Bayern Munich legend Stefan Effenberg has suggested that Robert Lewandowski should be sold after the striker questioned the club's transfer policy.
The Bundesliga champions have focused predominantly on investing in youth this summer, and have made clear their reluctance to spend as heavily as some of their European rivals.
And Lewandowski made clear his view that Bayern need to bring in "world-class players."
“Bayern has to come up with something new and be creative, if the club wants to keep luring world-class players to Munich," he told Spiegel. "And if you want to keep up at the very highest level, you need these players’ quality.”
Effenberg, however, has vehemently disagreed with the Polish forward, and backed the approach of his former club.
“On the one hand, he’s attacked the philosophy of the club," Effenberg wrote in his column for t-online.de. "Uli Hoeness has already said several times that they will not spend totals by €100 million or €150m. He also attacked his colleagues, who in his opinion apparently did not have the quality to win what he wants: the Champions League.
“I said a few weeks ago that Bayern are in danger of losing touch with PSG and Barcelona if they are not willing to pay these sums. However, Lewandowski is a player - in this role, he should not express such statements publicly. In addition, the decision of Uli Hoeness is now irrefutable and the quality of the team is high despite ‘low’ expenditure.”
He added: “After the new development centre is finally finished, I see today a huge potential in a completely different strategy: FC Bayern Germany.
“We have so many highly talented, potential world-class players in Germany - not 15 but 30 to 40! They have won the World Cup, the Confederations Cup and the European U21 Championship.
“This is exactly the opposite of what Lewandowski demands. €100m, €150m or €200m for international superstars? For this sum you get five or six players in Germany.
“Bayern already have [Manuel] Neuer, [Mats] Hummels, [Jerome] Boateng, [Joshua] Kimmich, [Sebastian] Rudy, [Niklas] Sule, and, of course, Thomas Muller. Why not expand this? For Timo Werner, it would be a logical next step to switch to Bayern. I cannot imagine that he would say ‘I'm going abroad’ or ‘I'm staying with Leipzig’ if they came calling.
“[Leon] Goretzka and [Emre] Can for the midfield, [Jonas] Hector for the left flank, [Julian] Brandt, [Benjamin] Henrichs, [Kai] Havertz, [Kerem] Demirbay, [Amin] Younes and [Max] Arnold… you could spend around €150m and have a team that know how to stand together. That is why they would be successful in Europe.
“If Bayern wants to go for this strategy, then they must fully commit. They have to separate themselves consistently from the foreign top players in the coming years, including Lewandowski. He could go to Paris, where such enormous sums are paid, or Barcelona. Then he has a club that does what he wants.”