Ex-squad planner about Robert Lewandowski and Erling Haaland rumors

Michael Reschke (left) 2018 in conversation with Bayern’s sports director Hasan Salihamidzic. Photo: Press photo Baumann / Julia Rahn

interview

29/04/2022, 15:3129/04/2022, 17:03

Luke Grybowski

There are new rumors, speculations, secret meetings and verbal commitments to the new club almost every day when it comes to the future of Robert Lewandowski and Erling Haaland.

The two attacking stars rarely comment on the subject. Dthe managers of the two clubs repeat their statements as a mantra and point to existing contract terms. With this play before the actual shift window from July 1, Michael Reschke probably knows himself around Germany like no other.

“It’s absolutely human and understandable that at some point you jump out of your skin.”

Michael Reschke on the Bavarian bosses’ reactions to inquiries about Robert Lewandowski’s future

Between 2014 and 2017, he was squad planner and technical director of FC Bayern and his work with the record champions still has an impact today. Among other things, Reschke was responsible for bringing in regular players such as Joshua Kimmich, Serge Gnabry, Niklas Süle and Kingsley Coman.

The 64-year-old, who has worked in the management of Bayer Leverkusen, FC Bayern, VfB Stuttgart and Schalke 04 for over 20 years, now works as the “Head of European Football” for the consulting firm ICM Stellar.

In an interview with watson, he had a clear opinion about Robert Lewandowski’s future at FC Bayern, where annoying constant speculation about players is, where Erling Haaland will go in the summer, and why FC Bayern does not change his transfer strategy at all.

Michael Reschke (left) hugs Kingsley Coman, who he once brought to Bayern Munich.

Michael Reschke (left) hugs Kingsley Coman, who he once brought to Bayern Munich. Photo: Sport Moments / Schwabenpress / Sport Moments / Schwabenpress

watson: Mr. Reschke, if you were still the sporting director or sporting director of a club: would you sign Robert Lewandowski or Erling Haaland?

Michael Reschke: This is a very complex and difficult question. If it was the kicker-manager game for the upcoming season, I would choose Robert Lewandowski. As head of a Bundesliga club, it would be Erling Haaland, as age, prospects and market value development simply speak for him.

So suppose Robert Lewandowski stays in Bavaria despite discussions about his contract, which runs until 2023.

Yes. He has a contract until 2023. Replacing him on an equal footing is hardly sportingly and financially impossible for Bayern. Even though the whole media debate will annoy those responsible in FCB.

“I am convinced that it is not financially realistic to move to Bayern at the moment. He would rather play another season at Dortmund.”

Michael Reschke on a potential transfer from Erling Haaland to FC Bayern

You have to explain that to us.

With pleasure. The Lewandowski-Haland transfer topic is of course of interest to all fans and can be discussed excellently. Many facts are clear to those responsible, but receive only limited attention from the media, no matter what is clearly explained in between. Bayern and Dortmund have now had to experience this with full force, and it annoys you as the person in charge of the club. But it’s obviously part of the business, and you have to go through it.

The club managers of FC Bayern around CEO Oliver Kahn and sports director Hasan Salihamidžić have reacted somewhat thin-skinned to questions about Lewandowski in recent times.

It is absolutely human and understandable that you sometimes lose your skin.

There is currently great speculation about the future of Robert Lewandowski in FC Bayern.

There is currently great speculation about the future of Robert Lewandowski in FC Bayern. Photo: Revierfoto / Revierfoto

Why?

Of course, Kahn and Salihamidžić have a completely different level of knowledge, but they can not reveal much. At the same time, however, one must constantly justify oneself to ignorant people – it is not meant to be derogatory – even if they do not have the necessary background knowledge necessary for a serious judgment. Sometimes it means compensation for pain and suffering. Of course, one has to be calm, professional and straightforward and consider this part of the game, but sometimes it just blows the hat string.

But the longer there is uncertainty for media and fans, the more detailed the discussions become.

As I said: a very complex overall situation. Many facets play a role in this decision-making process, which is crucial, but which, of course, is not fully known by journalists and fans, nor must it be made public.

Robert Lewandowski himself fueled the discussion last weekend when he told Sky: “The situation is not easy for me” and that he only knew that there were going to be initial talks soon.

I can not imagine that people have not tried to talk to Robert yet. It was clear that Robert would be extremely confronted with questions about his future. It then makes sense to exchange ideas with the player in such a way that there is a common wording to counteract too much speculation.

How is it possible that Barcelona’s president Joan Laporta says on Spanish radio that there’s a good chance of picking up Lewandowski?

No matter what the speculations for the upcoming season look like: FC Bayern are in the driver’s seat in this situation. Laporta’s statements may refer to July 1, 2023, independently of Bavaria. But the situation is ready for the 2022/23 season: Robert has a contract with FC Bayern and no change is possible without FCB’s consent.

“Robert’s only wish will certainly not be decisive.”

Michael Reschke on a possible amendment request and the resignation of Robert Lewandowski

Unless he informs those responsible that he wants to change.

How Bayern react when he expresses this wish is relatively clear. Robert’s only wish will certainly not be decisive. It needs an interested club that offers an exceptional transfer solution that should be extremely lucrative for Bayern.

Do you think the club has a plan B for Robert Lewandowski?

Of course, FC Bayern will work on a plan B for Robert Lewandowski, and there are definitely players in the Bundesliga who could be interesting. But one can only warn against setting the bar for Lewandowski in the event of a possible successor.

Despite several rejections from Bayern bosses, the name Erling Haaland is always mentioned as a Lewandowski replacement.

I do not think he will stay in the Bundesliga anymore and I am convinced that it is not economically realistic to move to Bayern at the moment. He is more likely to play another season at Dortmund as it might even make sense.

Why?

Depending on how the transfer situation develops in the international market, there may be a few clubs in a year that can afford him financially and are interesting from a sporting point of view.

According to various media reports, Manchester City’s interest should be relatively specific.

If that is the case, this would certainly be a very good solution for Haaland and probably also for Borussia Dortmund.

The Norwegian is said to have a fixed exit clause of 75 million euros in the contract with BVB. Are these clauses something you hate as a sports director?

I am convinced that Dortmund would have preferred to have signed him without an exit clause. But then the Haaland party had probably not agreed to a BVB change. Like a club, your hands are often tied: do it or leave it.

And how do you view these clauses from today’s perspective as a consultant?

It is logical that the Haaland side wants to play the decisive role in the further sporting future, and thanks to the exit clause, you have this opportunity. All in all, you should congratulate Borussia Dortmund on this transfer.

How?

BVB risked a transfer investment of 20-25 million euros two years ago. A top decision in relation to sports and economics. Despite large transfer, payroll and consulting costs, BVB will post a significant financial plus through transfer income after two seasons. And the club had a fantastic player for two years, which delighted the fans and enriched the Bundesliga significantly. Extraordinarily, more is hardly possible.

Dortmund could do that before with players like Sancho, Pulisic, Aubameyang and Dembelé, who were sold again for a lot of money. With Reyna and Bellingham, two upcoming young stars will definitely play for second place next year.

Dortmund had pursued an excellent transfer policy in recent years. There is a top scouting department and a clear strategy, which has created a high sporting and financial added value for the club. Of course, it is also clear that you do not just hit the outside with young players.

Leon Goretzka, Dayot Upamecano, Alphonso Davies and Serge Gnabry (from left to right) should form the heart of FC Bayern.

Leon Goretzka, Dayot Upamecano, Alphonso Davies and Serge Gnabry (from left to right) should form the heart of FC Bayern.Image: www.imago-images.de / imago images

According to various reports, FC Bayern want to go in a similar direction and invest in young talents that they can sell profitably on after a few years.

This transfer strategy was already in place at FC Bayern when I worked at the club. Therefore, I do not see any turning point that is suddenly set in motion in the club. Just look at the team’s perspective heart with Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka, Tanguy Nianzou, Kingsley Coman, Serge Gnabry, Jamal Musiala, Alphonso Davies and youngsters like Paul Wanner and Malik Tillman. These are all players who were not signed until they were 25, but when they were very young. This is a solution that makes good sporting sense and is an economic necessity. Here, too, the scout area worked really well.

Serge Gnabry’s contract expires next summer. Would his departure hit the club worse than a Lewandowski transfer?

Redesigning Serge would be very valuable. In Munich, there must be a process of reflection on what significance he has in the squad.

How would you rate him?

I value his sporting status very highly and consider it extremely valuable to have a base of high-performing German players. Serge is also a very empathetic and intelligent guy who also makes an important contribution in addition to his sporting activities. One thing is also certain: Finding a comparable alternative with a reasonable price-performance ratio, such as with a contract extension for Gnabry, is a strong challenge and can hardly be solved.

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