Thomas Muller admitted his latest Bundesliga title winners' medal was "special" given he had to force his way back into the Bayern Munich team.

Muller and his team-mates lifted the trophy on Saturday having rounded off their 2019-20 league campaign with a 4-0 win at Wolfsburg.

The 30-year-old has been a key part of Bayern's eighth successive title having contributed a Bundesliga-record 21 assists to go along with eight goals.

However, Muller only started half of Bayern's first 10 games under Niko Kovac, before becoming a leading light again under current boss Hansi Flick.

The improved form led to Muller signing a new contract in April and he noted that his journey to a ninth title with Bayern meant he was all the more grateful for the medal he collected.

"Autumn was not easy - both for the club and for me," Muller told Sky.

"So after my first championship it was perhaps the most special, the most intense, the most emotional. 

"You noticed that the young players are listening to you somehow. I'm usually a long way from pride, but maybe people would call it that."

The Bundesliga was the first of the major European leagues to resume in May following the coronavirus-enforced break and Bayern picked up where they left off by winning each of their nine matches after the restart.

Such consistency after a long period without games delighted Flick.

"I am just proud of how we presented ourselves in the past months," he added.

"The season went perfectly for us. We were of course very relieved that we could continue playing after the corona break.

"The Bundesliga went ahead in Europe, which was also an outstanding achievement. In this respect it is a very special championship for us."

The 2019-20 Bundesliga top scorer Robert Lewandowski is "the best centre-forward in the world", according to Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

Lewandowski scored a second-half penalty as Bayern, already confirmed as champions for an eighth successive season, thrashed Wolfsburg 4-0 to finish their league campaign on a high.

That took Lewandowski's tally for the season to 34 - six more than RB Leipzig's Timo Werner - a figure that represented the Polish striker's best ever return in Germany's top flight.

It is the fifth time former Borussia Dortmund man Lewandowski has finished as the Bundesliga's top scorer and he now has Gerd Muller in his sights, with the Bayern legend having finished as the leading marksman on seven occasions.

Indeed Muller is the only man to have scored more than 34 Bundesliga goals in a season, a feat he achieved on three separate occasions.

"To score 34 goals in one Bundesliga season is an incredible achievement," Rummenigge told Bayern's official website.

"Only 'Der Bomber', Gerd Muller, has ever scored more goals in one campaign.

"I'd like to congratulate and thank Robert Lewandowski. He is the best centre-forward in the world."

Lewandowski's haul came across 31 games and he suggested a full 34-game campaign meant have resulted in an ever better return.

"Unfortunately I missed three matches this campaign," the 31-year-old added.

"I am very pleased with the 34 goals, but of course thanks must go to the team."

Lewandowski has the third-most goals in Bundesliga history having registered 236 times.

Only two men - Muller and Schalke great Klaus Fischer - have found the net more often in the history of Germany's top flight.

Thomas Muller made Bundesliga history as Bayern Munich capped off their triumphant campaign by defeating 10-man Wolfsburg 4-0 on Saturday.

Having clinched an eighth straight title 11 days earlier, Bayern finally got their hands on the trophy following a comfortable victory at the Volkswagen Arena on the final day of the season.

Muller laid on a record 21st assist of the season as Kingsley Coman got Bayern up and running, before Mickael Cuisance doubled their advantage on the stroke of half-time.

Josuha Guilavogui was shown a second yellow card for a foul on Cuisance and Robert Lewandowski scored the resultant penalty in the 72nd minute, with Muller adding Bayern's 100th Bundesliga goal of the season in the closing stages.

With second-placed Borussia Dortmund defeated at home by Hoffenheim, Bayern finished the season with a 13-point cushion and Wolfsburg slipped to seventh and missed out on automatic Europa League qualification.

Coman got the celebrations started in the fourth minute, latching onto a brilliant throughball from Muller and guiding a fine finish across Koen Casteels and into the bottom-left corner.

Manuel Neuer kept out Josip Brekalo, and Casteels made a good save from Serge Gnabry at the other end.

Lewandowski was denied by Casteels but there was nothing the Wolfsburg goalkeeper could do to stop Cuisance's left-footed, 20-yard curler from finding the top-left corner.

Casteels survived a VAR review of a potential handball outside the box, while the video assistant upheld the decision to rule out Daniel Ginczek's stoppage-time goal at the end of the first half for a foul on Alvaro Odriozola.

After being denied by Casteels again, Lewandowski finally hit the target in the 72nd minute. The Poland international scored his 34th league goal of the season after Guilavogui felled the impressive Cuisance.

Bayern made the most of their numerical advantage by scoring a fourth seven minutes later, Muller drilling home at the back post and the celebrations stepped up a gear after the final whistle.

 

What does it mean? Bayern maintain momentum

A treble is well and truly on the cards for the Bavarian giants, who extended their club-record winning run to 16 games.

However, after the DFB-Pokal final next weekend they face a month off before continuing their Champions League campaign with the second leg of their last-16 tie against Chelsea.

With teams from the Premier League, Serie A and LaLiga having far less time to rest before Europe's premier club competition returns, Bayern will hope to continue riding this wave during their break.

History for Muller

Hansi Flick has brought the best out of Muller since taking over at Bayern. The World Cup-winning attacking midfielder surpassed Kevin De Bruyne's Bundesliga record of 20 assists in a single season by setting up Coman for the opener.

Gnabry not on form

There was nothing riding on the game for Bayern, but it would have been a far more comfortable finale had Gnabry been able to finish the chances that came his way. He missed a pair of great openings in the first 15 minutes of the second half.

What's next?

Bayern will aim to seal the second part of a prospective treble when they face Bayer Leverkusen in the DFB-Pokal final next Saturday.

Thomas Muller broke Kevin De Bruyne's assist record as he provided his 21st of the Bundesliga season on Saturday.

The Germany forward set up Kingsley Coman to put Bayern Munich 1-0 up against Wolfsburg inside four minutes on the final day of the season.

Muller had equalled De Bruyne's haul from the 2014-15 campaign, when the Belgian was with Wolfsburg, with two assists in Bayern's 4-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen on June 6.

The 30-year-old's stunning form helped Hansi Flick's side claim an eighth successive Bundesliga title.

Achraf Hakimi appears to have found a new home.

The Morocco international has impressed during his loan spell at Borussia Dortmund, attracting plenty of interest.

But LaLiga giants Real Madrid are reportedly ready to cash in on Achraf.

 

TOP STORY – INTER AGREE ACHRAF DEAL

Inter have agreed a deal to sign Achraf Hakimi from Real Madrid, according to Sky Sport Italia.

Achraf has spent the past two seasons on loan at Borussia Dortmund, who have been interested in signing the Morocco international permanently.

Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain have been among the clubs interested in Achraf, but Madrid are set to sell the 21-year-old to Antonio Conte's Inter for a reported €40million fee.

 

ROUND-UP

- Sport1 claims Leroy Sane's proposed move to Bayern Munich is on hold until 2021. The Manchester City star is tipped to leave the Etihad Stadium for Bundesliga champions Bayern, though the two clubs have been unable to strike a deal. Sane now looks likely to depart once his contract expires next year.

Arthur will travel to Turin in the coming days to undergo a medical ahead of his move to Juventus, according to RAC1. Barcelona midfielder Arthur is set to join Juve, with Miralem Pjanic moving in the opposite direction.

Roma are plotting a move for free agent Edinson Cavani, says Calciomercato. Cavani is available on a free transfer after leaving PSG, with Atletico Madrid, Inter and Napoli eyeing the Uruguayan forward.

- Sport reports the Champions League will determine Neymar's future at PSG. Neymar has long been linked with a return to Barca following his world-record departure in 2017.

- Calciomercato says Milan are focused on signing Salzburg sensation Dominik Szoboszlai. However, PSG and Arsenal are also among the teams eyeing the 19-year-old Hungarian.

Manchester United are among the possible destinations for Arsenal midfielder Matteo Guendouzi, who faces an uncertain future with the London club, according to L'Equipe.

Jurgen Klopp has done "exceptional work" in leading Liverpool to the Premier League title, according to Bayern Munich head coach Hansi Flick.

The Reds' first domestic championship in 30 years was confirmed on Thursday when Manchester City's 2-1 loss to Chelsea left Liverpool with an unassailable 23-point lead with seven games remaining.

It represents Klopp's third top-flight title in his coaching career after he led Borussia Dortmund to back-to-back championships in 2010-11 and 2011-12.

Bayern have won each of the eight titles since and Flick – the man who guided them to their most recent one this season – is full of admiration for Klopp's work on Merseyside.

"We know each other and it is completely normal that you congratulate one another," said Flick

"He has done exceptional work at Liverpool. It's great to see. Not only the way they play football, but also the way in which he mobilised the whole club and the fans with his style. He caused a lot of emotions.

"It's a shame, just like for us, that the fans could not be part of it like they used to.

"It will go down in history, but it is something that we must deal with during this corona[virus]-time. Nevertheless, we are both very happy that we could win the title."

Klopp was appointed Liverpool boss in October 2015, four months after departing Dortmund.

He steered the Reds to a Champions League final in 2018 and though they lost to Real Madrid on that occasion, Klopp delivered the club's sixth European Cup last year following a victory over Tottenham in Madrid.

They came up short in the 2018-19 Premier League title race – finishing second to Manchester City despite accruing 97 points – but this time Klopp's men could not be stopped.

Bayer Leverkusen boss Peter Bosz believes the Liverpool hierarchy deserve praise for giving Klopp time to build something special.

"If he came from the Bundesliga or not – it's just amazing what he has achieved at Liverpool," Bosz said.

"They won the league for the first time in 30 years and won the Champions League last season.

"I think the most important thing is that the club gave him time. I think it's his fourth [full] season there now. He got the time to build a team.

"So if you work with a structure at a big club – and that was Liverpool before he got there – you can do great things."

Hansi Flick hit out at the "so-called experts" who do not see the value in Thiago Alcantara as he reiterated his desire to keep the Bayern Munich midfielder.

Thiago's contract with Bayern runs out in 2021, and while the club have extended the deals of others such as Thomas Muller and Manuel Neuer, they have so far been unsuccessful in convincing the Spaniard to follow suit.

Given the form of Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka at the base of the Bayern midfield since the season resumed last month, some fans may be wondering if Thiago's extension is imperative.

The 29-year-old, who is currently out injured with a groin problem, is not renowned for his scoring prowess - having found the net just three times in 24 Bundesliga appearances this term - and he has not registered an assist in a campaign that has seen Bayern win an eighth straight title.

However, as a ball-playing central midfielder who came through Barcelona's famed La Masia academy, Thiago's qualities are obvious to Flick, who remains desperate to keep him despite links with newly crowned Premier League champions Liverpool.

"There is no [contract] news. We always talk, almost every day, but there is no news," Flick told a news conference before Bayern's final Bundesliga game of the season against Wolfsburg.

"I see him every day at practice and at the games. There are always so-called experts who have their own opinions. When you see him on the pitch and in training, you see his extraordinary quality in possession of the ball.

"But he has now also shown that he can play against the ball. For me there are no two opinions about Thiago's quality.

"He is an exceptional player who gives a team that certain something. That's my opinion and there is no other one."

The focus is not just on potential outgoings at Bayern Munich, who are expected to be Leroy Sane's next destination after it was confirmed he would be departing Manchester City either this year or next.

Bayern have also been linked with a move for Real Madrid right-back Achraf Hakimi, who has spent the past two seasons on loan with rivals Borussia Dortmund.

A third campaign at Signal Iduna Park looks unlikely given BVB signed Thomas Meunier on Thursday, yet, amid suggestions Hakimi could be bound for Inter, Flick would not be drawn on Bayern's possible interest.

"He is currently under contract at Dortmund and I think he still belongs to Real Madrid," Flick added.

"Therefore, I don't have to worry about that. It's very difficult at the moment anyway concerning transfers. That's why I would like to stay out of it.

"Hasan [Salihamidzic, Bayern sporting director] and I are in a very good exchange. I have every confidence that we will have a very good team for the new season."

Virgil van Dijk is the best centre-back in world football according to Bayern Munich's Jerome Boateng.

Former Germany international Boateng has enjoyed a renaissance at Bayern this season, impressing alongside David Alaba at the heart of defence after Hansi Flick replaced Niko Kovac as head coach to guide the Bavarian giants to an eighth consecutive Bundesliga title.

But he feels Van Dijk, now himself a top-flight champion after Liverpool clinched Premier League glory on Thursday, stands apart among the elite.

"He is up there with his consistent performance," Boateng said during a Bayern 'Fan-Talk'.

"But I also like [Kalidou] Koulibaly from Napoli. [Sergio] Ramos from Real Madrid has been playing at a high level for a long time."

As for his own upturn, the 31-year-old Boateng is keen to give plenty of credit to Flick.

"Since Hansi Flick became coach, you feel good in training and in everything. The fun and good mood are back," he explained.

"Hansi is very special, otherwise he would not be so successful with the team.

"He gives us a lot of trust, everyone. He wants to improve everyone and he does that. He gives us an incredible amount of self-confidence."

Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich appear to be keen on adding more local talent to their squad.

Spaniard Thiago Alcantara is reportedly unwilling to extend his Bayern contract beyond 2020-21.

So, Bayern could use the star midfielder in their efforts to prise Germany international Kai Havertz from Bayer Leverkusen.

 

TOP STORY – BAYERN WANT THIAGO OUT AND HAVERTZ IN

Bayern Munich want to sell Thiago Alcantara to fund their move for Bayer Leverkusen star Kai Havertz, according to Kicker.

Thiago reportedly wants to leave Bayern amid links to Liverpool after opting against a new deal in Bavaria.

Now, Bayern are looking to offload Thiago for €60million (£53m) in order to sign Havertz for €80m.

Havertz has also been linked to Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United and Real Madrid.

 

ROUND-UP

- Staying in Munich and Kicker also claims Bayern have joined Borussia Dortmund and United in the race for Birmingham City teenager Jude Bellingham.

- TF1 says Arsenal midfielder Matteo Guendouzi has been in contact with Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, Atletico Madrid and Inter over an exit from London.

Liverpool have made a big offer to sign Wolves speedster Adama Traore, according to Mundo Deportivo. Traore has also been linked to the likes of Barca and Madrid.

- According to Fichajes, Tottenham have made an offer for in-demand Lille defender Gabriel Magalhaes. The likes of Napoli, Everton and Madrid are also looking to sign the Brazilian.

- Is Hellas Verona's Marash Kumbulla set for Lazio? Gianluca Di Marzio reports Lazio have tabled an offer for the defender, who is also wanted by Juventus and Inter.

- Could Tanguy Ndombele and Philippe Coutinho swap clubs? The Independent says Barca have reached out to Tottenham over an exchange deal involving either Coutinho or Nelson Semedo for wantaway Spurs midfielder Ndombele.

Arsenal could make moves for Chelsea's Willian or Coutinho, according to the Daily Mail.

Milan are in talks over the return of Chelsea midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko, says Gazzetta journalist Nicolo Schira. Bakayoko spent the 2018-19 season on loan at San Siro.

Bayern Munich have signed teenage winger Mamin Sanyang from Hoffenheim on a three-year contract.

The 17-year-old forward, who moved to Germany from Gambia when he was 10, will play for Bayern's Under-19 team next season.

Across 19 appearances in the U17 Bundesliga and two in the U19 division in 2019-20, Sanyang scored nine goals and laid on four assists.

"Mamin is an extremely fast and dangerous winger. We see him as an ideal reinforcement for our Under-19 team and are very happy he will wear the Bayern jersey in the future," said academy manager Jochen Sauer.

Sanyang has followed in the footsteps of Germany U17 forward Armindo Sieb, who in May agreed to swap Hoffenheim for Bayern.

Hoffenheim have also seen 17-year-old left-back Kerim Calhanoglu, cousin of Milan midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu, and U17 captain Luca Campanile agree moves to Schalke.

Amadou Onana, 18, in January agreed to join Hamburg from the 2020-21 campaign, while 16-year-old Melkamu Frauendorf is reportedly a target for Liverpool.

Kalidou Koulibaly has been a man in demand for quite some time.

Clubs in Europe have reportedly queued up to sign the Napoli centre-back.

Koulibaly could finally get his move, with a Premier League giant reportedly working on a deal.

 

TOP STORY – CITY FRONTRUNNERS FOR KOULIBALY

Manchester City are favourites to prise Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli, according to Duncan Castles of the Sunday Times.

Koulibaly has long been linked with a Napoli exit – City, Liverpool, Manchester United, Tottenham, Real Madrid and Barcelona all reported admirers.

But it seems the star defender is more likely to join Pep Guardiola's City than Premier League leaders Liverpool.

 

ROUND-UP

Edinson Cavani is among the alternatives to Inter's Lautaro Martinez for Barcelona, says Sky Sport Italia. Barca want to sign Martinez but the LaLiga champions are struggling to meet Inter's demands. Now Cavani, who will not sign a new contract with Paris Saint-Germain and is a free agent, could end up at Camp Nou. The Uruguayan forward has also been linked to Inter and Atletico Madrid. Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is also on the list, though Juventus are reportedly eyeing the disgruntled Gabon international.

Juve and Barca have reached an agreement over a swap deal involving Arthur and Miralem Pjanic, reports Goal. Arthur had been reluctant to leave Barca for Juve but the Spanish giants could receive a fee of €70million.

Liverpool are frontrunners to sign Bayern Munich star Thiago Alcantara, says Bild. The Spanish midfielder had been set to extend his contract but he has apparently backed out of a new deal.

Borussia Dortmund may keep Jadon Sancho after all. The England international has been tipped to join United at the end of the season. Unless Dortmund receive £117m (€130m), they will continue with Sancho, reports Sport Bild, which also claims the Bundesliga club could offer a bumper new deal.

- Gianluca Di Marzio says Lazio and Inter are battling over the signing of Hellas Verona defender Marash Kumbulla. Inter have reportedly made a €25milion offer for Kumbulla, who has also been linked to Juve.

Chelsea and Real Madrid are going head-to-head for Bayer Leverkusen's Kai Havertz, claims WinSports. Chelsea are believed to have submitted an offer worth £8m (€8.8m) more than Madrid's bid.

Fred is ready to discuss a new long-term contract with United, the Sun reports. After a difficult start to life at Old Trafford, the Brazilian has established himself as a key member of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side.

- According to Le10 Sport, Madrid and Barca are interested in Arsenal midfielder Matteo Guendouzi.

Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara returned to light raining on Monday.

Thiago underwent a groin operation following the DFB-Pokal semi-final victory over Eintracht Frankfurt on June 10.

The Spain international was back at their Saebener Strasse training ground on Monday, undertaking some light jogging.

Boss Hansi Flick previously suggested Thiago could be able to return for the DFB-Pokal final against Bayer Leverkusen on July 4.

Bayern wrap up their triumphant Bundesliga campaign against Wolfsburg on Saturday.

Manchester City are already planning for life without Leroy Sane.

Although there remains a chance the Germany winger could see out a contract running until June 2021 at the Etihad Stadium, Pep Guardiola's announcement on Friday that Sane will not sign a new deal means a long-mooted exit to Bayern Munich is likely to be imminent.

A key performer as City claimed back-to-back Premier League titles in 2017-18 and 2018-19 is on the way out and speculation will mount over who Guardiola will pursue to bolster his attack.

The City manager has suggested he could simply operate with the forward options he has, as has been the case this season due to Sane's cruciate knee ligament injury.

However, the near-surrender of their domestic crown to Liverpool in his absence tells its own story, while the decision not to secure a specialist replacement for departing captain Vincent Kompany last year might weigh heavily upon the prospect of a similar route being taken.

The twin factors of the coronavirus pandemic's expected economic impact on football and City's two-season Champions League ban, which is currently under appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), could also influence whether any of the names listed below can be brought to Manchester.

MIKEL OYARZABAL

Real Sociedad star Oyarzabal hit double figures for league goals in both of the past two seasons, netting 12 in 2017-18 and 13 in 2018-19 – outstripping the 10 Sane netted in each campaign.

Naturally left footed and, unlike City attackers Bernardo Silva and Riyad Mahrez, at home operating on that flank, the 23-year-old has nine this time around. A €75million release clause means he fits the model of signing up-and-coming LaLiga stars with sensible valuations in their contracts that saw Aymeric Laporte and Rodri end up at Eastlands.

LEON BAILEY

Livewire Bayer Leverkusen winger Bailey was first linked to City in 2018, when Guardiola ultimately plumped for Mahrez to bolster a title-winning forward line. The Jamaica international's output has dwindled since – scoring five times in each of the past two seasons and supplying a total of four assists. In 2017-18 he boasted nine goals and laid on a further six.

Bailey's considerable natural gifts – electric pace, excellent one-against-one dribbling and a sweet left foot – means he retains admirers and, as a stylistic fit for replacing Sane, Guardiola might consider the 22-year-old to be a diamond worth polishing.

FERRAN TORRES

Torres, who turned 20 in February, has enjoyed a stunning breakout campaign at Valencia after starring in Spain's European Under-19 Championship triumph last year. He scored both goals in the final win over Portugal after dispatching the decisive penalty in the shoot-out to see off semi-final opponents France.

Super Deporte reported last month that Torres heads the list of possible Sane heirs compiled by City's director of football Txiki Begiristain. A skilful and direct winger capable of operating on either flank, his big move is probably a matter of when rather than if.

KINGSLEY COMAN

Guardiola's declaration and Sane's contract situation mean Bayern might sniff an opportunity to get their man on the cheap. A gruelling round of negotiations could await both parties and Coman would certainly have value as a makeweight in the deal.

Familiar with Guardiola's methods having played for his Bayern side, the France international generally attempts dribbles (6.4 per 90 minutes this term, 8.9 in 2015-16 under Guardiola) more frequently than Sane, whose direct approach has been missed by City this year. However, the 24-year-old's persistent injury woes would be a major concern.

JADON SANCHO

From the over-arching CAS situation to Sancho's fractious departure from City in 2017, there are plenty of good reasons to assume the hottest property on the European transfer market is far more likely to end up on the other side of Manchester. However, City retain a "matching right" on Sancho – meaning Borussia Dortmund must inform them of any bid received – and must be tempted to try their hand.

The England star, 20, boasts a staggering 33 goal involvements (17 goals, 16 assists) in 31 Bundesliga games this season, dwarfing an impressive 26 (12 goals, 14 assists) from last time around. City have tended not to get involved in astronomical one-off deals – Rodri, at £62.8m, is their record buy – but Sancho presents a case that demands they make an exception.

ADAMA TRAORE

"It was always clear it would happen one day, and now it has," Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp observed earlier this season as Traore shifted rapidly from frustrating potential to a player wrecking defences across England on Wolves' behalf. Despite being a graduate of Barcelona's academy, the powerhouse wideman's seemingly off-the-cuff style could frustrate Guardiola as much as it delights.

But added precision to his play means the 24-year-old is now one of the most dangerous attackers in the Premier League. Three of his four goals this season came in wins over City, a wonderful assist for Raul Jimenez in Saturday's win at West Ham was his eighth this term and his dribbling output of 9.1 per 90 minutes is relentless.

Pep Guardiola suggested Manchester City will have other priorities in the transfer market at the end of this season rather than seeking a replacement for Leroy Sane.

On Friday, Guardiola confirmed Sane will not sign a contract extension at the Etihad Stadium, with Bayern Munich long touted as the Germany winger's next destination.

City are expected to reach an agreement with the Bundesliga champions ahead of 2020-21, although Bayern might be disappointed if they expect a knockdown price, given Guardiola did not entirely rule out the 24-year-old running down a deal that expires in June 2021.

A cruciate knee ligament injury means Sane has not featured since last August's Community Shield, with City working through various alternatives in the left-wing role.

Raheem Sterling has played the majority of the season there, with Riyad Mahrez, Gabriel Jesus and Phil Foden all stepping outside of their natural positions on occasion.

That impressive raft of options, along with uncertainty over how the transfer market will operate amid the financial turmoil wrought by the coronavirus pandemic, means Guardiola is not committed to signing a replacement.

The fact City are also awaiting the result of their appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport against a two-season Champions League ban for Financial Fair Play violations also plays into the uncertainty, while left-back and centre-back have long been earmarked as positions the manager might wish to reinforce.

"First, Leroy is our player. I don't know if he is going to leave this summertime or at the end of the contract," Guardiola said, ahead of City's Premier League match against Burnley on Monday.

"We have enough good players up front. Gabriel can play on the left, Phil Foden can play on the left, we have Raheem there.

"We have big, talented players up front. Most of them are all the time in a healthy condition – like Phil, Riyad, Gabriel, Raheem.

"Players like that can play quite regularly for a long time. They are so stable in terms of injury situations.

"I think we have other priorities maybe and I don't know, after coronavirus the situation economically and financially for the clubs is changing.

"I don’t know what the situation is. We are going to see at the end of this season."

Left-back Benjamin Mendy might be the City player who best replicates Sane's threat, in terms of being a left-footed player who attacks directly down the outside of a defence, albeit from deeper positions.

But the France international's knee injury woes since moving to the Etihad Stadium in 2017 are one of the main reasons City have been linked with moves for the likes of Leicester City's England full-back Ben Chilwell.

"He has special quality with his energy, his potential. As a left back he is an extraordinary player, but we cannot forget he played just one game," Guardiola said, acknowledging Mendy's assured showing in Wednesday's 3-0 win over Arsenal.

"He came back so fit after lockdown. In the first days he was focused. But with Benja we have to wait a little bit and hopefully he can play this period. There is two months and a lot of games to play regularly.

"It's so important for us to have him. Hopefully he can continue training and doing what he has done so far after lockdown.

"He loves to play football, he is a guy who handles the pressure really well on the big stages. He is a player we can count on. We could not count on him for two years, that is a long time."

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