Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has admitted that he would not be able to stop Leroy Sane from leaving should the German winger decide to pursue a move away from the club.
Sane’s future was the subject of much speculation last summer, with Bayern Munich reportedly interested in taking him back to the Bundesliga.
That conjecture ended in August when Sane suffered a serious knee injury in his first appearance of the season – the Community Shield against Liverpool at Wembley.
The 23-year-old, who was the PFA Young Player of the Year in 2018, has only recently returned to training and is not likely to be back in action for a few more weeks yet.
That is likely to rule out any January bids but, with just one more year remaining on Sane’s contract, reports are suggesting he will be in demand again come this summer.
City boss Guardiola, who arrived at the club in the same summer as Sane, in 2016, said: “It’s a question for Leroy, his agents and the club. I’m not involved in that.
“What’s important now is that he has to recover well and after that he knows what we think of him, that we believe in him.
“It’s (only) awkward because I cannot see him on the pitch. He’s a nice person, I know him quite well. I was the guy who pushed the club and convinced him to come here even though he didn’t play regularly for Schalke.
“I have no doubts about him and his quality but what I’ve said many times is each one has his own family, desires, dreams and, above that, I cannot do anything else.
“Three years ago is different to right now. I’m not the same guy I was when I arrived here and the players are the same.
“They have their dreams and after the dreams are accomplished it needs another thing. I don’t know.
“What I want is for him to come back fit. His knee looks really good and after that, honestly, it’s not of my business. It’s not in my hands.”
Elsewhere, Guardiola is reportedly ‘crazy’ about Juventus defender Merih Demiral and wants the Turkish international in his team.
Demiral has been linked with a move to other Premier League clubs in recent weeks, including Leicester and Arsenal.
According to Turkish news outlet Sabah, however, City are very keen and are willing to pay €45m to beat other clubs to the player’s signature.
However, it is also claimed that Juve will do all they can to keep Demiral given that he has enjoyed a rise in the team, having played each of the last three Serie A games after being benched for the previous 11 before that.