Lukaku 'only and ideal' replacement for Lewandowski, says former Bayern great Matthaus

Lewandowski Bayern Munich Lukaku ChelseaGetty/GOAL

Romelu Lukaku is the "only and ideal alternative" for Bayern Munich if Robert Lewandowski is to leave the club, according to former West Germany great Lothar Matthaus, who also believes that Sadio Mane will be a fine signing for the Bundesliga champions.

The Chelsea striker is widely tipped to depart the Blues this summer to return to Inter after a frustrating first season back at Stamford Bridge, just as Lewandowski has indicated he will attempt to push through a move, preferably to Barcelona.

With financial stumbling blocks preventing both the former's attempts to return to Serie A and the latter's pursuit of a Camp Nou switch, however, the transfer waters appear in constant flux.

Why should Bayern sign Lukaku if Lewandowski leaves?

Matthaus feels Bayern should capitalise on the uncertainty and challenge Inter to the signing of Lukaku, as he believes the Belgian is the only one who can succeed Lewandowski.

"I still see Lukaku as the only and ideal alternative," Matthaus wrote in his Sky Sport Germany column on the Belgium international being the ideal replacement for Lewandowski. "[It's that] or Nagelsmann does [a] Guardiola, and Bayern play with three attackers, but without a striker.

"You would then also break new ground here and deviate from the Bayern system, because basically there was always a real nine at Bayern: Gerd Muller, [Giovane] Elber, [Claudio] Pizarro, [Miroslav] Klose, [Mario] Gomez, Lewandowski and many more.

"I still hope that Robert stays, and then Bayern would be able to really attack the Champions League with this offensive."

What will Mane bring to Bayern upon his arrival?

One face all but confirmed to definitely be at Allianz Arena next season however is outgoing Liverpool winger Mane, who looks set to seal a €41 million (£35m/$43m) move to the Bundesliga champions in the coming days.

The arrival of the Senegal star - who steered his nation to both AFCON glory and Qatar 2022 qualification this year - will be a boost for the club, says Matthaus, who added: "Mane's signing is fantastic. Not just for Bayern, but for the entire Bundesliga. That such a great footballer will play in our league is just great.

"Mane is an exceptional player. He has provided goals and assists with Liverpool in a manner and with a regularity that few other players in the world have been able to match in recent years. He is also a wonderful football ambassador for Senegal. I'm really happy to see him in the Bayern shirt."

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