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Has Pep Guardiola Given Up on Leroy Sane?

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German Star Still To Decide His Future

Leroy Sane Rehabilitation Training Session Photo by Matt McNulty - Manchester City/Manchester City FC via Getty Images

Transfer speculations linking Leroy Sane with a move away from Manchester City have refused to die down. Despite cooling off interest in the winger for the time being as a result of his injury, key figures at Bayern Munich have maintained that the player is destined to move to the Allianz Arena in the long run. His return from injury has brought the issue back to the front burner with City boss Pep Guardiola facing questions concerning the German international’s future.

The player’s failure to make his stand known so far has only added fuel to the fire. Negotiations with his representatives have yielded no positive results for City. With time running on his current deal, the club will have to take a stand in the summer. By then, the 24-year-old will have just a year left on his contract. Unless he finally signs a new deal, the club will need to cash in to avoid losing him on a free.

The possibility of leaving the club in the summer is looking more and more like the ultimate outcome. But City would not want to lose a player the club signed for £37 million from German Bundesliga side Schalke back in 2016 just like that. Hence, he has been offered an improved deal. Unfortunately, he is reluctant to put pen to paper. This could be the reason Guardiola is not sounding confident the player will stay. In fact, a careful observation of the manager’s body language and comments suggests he may already be resigned to losing him.

Speaking on the issue recently, the Catalan manager revealed he has no say in the matter.

“It’s a question for Leroy, his agents and the club. I am not involved.

“What’s important now is that he recovers well. After that he knows what we believe in him, what we think of him and the rest is up to him and the club.”

When asked how awkward it could be if the player left in the summer, Guardiola responded:

“It’s not awkward because I can’t see him on the pitch. He is a nice person, I know him quite well. I was the guy who pushed the club and asked him to come here.

“But each one has his own family, desires and dreams.

“Where you are three years ago is not the same as where you are now.

“I want him to come back fit now. His knee looks really good but after that it’s not my business. His own future is not in my hands.”

The answer does not breed any confidence that the player is expected to stay. Besides, distancing yourself from your player when he is trying to make up his mind on whether to stay or leave is not the best way to persuade him to stay. Except, of course, the player’s mind is already made up and you know that as his manager.

We’ve all been there at that point where we need to make a big decision that will affect the course of our lives moving forward. Sometimes we can’t quite decide what to do. The opinion or confidence of a respected authority figure can go a long way in helping us make up our minds in such situations.

In cases where there’s a chance of losing an important player, we’ve also seen managers coming out to state strongly that their player is going nowhere. In most cases, the player stays. The manager’s confidence in the player staying often affects his decision in the end. Although the City gaffer has often made it clear he does not want to keep any player who doesn’t want to stay, Sane has not made his intention to leave known yet (at least publicly).

So it can be assumed that his long-term future still lies with Manchester City.

Speaking in terms of that and telling other clubs to keep off could help encourage the player to demonstrate a stronger commitment to the team while also turning away potential suitors. A good example of this happened recently at Arsenal. Speculation began to emerge concerning Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang’s future due to the poor performance of the team. Mikel Arteta came out and stated strongly that the player is going nowhere. The striker followed his manager’s lead by quelling the rumours and committing his future to the club.

It’s still not clear if Sane will stay or has decided to leave the Etihad Stadium. But Guardiola’s withdrawn attitude can help him choose the latter option. He will make that decision, if for no other reason but for the fact that the Bavarians are showing a strong commitment to have him. But Guardiola is not. In fact, it does appear the City boss has already moved on from the player.