This article is part of Football FanCast’s Opinion series, which provides analysis, insight and opinion on any issue within the beautiful game, from Paul Pogba’s haircuts to League Two relegation battles…
Amidst all the drama surrounding Leroy Sane’s future this summer, it’s difficult to comprehend that the whole saga revolves around the Premier League champions. The club who won the league title for the second time in a row are being rag-dolled around by Bayern Munich and are seemingly just letting it happen to them.
Pep Guardiola had previously indicated that he would like to keep the winger at the Etihad and that he was keen for him to stay and realise his potential in Manchester. Just a week later however, the City boss appeared to change his tune on the Germany international and instead admitted that Sane’s future was not in their hands and that he was just “hopeful” he would stay.
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The change in attitude all comes from the way Bayern have manipulated the situation this summer. The Bavarian giants’ boss Niko Kovac publicly declared that Sane would be a “dream player” for the club, were he to join. Kovac then claimed just days later that he was confident of taking him to the Allianz Arena.
Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rumminegge downplayed Kovac’s comments and insisted that he “did not like the statement”, but to all intents and purposes, the damage had been done. Whether Kovac knew what he was doing or not, Bayern have explicitly made it clear to Sane and his representatives that they see him as a vital part of their team moving forward.
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Guardiola and City on the other hand have been left scrambling around waiting to see what the German decides, rather than trying to proactively take control of the situation. Despite not nailing down a place in the first-team last season, Sane registered some impressive numbers from out wide and at just 23-years-old has plenty of room for growth.
Allowing Bayern to dictate the negotiations in public does City no good. The City hierarchy simply have to re-assert their dominance and make it abundantly clear that Sane is not for sale.
Getting pushed around whilst being the champions of England reeks of embarrassing weakness. Taking a stand and shutting down the five-time European champions however would show the footballing world that City aren’t just a superpower on the pitch but off it as well.