Manchester City’s attempts to extend Leroy Sane’s contract have run in to trouble amid persistent speculation the player will join Bayern Munich in a mega-money move.
Sane has been linked with a switch to Bayern throughout the close season with the Bundesliga champions taking the unusual step of explicitly rejecting reports by Kicker and Bild on Thursday that the Germany winger was close to joining them.
That followed a climbdown in some public courting of the 23-year-old, who Bayern head coach Niko Kovac described as a “dream signing” his club were “working very hard” to secure.
Chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic expressed disappointment with those words and no questions regarding the matter were permitted at Kovac’s news conference ahead of Saturday’s DFL-Supercup meeting with Borussia Dortmund.
Sane was also predictably on the agenda at Pep Guardiola’s briefing to preview Sunday’s Community Shield clash with Liverpool at Wembley and the City manager said moves to keep the ex-Schalke man at the Etihad Stadium beyond June 2021 had taken a backwards step.
“I said many times I want players that want to stay. It is impossible for me as a manager to convince a player whose head is away from here,” Guardiola said.
“But the player [Sane] didn’t tell me anything. If they go to the door and tell me I want to leave then I say okay. Nobody tells me that so that is why he is our player.
“We want him to stay, we try to extend the contract for more than one year. We were quite close some months ago and now it is a little bit different. That is the reality I cannot say anything more.”
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Asked further about Sane’s contract situation, Guardiola said City’s director of football Txiki Begiristain had reported a setback over recent weeks.
“What I said two or three weeks ago, in relation with Txiki, was ‘Wow, it is quite close’. Now, it is not,” he explained.
Following Bayern’s recent moves to seemingly keep relations between themselves and City cordial, Guardiola insisted he harboured no ill will towards his former employers.
“No I am not disappointed,” he added. “First because I know them and I know how it works in this world, everybody talks.
“Sometimes I talk too much. I’m pretty sure they don’t do it most of the time.
“It is important we have our player. Leroy is here and we try to be ready to play the season.”
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