Man City winger, Leroy Sane is on the verge of joining German champions in a deal worth up to €60m after turning down new contract
It’s been more than a year in the making, but Leroy Sane’s move to Bayern Munich is finally set to go through.
Manchester City will receive an initial €49m (£44.7m/$55m) for the German international with the potential for a further €11m in add-ons.
It represents decent value for a player in the final year of his current contract for City, particularly given the market uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 outbreak.
However, it does leave a couple of unanswered questions for a player who turned 24 in January and would seemingly still have his best years ahead of him.
One cannot help but wonder how much money City would have pocketed had the two clubs reached an agreement last summer, before Sane damaged knee ligaments in the Community Shield just days before the transfer window shut.
But the bigger imponderable will be what could he have gone on to achieve at the Etihad Stadium.
Pep Guardiola wanted Sane to stay and, at one point, believed the winger was close to signing an extension.
However, when Bayern made their interest known publicly, with everyone from then-coach Niko Kovac to Germany boss Joachim Low talking openly about the benefits of a move, the attacker’s head was turned.
“When we make an offer it’s because we want him; he’s got a special quality that is difficult to find,” Guardiola said when football returned after the suspension of play in the Premier League. “We tried before the injury [and] the surgery, and after that, but he rejected this offer.
“He has other wishes and I understand [but] we want players who want to commit and achieve our targets. I love him so much, he’s incredible, I’ve nothing against him – he just wants another adventure.”
Sane was a big part of City’s success. He showed huge potential in his early days with Schalke but a deal worth £37m ($46m) still represented a sizeable gamble when City bought him in August 2016.
It worked out well for both, though.
Sane’s speed and ability to stretch the pitch helped City to two Premier League titles, two League Cups and an FA Cup, while his own game improved hugely under Guardiola’s tutelage and saw him named the 2018 Young Player of the Year.
He scored the winner against Liverpool last season with a brilliant run and finish that would prove to be crucial in the title race, and showed his quality with a stunning free-kick in the Champions League last-16 victory away to Schalke.
However, Guardiola believed that the winger was capable of even more.
“Leroy makes mistakes in the simple things – big mistakes. He has a lot to improve,” Guardiola said after Sane scored in a 4-1 FA Cup victory over Burnley in 2018.
“He is a special talent, we need his goals, but it’s how he defends, [goes] backwards.”
There have always been some concerns about Sane’s work-rate, which led him to being in and out of the City team.
Also, at the end of the 2018 season, he was surprisingly omitted from the Germany squad for Russia 2018.
After a summer off, Sane failed to make a strong impression when he returned to the City squad for a pre-season tour to the U.S. and didn’t start a game until mid-September while many of his team-mates went straight back to action after appearing at the World Cup.
Low’s decision was a shock and the fact that Die Mannschaft boss said he would be a star in the Bundesliga will have given him an extra nudge to go home this summer.
With the European Championship postponed for 12 months and now set to be quickly followed by the World Cup in Qatar, it’s a crucial time for Sane and his national team prospects.
By joining Bayern, he will have the opportunity to shine in a team that dominates the German league, winning the last eight titles, and now once again looks like a major force in the Champions League.
Certainly, a wing partnership with Serge Gnabry has the potential to be sensational for both club and country.
Sane’s mind was seemingly made up last summer and his intentions seemed to be clear when he saw Bayern and Germany doctor Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt after his knee injury rather than Guardiola’s trusted surgeon Dr Ramon Cugat.
In the end, it’s a deal that suits all parties.
Bayern have someone they believe can be a star, Sane has got what he wants – including a considerable wage increase – and City are happy that they have a decent kitty they can use to fund any potential replacement.
Source: News update