Pep Guardiola has a Leroy Sane problem as £90m-rated winger stalls on his future… so can Man City boss convince him – and his girlfriend and mother – to turn down Bayern Munich?
- Bayern Munich boss Niko Kovac has admitted Sane would be a ‘dream signing’
- The Bundesliga club are willing to pay the German winger £200,000 a week
- Guardiola wants to keep Sane but says the player will have the final decision
- Sane’s girlfriend, Candice Brook, and his mum have made their opinions known
The concern about Leroy Sane’s potential departure is nagging away at Pep Guardiola, an itch he cannot scratch. It is an unwanted complication that simply will not go away until Manchester City are afforded an answer.
Bayern Munich have wanted to land Sane for months now and their spectre looms large over City’s preparations for a second title defence. They have not been backward in coming forward, manager Niko Kovac branding the 23-year-old ‘a dream’ signing on Wednesday.
That public courting – anybody who is anybody at the Allianz Arena has had their say – is irking Guardiola, who had hoped for a greater level of respect from his former employers.
Pep Guardiola is keen for Leroy Sane to stay at City but admits the winger will have the final say
Sane’s girlfriend, Candice Brook, is becoming increasingly vocal over Sane’s future
The winger became a father last summer when Brook gave birth to daughter Rio Stella
The greater worry, however, is what his frontline is going to look like in a fortnight’s time when the English transfer window shuts. Time is of the essence and Sane – who is using David Beckham’s representatives and who Bayern are willing to pay more than £200,000 a week – needs to quickly make his mind up.
That itself is not easy. There are a number of those close to him attempting to influence this decision. His mum, Regina Weber, has proven obstructive in contract negotiations over extending a deal that runs until 2021 and Sane is unlikely to sign.
We want him to stay, so it’s not in our hands – he has to decide. If he wants and there is an agreement then it’s good but if he wants to leave he can do it, but we will be sad.
Sportsmail has been told that his American girlfriend, Candice Brook, 32, is becoming increasingly vocal too. Sane is effectively being pulled in different directions by the people most important to him and this must be a dizzying situation to find himself in.
City would cash in if the money is right and believe Sane’s value is more than £90million. Guardiola does not want unhappy players. The age this has taken to resolve points to a young player in the middle of a real life-changing conundrum.
Guardiola has no other choice but to carry on as normal, Sane playing a full part of their tricky pre-season trip to Asia and scoring twice during the 6-1 drubbing of Kitchee in Hong Kong on Wednesday. Both goals were sumptuous and underlined what a major loss he would be to the Premier League champions.
Bayern Munich boss Niko Kovac has admitted Sane would be a ‘dream signing’
Last goal for City? Sane scored twice in a 6-1 drubbing of Kitchee in Hong Kong on Wednesday
‘We want him to stay,’ Guardiola reiterated. ‘So it’s not in our hands – he has to decide. If he wants and there is an agreement then it’s good but if he wants to leave he can do it but we will be sad. Hopefully he stays.’
There have been suggestions that City could muddle through without replacing the Germany international if he were to head for Bavaria, and the reality of that is to stretch their squad. Raheem Sterling, Riyad Mahrez and Bernardo Silva would be the only senior wingers. Ian Carlo Poveda and Adrian Bernabe are impressing Guardiola but it is far too soon for both. The Catalan would surely demand a replacement.
‘Leroy is a guy who I appreciate a lot -I like him a lot,’ Guardiola added. ‘I think he has an incredible gap to be better in terms of being connected in the game.’ City really need Sane’s head in the game sharpish or risk being left high and dry on the eve of the season.