Sir Alex Ferguson, the Manchester United manager, and his assistant, Mike Phelan, will be at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday night when Poland international Lewandowski is due to play for the German champions against Manchester City in the Champions League Group D tie.
Telegraph Sport has learnt that Dortmund were made aware of United’s interest in Lewandowski, 24, in August, prior to Robin van Persie’s £22million transfer from Arsenal to Old Trafford, and that the German club rejected the possibility of a deal in the region of €20million (£16million).
Chelsea have also actively scouted the former Lech Poznan forward, who has scored 31 goals in 72 league games for Dortmund and shone for Poland at Euro 2012.
Lewandowski has made it clear to Dortmund, however, that he will not sign an extension to his contract at the club, which expires in June 2014, and there is an acceptance in Germany that he will be sold at the end of this season.
United capitalised on Shinji Kagawa’s diminishing contract at Dortmund this summer by striking a £17million deal for the Japanese midfielder, whose deal had entered its final 12 months.
And with Dortmund adopting a business model which prevents them paying excessive wages, cashing in on Lewandowski next summer rather than lose him as a free agent in 2014, is the preferred option.
United have emerged as front-runners to sign the Pole, however, due to the growing doubts over Nani and HernŠndez.
Nani has yet to agree terms on a new contract at the club and, although there is a willingness on both sides to negotiate a new deal, the Portuguese winger’s form this season has done little to accelerate United’s attempts to secure his services beyond the end of his contract, which expires in June 2014.
Zenit St Petersburg had been keen to sign the former Sporting Lisbon player in August, but the Russian club were unable to force through a deal prior to the transfer deadline.
And while HernŠndez signed a five-year contract at Old Trafford last October, the Mexican forward has struggled for form since scoring 20 goals in his debut season at United in 2010-11.
HernŠndez has subsequently slipped to fourth choice striker, behind Van Persie, Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck, and another disappointing campaign could trigger his departure from the club.
Although Lewandowski operates as a central striker for Dortmund, he has regularly performed as a wide player in a 4-3-3 formation for Poland and his versatility would enable him to fit into Sir Alex Ferguson’s desire for his players to possess the flexibility to perform in more than one role.
After being rested by Dortmund for Saturday’s 5-0 Bundesliga victory against Borussia MŲnchengladbach, Lewandowski, who scored the only goal of the game in last month’s 1-0 Group D victory against Ajax, is expected to be restored to the starting line-up by coach JŁrgen Klopp against City.