Pep Guardiola only said his farewells to Bayern Munich staff today and could already be set to wage war with them as Manchester City’s new boss. Not on the pitch, but in the battle for one of European football’s hottest young talents, Leroy Sané.
A bid for the Schalke hot-shot from City was reported by BILD in January but nothing ever came of it. SPORT BILD (not to be confused with BILD) report today that City did make a €50 million (£38 million) bid for the 20-year-old in January, but Schalke rejected it.
The situation could change now, however. Not only do City want him, but Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich have also registered an interest in the speedy winger. Bayern usually get whoever they want from their domestic rivals, but last summer failed to land Kevin De Bruyne, who ended up in Manchester.
Bayern are looking for long-term Ribery and Robben replacements, while Guardiola wants new blood in what is a ageing Manchester City squad. A ‘third team’ is also said to be in the hunt, but the identity of that club will only be available in the print edition of SPORT BILD.
The report suggests that Bayern could buy Sané and loan him back to Schalke for a year. Guardiola is said to be ‘hell-bent’ on signing Sané and City may flash the cash by returning to Schalke with another offer. And this time it may be different, the newspaper says. Why? Because in 2017 a €37 million (£28 million) release clause in Sané’s contract becomes active. This leaves Schalke with a dilemma: sell now or risk losing their prized possession on the cheap next summer.