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.
— Leroy Sané (@LeroySane19) June 22, 2020
“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.”