Lewandowski ‘deal was done’ for Genoa before president ‘pulled the plug’

The Bayern striker was close to an Italian transfer when he was developing as player before settling on Signal Iduna Park

Robert Lewandowski was close to joining Serie A club Genoa before ultimately making the move to Borussia Dortmund.

The Poland international was in high demand after excelling for Lech Poznan between 2008-10 with Genoa agreeing a deal to sign the centre forward pending a medical.

But, according to former Genoa sporting director Stefano Capozucca, the club’s president Enrico Preziosi decided to cancel Lewandowski’s transfer, paving the way for a Bundesliga move.

Lewandowski went on to become one of best strikers in the world at Dortmund, before eventually joining Bayern Munich – scoring 303 goals at 10 seasons across both clubs.

“The deal was done for Lewandowski in 2010,” Capozucca told Radio Sportiva.

“[Gian Piero] Gasperini knew him well. He still had to undergo a medical, but then the President pulled the plug.”

At Bayern and Dortmund, Lewandowski has won seven Bundesliga titles and three DFB-Pokal Cups – but hasn’t managed to win a coveted Champions League trophy.

The 31-year-old was also enjoying arguably his best personal campaign before the coronavirus halted football, scoring an incredible 39 goals in 33 games for Bayern.

His former team-mate at Dortmund, Ilkay Gundogan, believes Lewandowski is the best centre forward in the world currently.

“It was a huge joy to play with him. He has improved again and again,” Gundogan told DAZN.

“Technically he was always great, now he also has that cool head. The way he scored the goals is phenomenal.

“For me he is the best and most complete striker in the world at the moment.”

Genoa didn’t make the same mistake with a prolific Polish striker next time around however, signing Lewandowski’s compatriot Krzysztof Piatek in 2018 for €4 million before selling him on to Milan for €30m (£26m/$33m) six months later.

Capozucca wasn’t completely negative about Preziosi’s tenure at Genoa, insisting the president made a smart decision to sign Argentine striker Diego Milito.

Milito joined Genoa from Racing Club in his native Argentina, before famously going on to play a crucial role in Inter’s treble winning season in 2009-10.

“The lad joined Genoa for a couple of lire and became a great champion years later,” Capozucca said.