Sane told to buckle down at City or risk being sold
Pep Guardiola has warned Leroy Sane he only wants players who are happy at Manchester City, amid rumours the winger wants to sign for Bayern Munich.
City have spent almost a year and a half trying to persuade the Germany international to extend a contract that expires in the summer of 2021, but Sane is thought to be annoyed at spending so much time on the bench.
Sane started just two of City’s final 10 games last season and there have been rumblings of discontent for some time, with City’s coaching staff challenging the 23-year-old to raise his standards in both training and matches. That tension has offered encouragement to Bayern as they look to lower the age of their squad and, although Guardiola claimed that he hoped Sane would remain at the club, he is in no mood to begin a campaign pleading with one of his players to stay.
“The club made him an offer last year,” said Guardiola, after City’s 4-1 Premier League Asia Trophy win over West Ham United. “So, I have said many times, we only want people happy to be here.
“We are going to help him to be the best, we know his potential and what level he is. He has a special quality that is difficult to find around the world.
“He knows, they all know, all the
forwards, all the midfielders, how difficult it is to play. It’s difficult because of the quality we have.
“But at the same time I spoke to the club 10 times and I want people here to be happy, if they don’t want, they go. The desire to have him be with us is always there.”
Asked whether he felt Sane would still be at the club next season, Guardiola was evasive, insist
‘I want people here to be happy. If they don’t want, they go. The desire is to have him with us’
ing: “I have already answered that question really well.”
City played well in defeating West Ham and Guardiola is already predicting they will have another successful season. “I’m not going to say we will win everything,” he said. “But we will have no problems with motivation. I know them and they want to play, they have motivation, they push themselves, everybody tries all of the time. We did it the last three seasons and we will do it again.”
One of the only big decisions still to be made before the opening Premier League game of the season against West Ham is who will replace Vincent Kompany as captain after he moved into management with Anderlecht.
David Silva is a candidate, but the Spain international has confirmed this will be his final season at City, which would make Kevin De Bruyne the favourite. A decision, though, will not be made until everyone is back from international duty, with Guardiola revealing he will leave it to the players to choose.
De Bruyne added: “If the team and the club want me to be captain, that is something we need to talk about, we need to do that together. We have still got players away after the Copa America and the African Cup of Nations, so we need to discuss it as a group.
“I would be honoured to do it if people decide that is what they want. It is a really important job, not only on the pitch, but off it as well.”
Only a friendly? Pep reminds team there can be no let-up
The new season is weeks away but Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola showed in Nanjing he wants his players to keep their focus, as he makes clear to Raheem Sterling (above), Ilkay Gundogan (left), Taylor Harwood-bellis (right) and Kevin De Bruyne and Sterling (far right)