Barcelona is set to sign Poland striker Robert Lewandowski from Bayern Munich in a bold move by the debt-ridden club to acquire a world-class scorer who can finally help to fill the void left by Lionel Messi’s exit.
The European clubs have reached an agreement in principle for Lewandowski's move to Camp Nou.
"We have come to a verbal agreement with Barcelona. It’s good to have clarity for all parties," Bayern president Herbert Hainer said on Saturday on the club's Twitter account. "Robert is an incredible player and he won everything with us. We are incredibly grateful to him."
Spanish media reports said that the transfer would cost Barcelona around €50 million.
The 33-year-old Lewandowski -- one of soccer’s most prolific scorers of the past decade -- would greatly boost Barcelona’s chances of rebuilding a competitive team after winning nothing last season.
Over the course of the past 12 seasons in the German top flight, Lewandowski scored a total of 312 goals in 384 Bundesliga games for Bayern and his previous club Borussia Dortmund. He hit 35 goals in 34 appearances last season to become the Bundesliga’s leading scorer for the seventh time overall.
Barcelona's top scorers were Memphis Depay and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, with 13 goals each last campaign.
He is also a proven winner, with a total of 10 Bundesliga titles and over a dozen top-level cup wins -- including the 2020 Champions League winners' medal -- to his name.
Only the dominance of Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo over the past decade has likely stopped Lewandowski from receiving more individual accolades.
But Lewandowski said in late May that "my story with Bayern Munich is over" after contract extension talks with Bayern broke down. He had one more season left on his contract with the Bavarian outfit.
He will now join a team coached by Xavi Hernández that relied on Aubameyang and Ferran Torres for its goals after they joined last winter as Depay was injured and lost his starting job as a striker. He will have Spain's young and gifted midfielders Pedri González and Gavi Páez to set him up.
Now, with a veteran like Lewandowski soon to be on board, the club is clearly betting on winning titles again in the short term. Last season, Barcelona finished a distant second in Spain to Madrid and failed to advance beyond the Champions League group phase.
The sale allows Bayern to cash in on a player turning 34 next month who would have become a free agent next year and had made clear his desire to leave.
If the fee is confirmed, it would be a club-record sale fee for Bayern, exceeding the 40 million euros the German champion received from Juventus for Douglas Costa in 2018.