Bayern to evaluate Sane's fitness before making 2020 move, insists president Hoeness

By Sports Desk September 27, 2019

Bayern Munich will evaluate Leroy Sane's recovery from a serious knee injury before deciding whether to make another move for him, according to club president Uli Hoeness.

Manchester City star Sane was heavily linked with a switch to Bayern in pre-season, with coach Niko Kovac going as far as saying he was "very confident" the winger would join.

Anterior cruciate ligament damage suffered in the Community Shield clash with Liverpool in August ruled the Germany international out for up to seven months and scuppered the Bavarians' hopes of signing him.

But Bayern are not necessarily giving up on the 23-year-old, though any potential deal in 2020 will depend on his rehabilitation.

"We were very interested in him," Hoeness, who will leave his role as Bayern president in November, told Sports Illustrated. "We talked to him, but after his terrible injury we could not continue them [discussions].

"We have to wait and see how his recovery is going, and in January, February they [Bayern's recruitment staff and board] will sit down and think about what's going on."

Coach Kovac came in for significant criticism at times last season and looked in danger of being dismissed before eventually guiding Bayern to Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal success, making the most of Borussia Dortmund's underwhelming second half of the campaign.

Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge did little to help Kovac's situation, saying there was "no guarantee" he would keep his job in April, but Hoeness regularly backed the Croatian and remains a firm believer in him.

"I never understood why he [Kovac] was so harshly criticised in his first season," Hoeness added.

"He's a young coach, he had little experience in the Champions League, but he has won two titles, despite having to build a new team, and it was clear [Arjen] Robben and [Franck] Ribery would leave.

"It was a difficult situation with the old guys and the kids wanting to play. That he still won two titles is incredible. That's why I have to congratulate him on his first season."

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