Leroy Sane has gone from being the future of Manchester City to being embroiled in a transfer saga in the course of two seasons. After winning the Young Player of the Year award in 2018 for his displays in the City shirt as manager Pep Guardiola secured his first set of silverware in English football, the winger saw limited action last term.
Naturally, speculations began to emerge about his future as he rode the bench. Opinion was divided regarding the cause of his reduced role in the team. While some blamed it on the manager’s tactics and the upsurge in form of Benardo Silva as well as the signing of Riyad Mahrez, others laid the blame squarely on the player’s feet.
The 23-year-old has been accused of not pulling his weight in training, which has left the manager with no choice than to find alternatives in his regular starting lineup. Although the Germany international still ended the season with goals and assists in double figures as City made a clean sweep of domestic silverware last term, he was thought to be dissatisfied with his limited involvement in the team. And that has manifested in his refusal to extend his contract with the club until now.
Money is also thought to be a part of the problem as far as the contract extension is concerned, with the player wanting his pay package to reflect his importance in the team. Having renewed the contract of players like Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling with bumper packages last season, Sane now feels he deserves more than the club is offering. The deadlock has alerted other top clubs to the player’s situation prompting interest from some of them.
Bayern Munich has emerged as the most interested party. Having lost legendary wingers Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery both of whom left the club at the end of the last campaign, the German side is desperate to find replacements. Although Chelsea’s youngster Callum Hudson-Odoi was pursued at some point, it doesn’t get better than signing a German who is one of the best players in the world at the moment and still has a long career ahead. Hence the choice of the former Schalke man as the obvious target. He comes loaded with experience in both domestic and continental football and will be a key part of the team for the long-term.
However, having two years remaining on his contract at City, the German champions will have to come up with the cash required to prise him away from England. That is thought to be the biggest problem if the player decides to leave.
With City still hopeful of convincing the player to stay, this may be Bayern’s biggest window of opportunity to turn the Sane's head. So far, FC Hollywood is putting up a great act. From club officials to German football legends and teammates at international level, there has been no shortage of persuasion on the player to switch allegiance.
Unless there is a breakthrough in negotiations, City will have to make a decision whether to keep Sane any longer or cash in for megabucks at least by next summer. Valued at close to £100 million by the club, that value could drop significantly by then when the German will have just one year left on his deal before being able to walk away for free. Yes, for absolutely nothing in return for a player in his prime.
With Mahrez searching for more game time in the City shirt, Sane’s departure will not affect the team as much as it could have done two years ago. In fact, despite his limited role last term, the team did just fine without him on the pitch.
Rumours are now emerging that Paris Saint-Germain are also interested in his services. That means he can be sold to the French side if denying Bayern the player is also a consideration. Paying up will definitely not be a problem for the French giants. But even if they don’t come for him, he will certainly not lack suitors if put on the market.