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Bayern edge ahead of Manchester United in two-way Lewandowski fight as Juventus line up Gomez

By Wayne Veysey | Chief Correspondent

Bayern Munich are increasingly confident of beating Manchester United to the signature of Robert Lewandowski, understands.

The German giants have already agreed a £31.5 million deal to sign Borussia Dortmund star Mario Gotze and will follow up with a concerted push for his club team-mate Lewandowski.

Kornel Pracki | Germany

Robert Lewandowski has proved this season that he is one of the best strikers in Europe and, along with Mario Mandzukic of Bayern, the most complete forward in the Bundesliga. In the Champions League he has proved this season that he has the mentality to play against and for a top level club.

He is yet to reproduce his club form consistently on the international stage but that is down the quality of his team-mates, rather than any failing on his part. Having failed to agree a new contract, Dortmund are being forced into a position where they have to sell him, just as was the case for Lech Poznan, Lewandowski’s previous club.  

Juventus are lining up a move for Mario Gomez this summer as the Germany international prepares to leave the Allianz Arena in search of regular first-team football ahead of the 2014 World Cup.

Lewandowski is set to make a final decision in May on whether to accept the offers on the table from Premier League champions United or Bundesliga winners Bayern.

But there is believed to be a growing confidence among the Bayern hierarchy that they can follow the landmark capture of Gotze with another A-list signing in Lewandowski.

Germany’s richest club have a huge transfer kitty available this summer as they attempt to strengthen what is already a formidable squad ahead of the arrival of Pep Guardiola.

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson went public for the first time last week to confirm his interest in taking Lewandowski to Old Trafford, as reported by last December.

Bayern are able to offer the prolific Pole, who has scored 30 goals in 39 games this season, a regular starting spot ahead of current spearheads Mario Mandzukic and Gomez, who have battled for the centre-forward role this season.

This could prove decisive in Lewandowski’s final decision as United would have to create space in a squad already bursting with four senior forwards.

Robin van Persie is top of the Old Trafford striking pecking order and Danny Welbeck will not be sold by the English champions, but there is growing uncertainty over the futures of Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez.

Rooney has dropped into a central midfield role in recent weeks and has privately admitted to colleagues that he could leave United this summer.

Sir Alex’s decision to go public with his desire to capture Lewandowski could be interpreted as growing confidence in signing the player, who has a year remaining on his Dortmund contract and has told the club that he will not be signing a new deal.

But it is understood that Bayern believe they can win the race for another star coveted by a leading English club after beating Arsenal and Manchester City to the signing of Gotze.

Bayern's interest in Lewandowski is likely to spell the end of Gomez’s time at the club as the Germany striker targets a place in the national team at next year's World Cup. understands that Juventus have made an offer to the 27-year-old as they line up a proven goalscorer to finish off their attacks. Despite starting only 10 Bayern matches this season, Gomez has scored 15 goals.

Fernando Llorente will join the runaway Serie A leaders this summer but the Turin giants are still believed to be in the market for another striker.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been widely mentioned as a target but the Paris Saint-Germain man’s wages make a deal extremely difficult for Juventus to pull off.

Gomez is a more realistic alternative for Juve, who are also looking closely at Barcelona's Alexis Sanchez.