Leory Sane, the 20-year old German international, appears to be the next player on Pep Guardiola’s list.
With a few players already through the door at the Etihad, Guardiola hasn’t finished his summer shopping spree and will know the youngster from his time in the Bundesliga.
Currently at Schalke 04, Sane is very much a wanted man. Bayern Munich and Real Madrid are also reportedly casting an eye on the attacking midfielder, who is showing a lot of promise for the future.
Sane was practically predestined to pursue a career in football. After four years at local club SG Wattenscheid 09, he joined the youth set-up at Schalke at the age of just nine. After three years, he had a brief spell at Bayer 04 Leverkusen’s academy.
He always wanted to be a footballer. “I never wanted to be an astronaut,” he told the Suddeutsche Zeitung in 2015. “When I was 16 or 17, I didn’t go to parties. I had only one hobby – the ball.”
Sane is the son of former German rhythmic gymnast champion Regina Weber and former footballler and Senegalese international Souleymane Sane. Souleymane Sane was raised in France, but came to Germany via his service in the French Army. Leroy Sane was born in Essen and raised near the Lohrheidestadion in Wattenscheid. Leroy has dual German and French citizenship.
Sane returned to Schalke in 2011, where he slowly began to prove himself as a budding star of the future. After a superb season in 2013/14, the youngster found himself in the running for a spot in Schalke’s first team.
When injuries hit Roberto Di Matteo’s team in the spring of 2014, Sane was thrown head first into top level football. He made an immediate impression, putting in a glistening performance against VfB Stuttgart.
Schalke General Manager Horst Heldt said two years ago: “Leroy is a very talented young player able to feature in various attacking positions.
“He impressed during this years UEFA Youth League Competition for our U19 side and is already a wanted starlet. Some clubs were interested in him. We are delighted that he never had any doubts about his future at Schalke.”
Although Sane was happy to remain at Schalke and stay in the Bundesliga two years ago, a lot has changed since then. He has now broken through into the German national team and played a part in the recent European Championships. A shop window for talent like his.
It’s no surprise, therefore, that Sane now wants to explore pastures new and the chance to work with Guardiola appears to be appealing.
47 appearances and 11 goals for Schalke, shows that whilst he is not a prolific scorer himself, his attacking play and superb dribbling ability sets up plenty of chances for others to take advantage of.
Last season, Sane’s progress has barely stopped for breath. Previous Schalke coach Andre Breitenreiter had put a lot of focus on the squad’s young talent. Alongside the likes of Max Meyer, Sane had been at the heart of the new philosophy, and is fast developing into one of the best attacking midfielders in the Bundesliga.
Throughout last season, Sane was superb, his mazy runs and tactical intelligence proving an invaluable element of Schalke’s front line, and it’s hard not to see why Guardiola feels he could be an important addition to his new City revolution.