Sane told to buckle down at City or risk be­ing sold

The Daily Telegraph - Sport - - Football - By Luke Ed­wards in Nanjing

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)

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.