Robert Lewandowski could not hope to win more trophies at Barcelona and should therefore stay at Bayern Munich, as uncertainty over his future persists.
That is the message from former Bayern chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, who has implored the Bundesliga giants to keep talisman Lewandowski at the club despite interest from the Blaugrana.
The Poland international has enjoyed another remarkable season, scoring 35 goals in 34 top-flight games – no player has scored more across Europe's top five leagues.
But Lewandowski, whose contract expires in June 2023, has been widely linked with Barca after enjoying another fine personal campaign to help Bayern to a record 10th consecutive league title.
Questions remain over his future after Lewandowski and his agent suggested they had received no new contract offer, while Bayern, on the other hand, insisted a "concrete offer" was on the table.
And Rummenigge believes his former side must do everything in their power to keep the 33-year-old.
"I see things much more relaxed. There is one decisive factor: Robert Lewandowski has a contract that does not expire this year, but next year," he told BILD.
"That means the club can decide what to do, whether they sell him or not. I think [Bayern CEO] Oliver Kahn used the words 'Lewandowski stays, that's that' to show the door is closed, we're not selling him!
"I can't imagine that Bayern Munich will now give up Robert with these statements. I've experienced that myself.
"In 2013 [the year before the Poland international joined from Borussia Dortmund] we prepared a lot of things with Lewandowski but [BVB CEO Hans-Joachim] Watzke said categorically, 'we won't sell him a year before, for any money in the world'. It all happened peacefully.
"I don't know Robert as a rioter either. He is irreplaceable for FC Bayern. Since he's here, he scores between 40 and 50 goals every year. You need a player like that, even if he's about to turn 34. That's a guarantee that doesn't exist anywhere in Europe. He is extra class.
"He is a very intelligent person who has to be involved. He's someone who wants to win. But I don't think you can currently win more in Barcelona than at Bayern.
"I have to say openly and honestly, what more can Barcelona offer than Bayern Munich? I can't think of anything at the moment.
"He's a goal machine who has set records in all competitions. I wouldn't give up a player like that voluntarily. You have to fight for it, have conversations and cuddle with advisors, even if it's not that easy."