.
“Yep [for Lewandowski]. 100 per cent that’s what I’m doing. That’s the only move that they’ve got.”
Lewandowski is in the final year of his contract at the Allianz Arena. He has made it clear he will not put pen to paper on a new deal.
The Poland international will turn 34 in August but his goalscoring prowess has shown no signs of waning. He scored 50 goals in all competitions for Bayern last term, his second-best return for the German club since joining from Borussia Dortmund in 2014.
United’s chances of signing Lewandowski may be diminished somewhat by their failure to qualify for the Champions League. They finished sixth in the Premier League last season and will play Europa League football in the upcoming campaign.
Ronaldo has a desire to play in Europe’s elite club competition for the remainder of his professional career. At 37, he may not have many years left at the top, and therefore wants to leave United to join a club participating in the Champions League.
United are yet to make any signings since Erik ten Hag replaced Ralf Rangnick as manager. Feyenoord left-back Tyrell Malacia looks set to be the first player through the door at Old Trafford.
An initial fee of around £13m has been agreed with the Dutch club. Meanwhile, United continue to battle Arsenal for the signature of Lisandro Martinez, who knows Ten Hag well having played under him for three years at Ajax.
While Barça president Joan Laporta intimated the Blaugarana’s commitment towards having Frenkie De Jong at the Camp Nou despite United’s keen interest.