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FC Barcelona transfer target Joshua Kimmich will echo former teammate Robert Lewandowski by trying to force his exit from Bayern Munich in order to join the Catalans this summer, according to Mundo Deportivo.
The front page report on Saturday names the German as Barca first team coach Xavi Hernandez’s “priority signing” in the upcoming transfer window. It adds that as an unhappy player in Bavaria, which El Nacional also reported, Kimmich will “try to force his departure” from the Bundesliga champions in the coming weeks after eight years at the Allianz Arena.
Lewandowski did this a year ago after Barca registered interest in the Polish striker. “My story with Bayern has come to an end, I cannot imagine further good cooperation,” he said on May 30, 2022.
“I hope they will not stop me (from leaving) just because they can. A transfer is the best solution for everyone,” the veteran added.
After some initial resistance, Bayern indeed granted the goalscorer his wish and a €45 million ($48.5 million) move which could rise to €50 million ($54 million) in value through add-ons.
The operation has thus far proven a roaring success with Lewandowski netting 33 strikes across all competitions in his maiden campaign. He scooped Spain’s top scorer award known as the Pichichi, as Barca lifted their first La Liga title in four years and the Super Cup where he put one past bitter rivals Real Madrid in the final.
Ahead of next term, Kimmich is reportedly willing to do likewise to switch allegiances which will be needed considering his contract runs until mid-2025.
This summer could theoretically be the last that Bayern have to cash in on the 28-year-old they bought from RB Leipzig for a ridiculously cheap €7 million ($7.5 million) in 2015. When news first broke about Barca’s desire to capture his signature in May, AS reported that Kimmich is rated at €80 million ($86 million).
According to Mundo Deportivo, Kimmich has usurped Manchester City star Bernardo Silva as Xavi’s favourite target in European football.
In an interview with Spanish broadcaster Movistar this week, the manager explained he needs a new pivot now skipper Sergio Busquets will leave, and also conceded it is “clear that we are missing a right back”.
Kimmich ticks both those boxes, and him telling Bayern he wishes to leave to join Barca would be a huge development around three weeks since Mundo Deportivo initially reported on Xavi and Co wanting to acquire his services.