The long-running transfer saga involving Bayern Munich and Leroy Sané shows little sign of letting up with the German champions and Manchester City still €10 million apart in their valuation. The question is: can the Bavarians really afford not to stump up the cash?
It seems like another decade when Bayern first began their courtship of Sané, but it was only back at the start of the season when the winger suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury in his right knee during the English Charity Shield, just as it seemed Bayern were going to pay €100 million for his signature.
Ten months on and the move looks back on with reports claiming Bayern are back in the hunt for the 24-year-old former Schalke prodigy. Karl-Heinz Rummenigge remains coy, but at the same time has hinted at Bayern potential tactics in any negotiations over Sané.
“I’m not talking about players who are under contract to other clubs,” he recently told SportBild. “I can only talk about the value of our players. One thing is clear: We too must act with foresight under the new circumstances.
“It is the task of Hasan Salihamidzic, Oliver Kahn and the coach to think about the squad planning for next season. That includes possible entries, but also exits.
“[Large fees] depends on the individual case,” he added. “There will still be players who demand a high price. But the big question is: Who is able to pay this price?
“Cash is a position that no longer exists on a large scale in professional football. Maybe it’s good that we are becoming a bit more rational and stable. After all, the risk for clubs has been increasing in recent years.”
Bayern seemingly want Sané but want him on their financial terms- a move, which could end up backfiring should other clubs enter the race. They believe they are in a strong position with the player having been out of action all season, the effects of the Corona virus crisis hitting the transfer market, and with Sané now only having a year left on his contract.
Manchester City and Pep Guardiola however know the quality of the player they have and could be prepared to see him leave on a free transfer rather than see him depart for a fee way below his actual true value.
It was not for nothing that the winger was demanding a €100+ million fee just a year ago. The Premier League giants have lowered their asking price to a reported €50 million, but Bayern are still €10 million short in their reported offer.
Bayern may be coy, but the player’s agent Damir Smoljan said last week: “Together with him, we talk with Manchester City about what the next step could look like. The interest of Bayern Munich is no secret. But other absolute top clubs also contacted us about Leroy.
“Bayern is the only club in Germany that Leroy can imagine as the next step in his career. He sees there the requirements for achieving his big goal of winning the Champions League.”
Even striker Robert Lewandowski has given his approval in an interview earlier this with Spox. “There is a lot of speculation [regarding the transfer]. I can only say that he is a great player with great skills who can harmonize very well with his teammates.
“Not only in the Premier League or the Champions League. You have already seen what he could do at Schalke. He could certainly help us find new solutions in our game.”
Bayern fans would welcome the signing as it would herald in the start of a new era to finally inherit the Robben/ Ribéry legacy. Serge Gnabry down one flank, Sané down the other, fullbacks quaking in their boots- what could be more Bayern than that?
Bayern want Sané, and Sané it seems wants Bayern. So over to you Herr. Rummenigge. Are you prepared to dig deep into those pockets?