Manchester City are considering a move for Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski should they fail to capture Edinson Cavani this summer, Goal understands.
The Poland international's future remains up in the air after Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke poured cold water on his expected move to Bayern Munich on Sunday, insisting that Lewandowski wouldn't follow team-mate Mario Gotze in joining their Bundesliga rivals this summer.
"We want to find a good solution for all parties involved," Watzke told Bild on Monday. "That's why I will not say that he will definitely stay at Dortmund. I can say that he will not move to Bayern Munich in 2013, though."
And City, who held informal talks with Lewandowski's agent during last summer's European Championships, could look to swoop in on a cut-price move for the striker, who has only a year remaining on his current contract at Westfalenstadion that he is refusing to renew.
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Cavani has also indicated both publicly and privately that he would prefer a move to Real Madrid or Barcelona over a switch to the Premier League this summer.
City are keen to move Dzeko - who they value at £20m and who earns £110,000-a-week in Manchester - on during this transfer window, and he sees Dortmund as an ideal destination and as such could be used in any move for Lewandowski.
Speaking in May, Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp conceded that Dzeko is a target Bundesliga outfit would "think about" should he become available, and hinted that he would suit the club's long-term aims.
Lewandowski has bagged 66 goals in 99 games during his last two seasons at Dortmund, and impressed City officials when the teams played each other in the Champions League group stage last term.
Former City boss Roberto Mancini also considered Zlatan Ibrahimovic as an alternative to the Uruguayan striker this summer, but it is understood that City would be unlikely to sanction a move for the Paris Saint-Germain striker after the Italian was sacked following their FA Cup final defeat to Wigan in May.Manchester United have also been long-term admirers of the 24-year-old, but need to make space in their squad, with Wayne Rooney's future still unclear despite his desire to leave Old Trafford ahead of next season.
Bayern moved ahead in the race to sign Lewandowski earlier this year but Dortmund are loathe to sell to their rivals after Gotze's forthcoming move to the Allianz Arena soured relations ahead of the Champions League final at Wembley in May.
Meanwhile City are set to confirm the announcement of Manuel Pellegrini as their new manager in the next few days, with Jesus Navas and Fernandinho already on board to join the club this summer.