Bayern Munich have completed the signing of winger Leroy Sane from Manchester City.

Sane, 24, has agreed a five-year contract with the Bundesliga champions, who confirmed the transfer on Friday.

The Germany international will initially cost Bayern €49million (£44.5m), rising to €60m (£54.5m), Stats Perform News understands.

Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said: "We're very happy to welcome Leroy Sane to FC Bayern. He is an outstanding player who has proven his qualities over the past few years, especially in the national team.

"Our goal is to gather the best German players at FC Bayern and the signing of Leroy emphasises this goal. I would like to congratulate Hasan Salihamidzic on successfully concluding the transfer."

Speaking ahead of the move on Wednesday, Pep Guardiola wished the player all the best at the City boss' "fantastic" former club Bayern.

Sane joining Bayern is a switch that has been mooted since last year, however the German side were said to be unwilling to match City's previous asking price.

He then suffered a serious knee injury in the Community Shield last August and only returned to the pitch last month.

Sane joined City from Schalke in 2016 in a deal reportedly worth an initial £37m (€40m) and went on to show flashes of immense ability during his first campaign.

He elevated his game to the next level in 2017-18 and won the Professional Footballers' Association's (PFA) Young Player of the Year award as Guardiola's side clinched the Premier League title.

Sane helped City to another top-flight crown the following year and scored 16 goals across all competitions, though links with Bayern became commonplace towards the end of 2018-19.

Much of Sane's time on the sidelines through injury coincided with strengthening reports of him desiring a move to Bayern, and on June 19 Guardiola confirmed the club had been informed he would not be signing a contract extension.

As such, Guardiola accepted Sane was either to be sold this year or leave on a free transfer in June 2021.

City have at least avoided the latter scenario, though the fee of up to €60m is significantly less than the £137m (€150m) asking price they are alleged to have set in 2019.

For Bayern, the addition of Sane comes two days after they signed highly rated defender Tanguy Kouassi from Paris Saint-Germain, his contract with the French champions having expired.

The Leroy Sane saga

July 02, 2020

The Manchester City winger has certainly been in the headlines over the past 12 months.

Manchester City were merely reigning Premier League champions from around the turn of the year. Any meaningful title defence ended a long time ago.

After amassing an astounding 198 points over the course of consecutive championship-winning campaigns, Pep Guardiola's men were unable to summon an adequate response in the face of Liverpool's relentless onslaught.

City's 2-1 defeat to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last week completed the formalities, meaning Guardiola's plans over how to wrest back control should already be well underway.

Ahead of Liverpool's trip to City on Thursday, we look at the areas where he and the Etihad Stadium's brain trust should be focusing their attention.

 

ADDRESS OBVIOUS GAPS IN THE SQUAD

Guardiola's suggestion at the end of last week that he might not seek a like-for-like replacement for Leroy Sane if the Germany winger completes his long-mooted switch to Bayern Munich understandably caused consternation among City fans. Vincent Kompany's influence and aura were irreplaceable when he called time on his career in Manchester in May 2019, but a new centre-back would certainly have come in handy.

The cruciate knee ligament injury that decimated Aymeric Laporte's campaign left Fernandinho simultaneously learning a new position and standing in as City's most reliable option in central defence, as Nicolas Otamendi and John Stones laboured. A high-quality partner for Laporte must be the number one transfer market priority.

A natural left-winger is also needed. Sane has been another long-term injury victim this term and, without that option, City's attacks have sometimes become narrow and predictable. On the subject of cruciate knee ligament injuries, Benjamin Mendy looks to have put a nightmarish two years behind him, although he endured a game to forget against Chelsea. It would be foolish to count on the France international's fitness holding for long and links to England left-back Ben Chilwell are understandable.

RECHARGE AND REPLENISH STAR MEN

The three positions above are likely to be the limit of City's ambitions in an uncertain market, with the depth of coronavirus' impact upon football finances yet to be fully realised. Whether or not the Court of Arbitration (CAS) for sport overturns or reduces their two-season Champions League ban must also be factored into any plans.

The good thing for Guardiola is the fact that plenty of room for improvement lies within. Aside from the imperious Kevin De Bruyne and the ever-prolific Sergio Aguero, it is hard to identify a senior City player who can be wholly satisfied with their efforts this term. Ederson's three errors leading to a goal are second only to Newcastle United goalkeeper Martin Dubravka (five) in the division, while Bernardo Silva and Raheem Sterling have at times appeared burned out following the exertions of a triumphant 2018-19.

UNLEASH PHIL FODEN

David Silva's departure at the end of this season was expected to usher in Phil Foden to blossom as the master's apprentice. This has been muddied slightly by the England Under-21 star's best performances coming in a wide attacking role, most notably his man-of-the-match outing in the EFL Cup final and his two-goal showing in the recent 5-0 demolition of Burnley. He was badly missed at Chelsea.

Guardiola loves players who are adept in a number of roles and Foden has thrived regardless of what his brief is on any given stage. The academy product has long looked a player at home in this City team; he now seems like one who could significantly elevate it. It is time to let him fly.

REMAIN BANNED FROM THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

From having to scale down more ambitious transfer targets to tackling some awkward conversations with star players over their immediate futures, the seismic blow of City's exclusion from the Champions League holding firm should not be underplayed. However, if we are looking at this purely in terms of their chances of winning a third Premier League title in four seasons, a coach of Guardiola's calibre getting free midweeks to hone his side to his version of perfection is something of which Liverpool and others would be right to be wary.

DON'T ACTUALLY CHANGE TOO MUCH

Under Roberto Mancini and Manuel Pellegrini, City compiled deplorably meek title defences. The clear daylight between themselves and Liverpool this time around makes it tempting to lump their 2019-20 efforts in with those other failures. But there is an important wider context. The Manchester United and Chelsea sides that unseated Mancini and Pellegrini were not a patch on Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool machine. This City had won six of the previous seven domestic honours on offer and could conceivably finish 2019-20 with the FA Cup and that elusive Champions League nestled alongside the EFL Cup in the trophy cabinet.

Also, it is not a slight on the Reds' brilliance to note most things that could have fallen in their favour this season have. That is inevitable. City sealed their 100-point season with a last-minute winner at Southampton, having beaten Saints, Bournemouth, West Ham and Huddersfield Town in similar fashion before the turn of the year. Mind-boggling deeds require a certain level of fortune.

Heading into their game at Chelsea, City were still ahead of Liverpool by five points with a game in hand in Opta's Expected Goals league table (Yes, yes… when's the parade?!?!). Liverpool's brutally clinical efforts are to be admired, but the underlying numbers suggest such a gulf will not become the norm.

Pep Guardiola is not looking to bring Jadon Sancho back to Manchester City as Leroy Sane's replacement as the manager plans for a rebuild he insists is "a normal situation".

Stats Perform News understands Sane is set to sign for Bayern Munich after an initial €49million (£44.5m) deal - potentially rising to €60m (£54.5m) - was agreed between the clubs.

Sane has missed much of the season due to injury but had previously been linked to Bayern and has now played his last match for City.

Yet if City are to recruit a winger in the Germany international's place, Sancho – who has been linked with a Borussia Dortmund exit – does not appear a viable candidate.

Sancho left City for Dortmund in 2017 in pursuit of first-team football, soon establishing himself in the Bundesliga.

The England star has been linked with Manchester United, among a host of other elite clubs, but Guardiola does not foresee a return to City.

"No, he decided to leave," Guardiola said of Sancho. "Why should he decide to come back?

"We wanted him to stay - like Eric [Garcia] and Phil [Foden], like Leroy now. So when he decided to move to Dortmund, it's not because he's going to decide to come back a year later.

"He didn't want to be here, so I don't think he wants to come back here."

He added: "Players are being considered important by the club but they decide to leave.

"They don't want to be here, which is the case of Jadon Sancho and especially Leroy - Sancho was in the academy, but especially Leroy.

"I said many times: if a player doesn't want to stay, they have to leave, because we are not getting the best out of a player in his mind if they are not happy here."

Guardiola acknowledges City have work to do in the transfer market, though, saying: "It's part of another process.

"We would like to stay with the players who give this club what they gave us for the last decade. We grow and sometimes we have to replace them, and we are going to do it and replace with new players.

"In some [positions, City need to rebuild] - not for a lack of quality, but for the absences of Vinny [Vincent Kompany] and now David [Silva, out of contract at the end of the season].

"With Fernandinho and [Sergio] Aguero, next season's the last year of their contracts and we don't know if they're going to extend or not, so partly yes, some players we have to rebuild a little.

"But it's not like a disaster or a bad thing, it's part of the age, it's a normal situation and circumstances. It happens in all the clubs."

Pep Guardiola wished Leroy Sane all the best at "fantastic" Bayern Munich as he confirmed the Germany winger's return to the Bundesliga is almost done.

Stats Perform News understands a fee was agreed between the clubs on Tuesday, with the Germany international to cost an initial €49million (£44.5m), rising to €60m (£54.5m) and he is expected in Munich on Wednesday.

It brings a four-year stay in the Premier League to an end and will leave a overriding sense of what might have been – the 24-year-old missed virtually all of 2019-20 due to a serious knee injury.

Prior to that he had shown immense abilities in back-to-back Premier League title triumphs for City, winning the Professional Footballers' Association's (PFA) Young Player of the Year award in 2017-18.

But Bayern had emerged as suitors last year before his knee injury and, with his City contract set to expire next year, the Bundesliga champions have managed to secured a cut-price deal.

While the move is not yet complete, Guardiola confirmed it is close and he wished the former Schalke talent well.

"It looks like it," Guardiola said of Sane joining Bayern in Wednesday's news conference ahead of facing Liverpool on Thursday.

"It's not already done, there are still some little issues, but it looks like he'll go to Munich. I wish him all the best.

"I give him big thanks for these years together and I wish him all the best in a fantastic club.

"He wants to leave - everyone has their own life. I would have loved him to stay here, but he decided to leave, he thinks he'll be better and happier, so I've nothing to say."

Sane's absence has been seen viewed as a reason for City's inability to challenge Liverpool for the Premier League title this season, with the Reds wrapping it up with a 23-point cushion last week.

Guardiola admits Liverpool have simply been the better team, but he vowed to ensure the Reds "feel" 2020-21, as he plots to overthrow Jurgen Klopp's men.

"First of all, there was a team that was better, they played at an outstanding level in every game and you have to do more," he said.

"The supporters help you understand, it's an incredible part of our education to accept another is better, then you have to try to reduce this gap. From the last game to the future seven eight, nine games left through to next season, we must work harder and do better.

"We are going to make Liverpool feel next season, and other opponents will try to fight for the next chapters in the Premier League as well."

Leroy Sane's long-mooted switch from Manchester City to Bayern Munich has been agreed.

The Germany international will initially cost Bayern €49million (£44.5m), rising to €60m (£54.5m) and is expected in Munich on Wednesday, Stats Perform News understands.

Sane joined City from Schalke in 2016 in a deal reportedly worth an initial £37m (€40m) and he went on to show flashes of immense ability during his first campaign.

He elevated his game to the next level in 2017-18 and won the Professional Footballers' Association's (PFA) Young Player of the Year award as Pep Guardiola's side clinched the Premier League title.

Sane helped City to another top-flight crown the following year and scored 16 goals across all competitions, though links with Bayern became commonplace towards the end of 2018-19.

Bayern were rumoured to have been interested in bringing the winger back to the Bundesliga last year, however they were said to be unwilling to match City's asking price.

Sane then suffered a serious knee injury in the Community Shield last August and only returned to the pitch in June.

Much of his time on the sidelines coincided with strengthening reports of Sane desiring a move to Munich, and on June 19 Guardiola confirmed the 24-year-old had informed the club he would not be signing an extension to his contract.

As such, Guardiola accepted Sane was either to be sold this year or leave on a free transfer in June 2021.

City have at least avoided the latter scenario, though the reported fee of up to €60m is significantly less than the £137m (€150m) asking price they are alleged to have set in 2019.

Manchester City could be ready to challenge rivals Manchester United for Aston Villa star Jack Grealish.

Grealish, 24, has been linked with a move away from Villa, with Old Trafford seemingly his most likely destination.

But City may be primed to join the race for the attacker.

 

TOP STORY – MAN CITY CONSIDER MOVE FOR MAN UTD TARGET GREALISH

Manchester City will consider a move for Grealish if they receive their asking price for Leroy Sane from Bayern Munich, according to The Telegraph.

Sane is set to leave the Premier League giants this close season amid continued links to Bayern.

And City could challenge Manchester United for Grealish – who has scored nine goals and provided eight assists in 35 games this season – if their asking price is met.

ROUND-UP

- Quique Setien is under increasing pressure at Barcelona. RAC1 reports Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu, chief executive Oscar Grau, sporting director Javier Bordas and technical secretary Eric Abidal met at Setien's house on Monday to discuss the current situation. Trailing Real Madrid by two points in LaLiga, Esport3 says Setien could be fired as early as this week.

- Arsenal have made a decision regarding Dani Ceballos. The Sun says the Premier League club will not make a move to buy the midfielder from Real Madrid when his loan deal expires at the end of the season.

- With Serie A promotion secured, Benevento could be set to strengthen. Gianluca Di Marzio reports the club are set to sign former Chelsea forward Loic Remy, who is coming out of contract at Lille.

- Real Sociedad are leading the chase to sign Real Madrid midfielder Takefusa Kubo on loan next season, according to AS. The 19-year-old has been on loan at Mallorca this season, while Milan are also reportedly interested in the Japan international.

- With Timo Werner joining Chelsea, RB Leipzig have seemingly found a replacement from the forward. According to Sky, Hwang Hee-chan will join Leipzig from Salzburg for about €10million. Hwang has been linked to the likes of Liverpool and Wolves.

- Celtic are reportedly keen to hold onto Fraser Forster. The goalkeeper has been on loan from Southampton this season and The Sun reports Celtic want to buy the former England international.

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.

Manchester City were merely reigning Premier League champions from around the turn of the year. Any meaningful title defence ended a long time ago.

After amassing an astounding 198 points over the course of consecutive championship-winning campaigns, Pep Guardiola's men were unable to summon an adequate response in the face of Liverpool's relentless onslaught.

City's 2-1 defeat to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge completed the formalities, meaning Guardiola's plans over how to wrest back control should already be well underway.

Here, we look at the areas where he and the Etihad Stadium's brain trust should be focusing their attention.

 

ADDRESS OBVIOUS GAPS IN THE SQUAD

Guardiola's suggestion at the end of last week that he might not seek a like-for-like replacement for Leroy Sane if the Germany winger completes his long-mooted switch to Bayern Munich understandably caused consternation among City fans. Vincent Kompany's influence and aura were irreplaceable when he called time on his career in Manchester in May 2019, but a new centre-back would certainly have come in handy.

The cruciate knee ligament injury that decimated Aymeric Laporte's campaign left Fernandinho simultaneously learning a new position and standing in as City's most reliable option in central defence, as Nicolas Otamendi and John Stones laboured. A high-quality partner for Laporte must be the number one transfer market priority.

A natural left-winger is also needed. Sane has been another long-term injury victim this term and, without that option, City's attacks have sometimes become narrow and predictable. On the subject of cruciate knee ligament injuries, Benjamin Mendy looks to have put a nightmarish two years behind him, although he endured a game to forget against Chelsea. It would be foolish to count on the France international's fitness holding for long and links to England left-back Ben Chilwell are understandable.

RECHARGE AND REPLENISH STAR MEN

The three positions above are likely to be the limit of City's ambitions in an uncertain market, with the depth of coronavirus' impact upon football finances yet to be fully realised. Whether or not the Court of Arbitration (CAS) for sport overturns or reduces their two-season Champions League ban must also be factored into any plans.

The good thing for Guardiola is the fact that plenty of room for improvement lies within. Aside from the imperious Kevin De Bruyne and the ever-prolific Sergio Aguero, it is hard to identify a senior City player who can be wholly satisfied with their efforts this term. Ederson's three errors leading to a goal are second only to Newcastle United goalkeeper Martin Dubravka (five) in the division, while Bernardo Silva and Raheem Sterling have at times appeared burned out following the exertions of a triumphant 2018-19.

UNLEASH PHIL FODEN

David Silva's departure at the end of this season was expected to usher in Phil Foden to blossom as the master's apprentice. This has been muddied slightly by the England Under-21 star's best performances coming in a wide attacking role, most notably his man-of-the-match outing in the EFL Cup final and his two-goal showing in the recent 5-0 demolition of Burnley. He was badly missed at Chelsea.

Guardiola loves players who are adept in a number of roles and Foden has thrived regardless of what his brief is on any given stage. The academy product has long looked a player at home in this City team; he now seems like one who could significantly elevate it. It is time to let him fly.

REMAIN BANNED FROM THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

From having to scale down more ambitious transfer targets to tackling some awkward conversations with star players over their immediate futures, the seismic blow of City's exclusion from the Champions League holding firm should not be underplayed. However, if we are looking at this purely in terms of their chances of winning a third Premier League title in four seasons, a coach of Guardiola's calibre getting free midweeks to hone his side to his version of perfection is something of which Liverpool and others would be right to be wary.

DON'T ACTUALLY CHANGE TOO MUCH

Under Roberto Mancini and Manuel Pellegrini, City compiled deplorably meek title defences. The clear daylight between themselves and Liverpool this time around makes it tempting to lump their 2019-20 efforts in with those other failures. But there is an important wider context. The Manchester United and Chelsea sides that unseated Mancini and Pellegrini were not a patch on Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool machine. This City had won six of the previous seven domestic honours on offer and could conceivably finish 2019-20 with the FA Cup and that elusive Champions League nestled alongside the EFL Cup in the trophy cabinet.

Also, it is not a slight on the Reds' brilliance to note most things that could have fallen in their favour this season have. That is inevitable. City sealed their 100-point season with a last-minute winner at Southampton, having beaten Saints, Bournemouth, West Ham and Huddersfield Town in similar fashion before the turn of the year. Mind-boggling deeds require a certain level of fortune.

Heading into their game at Chelsea, City were still ahead of Liverpool by five points with a game in hand in Opta's Expected Goals league table (Yes, yes… when's the parade?!?!). Liverpool's brutally clinical efforts are to be admired, but the underlying numbers suggest such a gulf will not become the norm.

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.

For so long, Real Madrid have been tipped to sign Kylian Mbappe.

Zinedine Zidane has made no secret of his admiration for the Paris Saint-Germain sensation.

But, Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool could throw a spanner in the works, especially if Sadio Mane departs Merseyside.

 

TOP STORY – LIVERPOOL EYEING MBAPPE AMID MANE FEARS

Liverpool are plotting a move for Real Madrid target Kylian Mbappe amid fears over Sadio Mane's future at Anfield, according to The Sun.

Mane is contracted until 2023 but Liverpool are reportedly growing anxious as Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain monitor the situation.

As a result, Liverpool are eyeing PSG star Mbappe and Mane could figure in a swap deal plus £200million (€221m), which could disrupt Madrid's grand plans for the French forward.

 

ROUND-UP

- Sport Bild claims Bayern Munich have offered €40m (£36m) for Manchester City star Leroy Sane, who is set to leave the Premier League giants at the end of the season. Meanwhile, the Bundesliga champions are targeting Ajax sensation Sergino Dest. Sport Bild reports the United States international will arrive if they satisfy Ajax's demands, though Bayern are only thinking of a loan deal at the moment.

- It is a race against time for Miralem Pjanic to move to Barcelona. Sport says Barca and Juventus want to reach a deal by the end of June so it can be counted as part of the current season. The proposed deal would likely see Pjanic and Mattia De Sciglio join Barca, with Arthur moving in the opposite direction. However, Arthur is reluctant to swap Barcelona for Turin.

- Sport Bild reports Borussia Dortmund see no reason to sell Manchester United target Jadon Sancho in the off-season unless a club offers over €100m.

Mario Gotze remains in the sights of Milan, reports Calciomercato. Gotze will not renew his expiring contract at Dortmund and is set to leave Signal Iduna Park. Lazio have been linked but Milan are eyeing the German, with Ralf Rangnick reportedly in line to take over in the dugout.

- Napoli have turned down Liverpool's bid for star centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly, according to Corriere dello Sport.

- Tuttosport says Juve want Napoli's Arkadiusz Milik to partner superstar Cristiano Ronaldo. Juve are willing to offer Federico Bernardeschi as a makeweight in the deal.

- FC Inter News says Inter have rejected an offer from Marseille for midfielder Joao Mario. The Portuguese has spent the season on loan in Russia via Lokomotiv Moscow.

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."

Bayern Munich will strive to be economically "careful" in the next transfer window due to the coronavirus pandemic and that could lead to them waiting to land Leroy Sane on a free transfer, according to Oliver Kahn.

Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola confirmed on Friday that Germany international Sane has informed his employers he will not sign a new deal, meaning he will either be sold later this year or depart when his contract expires in 2021.

Sane has long been linked with Bayern and Guardiola confirmed the winger has expressed a desire to play for another club.

City are reported to have requested £140million for Sane last year, and although it is unlikely they would hold out for a similar fee this time around, Bayern are apparently only willing to pay £30m.

Club board member Kahn stressed Bayern will not behave irresponsibly in the transfer market.

"We'll talk about transfers when they have taken place," he told ZDF.

"I think it is a time when you have to act very carefully, especially economically, and possible even next season as well."

Regarding Sane, Kahn added: "He [Sane] has another year left on his contract with Manchester City, and there is nothing more to say about it now."

Sane, 24, is yet to play since suffering knee ligament damage in August, as he was an unused substitute when City beat Arsenal 3-0 on Wednesday.

Bayern Munich coach Hansi Flick has nothing to say on the future of Leroy Sane after it was confirmed the winger wants to leave Manchester City.

Pep Guardiola said this week Sane has made it clear he will not extend his contract and will move to a new club either this year or after his deal expires in 2021.

Bayern have long been considered the favourites to sign the Germany international, although the impact of the coronavirus crisis is likely to make significant transfer spending difficult this year.

Speaking after their 3-1 Bundesliga win over Freiburg, Flick had no interest in discussing any players who may or may not move to the Allianz Arena.

"I don't want to say anything on that topic," he said. "I am here to talk about our performance today.

"I don't want to talk about the future or players that could come or leave us. We still have things we want to achieve this season. We've won the league, now the next step will be the DFB-Pokal.

"After that, there will be one big goal left [the Champions League], which we will have to work really hard for and try to get as far as we can."

Bayern secured a club-record 15th consecutive win thanks to Robert Lewandowski's double and a Joshua Kimmich goal on Saturday.

The newly crowned Bundesliga champions conclude the league season against Wolfsburg next Saturday before they face Bayer Leverkusen in the DFB-Pokal final on July 4.

They resume Champions League duties in August with a 3-0 aggregate advantage over Chelsea in the last 16 ahead of the second leg.

After upwards of a year of speculation, Pep Guardiola has confirmed Leroy Sane will leave Manchester City.

The Germany winger is widely expected to join Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich after rejecting a new contract at the Etihad Stadium.

His existing terms expire in June 2021, although the likelihood is City will begin the 2020-21 campaign without Sane in their ranks.

A solution in the transfer market might not be easily found, considering the two-season Champions League ban City have appealed against at the Court of Arbitration for Sport and the expected wider economic ramifications of the coronavirus pandemic.

Here, we look at some of the players in Guardiola's squad who – for better or worse – might be impacted by Sane's departure.

RAHEEM STERLING

If Sane had bought into Guardiola's demands of a wide forward and maximised his talent to the extent England star Sterling has, this is probably not a conversation we would be having. While the City boss increasingly appeared not to trust Sane's contribution during last season's treble run-in, Sterling was and remains absolutely integral to his plans.

However, being almost exclusively played on the left during Sane's injury absence this season has seemed to take a toll upon the 25-year-old, whose preference for cutting in on his right foot had started to become predictable and easier to defend. Sane's presence allowed him to switch flanks and ask varied questions of defences. If his departure means Sterling being restricted to left-wing duties, City might struggle to fully realise the ample talents of their most potent attacking threat.

GABRIEL JESUS

Life as understudy to the club's all-time record goalscorer Sergio Aguero appears to weigh heavily upon Jesus at times, while playing an entire World Cup as Brazil's number nine without scoring – as he did at Russia 2018 – knocked his confidence considerably.

The 23-year-old rehabilitated his standing with the Selecao in a wide-right role during last season's Copa America triumph, while he put in arguably his finest City performance on the left flank when he opened the scoring in February's 2-1 Champions League win at Real Madrid. A selfless performer, Aguero and Sterling would have few complaints were Jesus to fill that position on a more frequent basis.

PHIL FODEN

Of the pending exits at Manchester City, David Silva's departure at the end of this season is viewed as the most significant for presumed heir Foden. However, Guardiola has deployed the England Under-21 playmaker on the left of a front three this season, most notably when he was thrust into the EFL Cup final against Aston Villa and turned in an irresistible man-of-the-match display.

Foden came off the bench against Arsenal to score for the 11th time in 63 senior appearances, once again showing a keen eye for goal. He averages 2.5 chances created per 90 minutes in the Premier League.

BENJAMIN MENDY

When Sane leaves, City will badly lack for natural width down the left side. One man who provides that if fit and firing is left-back Mendy, although his travails following two bouts of knee surgery since moving to Manchester in 2017 mean that "if" is doing an awful lot of work.

Guardiola has always been reluctant to pair Mendy and Sane, seemingly because both men like to operate in similar zones of the pitch. Without the latter, Mendy would be free to rove and Jesus could thrive as a tucked-in forward inside him. The big question, however, is whether the force-of-nature attacking threat City signed from Monaco can ever truly return after what his body has been through.

RIYAD MAHREZ

City's record signing when he joined in 2018, Mahrez has not been able to hit the heights he did at Leicester, where his mercurial skills secured the PFA Player of the Year award amid the most unlikely Premier League title triumph in 2015-16.

More often than not at City, the Algeria star has looked a rung or two below Sterling and Sane in terms of elite quality. Mahrez's 30 Premier League starts have yielded 14 goals and 12 assists in sky blue at a comparable per-90-minute rate to Sane. Maybe without him he can truly thrive?

JAYDEN BRAAF

The latest jewel of City's academy set-up, Braaf has already amassed a considerable personal following thanks to some moments of individual skill for the age-group teams that quickly went viral.

City would surely be loath for Braaf, who is reportedly admired by numerous clubs across Europe, to become the next Jadon Sancho and depart for superstardom elsewhere at a knockdown price. Sane's departure might just give the Diutch youngster a way in.

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