Wed, 19 Jun 2013 12:22:00 – Borussia Dortmund executive Hans-Joachim Watzke says that the club need to clarify the future of striker Robert Lewandowski as they prepare for the forthcoming Bundesliga season.
The 24-year old still has another year remaining on his contract at the Westfalenstadion, but he was reported to be looking for an exit, with UEFA Champions League winners Bayern Munich the Poland international's desired destination.
Watzke had recently stated his reluctance to allow Lewandowski to leave but he says that any interested teams will need to act quickly.
"There has been no general change on this. But the proposed time window for interested foreign clubs is not open for much longer," he told German newspaper Ruhr Nachrichten.
"It is a fact we need a severe certainty for our season plan.
"Robert Lewandowski has insisted on his wish to join Bayern Munich, therefore there is no real issue on him moving abroad.
"Borussia Dortmund has not handed any written allowance to Robert Lewandowski on a move to Bayern Munich. There is zero official correspondence existing."
Meanwhile, Arsenal are reported to be in the market for a striker and German international Lukas Podolski believes that Lewandowski would be a perfect signing for the Gunners.
He told Polska The Times: "He would fit ideally into our team, Arsenal."
The Scottish champions were due to host Danny Lennon's Saints at Celtic Park on August 10 a week after the new Scottish Professional Football League kicks off.
But the Glasgow giants have been given permission to cancel the fixture so they can instead face Liverpool in a money-spinning friendly in Dublin.
Goodwin rounded on the SPFL - formed last week by a merger of the Scottish Premier League and the Scottish Football League - and claimed the move made a mockery of the Scottish game.
The Irish defender said: "I'm very frustrated. I don't agree with it. I understand from a financial view what it does for Celtic. But for the game up here it is ridiculous.
"We have been unfortunate to be the club who drew this fixture. We are looking to get off to a good start and gain a bit of momentum.
"But we'll come back from our holidays, play one game and then have another two-week break.
"I haven't agreed with this from the start. It doesn't happen anywhere else in the world. I can't see why it happens here.
"It's obviously worth a lot of money to Celtic. Going to play Liverpool in Dublin in the Aviva Stadium will no doubt draw a full house.
"There is massive revenue at stake for Celtic but I don't see why it can't be organised during pre-season. Why the SPL allow this to happen doesn't make sense.
"We'll just have to get on with it. Maybe the manager might decide to squeeze in a friendly himself. Or maybe we'll be able to get in a wee round of golf."
Goodwin's team-mate Kenny McLean took the same view point.
The Scotland Under-21 midfielder said: "We all want to play these big games against the likes of Celtic but I don't see why they should be allowed to organise a friendly during the season.
"Obviously they have got permission from the league but I don't think it's right. It doesn't seem fair.
"It's one week into the season and we'll be dying to get going. But a week after the first game we'll back doing nothing. It's very frustrating."
St Mirren will start their top-flight campaign with a trip to Inverness on August 3.
But they been spared another long-haul trip to the Highlands during the festive season.
The Paisley outfit lodged an official complaint with the SPL last year after they were handed a Boxing Day clash with Inverness for the second time in three seasons.
Instead, St Mirren will now face Dundee United at home the day after Christmas. They will then host Hearts on December 29 before travelling to Kilmarnock on New Year's Day, with a trip to Celtic Park next on January 4.
Goodwin said: "August is the best time of year to go up there to Inverness. The pitch will be immaculate and the weather will be alright. Certainly, it's better than heading up there in December time.
"We're pleased with the first game. It's always hard up there but it's one that will get us up for the season ahead.
"And it couldn't have worked out any better as far as the festive fixtures go. It's four fantastic games. We have been very, very fortunate at that end of the season.
"We always seem to get a long trip at this time of the year but this year will make for a nice change.
"We've been to Inverness a few times but I'd rather get them when the pitch is perfect, like we will on the opening day, than having to travel up on Boxing Day."
The 51-year-old has re-affirmed his commitment to the Magpies a day after seeing Joe Kinnear installed above him as director of football and with managing director Derek Llambias having resigned from his post.
In the most brief of comments, Pardew told the Newcastle Chronicle: "I'm staying - to take the club up the league."
Pardew's silence in the wake of Kinnear's appointment on Tuesday was interpreted as an indication of his disquiet at owner Mike Ashley's decision, although it appears he is at least ready to try to make it work.
However, Llambias' departure means further upheaval in the dynamics behind the scenes at St James' Park and it remains to be seen just how the pair and chief scout Graham Carr are able to handle the Irishman's presence in a supervisory role.
Pardew, of course, signed an eight-year contract in September last year, his reward for guiding the club into the Premier League's top five and back into Europe, although the terms of that deal do not preclude an early exit.
However, the top flight Manager of the Year's fortunes dipped alarmingly last season when a squad which had not been sufficiently strengthened during the summer, much to his disappointment, was exposed as it attempted to negotiate its way through a cluttered fixture schedule.
Ashley backed a belated January rebuilding programme as an unlikely fight against relegation ensued, but the Magpies limped over the finishing line to come home in 16th place, and that was simply not good enough for all concerned.
Pardew's future was a matter of some speculation as a difficult campaign drew to a close, and even he admitted he could be relieved of his duties.
However, he emerged from an end-of-season debrief still in post and ready for a fresh assault on the Premier League.
It was then that Ashley, with his innate sense of timing, hurled in the curve ball which has thrust the club into disarray once again by appointing Kinnear, who has already demonstrated his ability to resemble the most unstable of loose cannons.
Llambias' subsequent departure has added to the unfolding chaos, and only time will tell if Pardew and the highly rated Carr can forge a working partnership with Ashley's new right-hand man.