Manchester City already have a plan in place to sign Leroy Sane’s successor after holding talks with a Bayer Leverkusen winger catching both Chelsea and Man Utd’s eye.
Germany international Sane made his return from a year out with a knee ligament injury against Arsenal on Wednesday. But he is not looking set for a long-term future with City.
He has 12 months left on his deal and has been heavily linked with Bayern Munich. But Sane’s decision to reject a new deal led Pep Guardiola to admit on Friday he will be able to leave if his club can find a buyer.
“Leroy has rejected to extend his contract. Everyone knows. If at the end of the season two clubs agree he can leave, if not he will leave at the end of his contract,” Guardiola said.
“The club offered two or three times and he rejected it.”
City rejected an offer worth up to £80m from Bayern for Sane last summer but can expect less now. It’s also reported that any funds they do get from his sale will be invested straight into a replacement.
Reports in France claims Guardiola already knows the identity of the man he wants to spend that money on with Leon Bailey in his sights.
As per Foot Mercato, the City boss has already held positive talks with the Jamaica international over a move to City.
They claim Bailey has told Guardiola he wants to play for him and has green lighted a move if a deal can be agreed.
The 22-year-old scored 13 goals and seven assists in 58 appearances for Bayer since transferring to the Bundesliga outfit from Genk in 2017.
Bailey, previously linked with United and Chelsea, only renewed his contract until 2023 in August and is rated in the €60m bracket by the German club.
Sane time coming to a close
Any deal for Bailey, however, will depend entirely on City offloading Sane.
Sane was an unused substitute in the win over Arsenal this week as he made his first matchday squad of the season. The winger suffered an ACL injury back in August.
Asked why the winger didn’t come off the bench, even with five substitutions now possible, Guardiola said: “We are in the first game, the part of the game, the first two games against Arsenal and Burnley. It was so important to get our points to confirm us for qualification.
“Qualification for the Champions League is like a title, now we are 15 points clear from fifth and it was a good sign to win against Arsenal.
“Leroy was a long time away. He is training without pain and that is a good sign. We have a bigger squad right now, everybody is fit and I am going to take a decision.
It depends on many reasons. I depended that moment the way we were training. Bernardo [Silva] and Phil [Foden] played incredibly and they were not selected. I will try to move the team, some will play more than the others and I will try to let them play.”