Pep Guardiola upbeat about Leroy Sane signing new long-term Manchester City contract

The Premier League club are in discussions with the winger over signing a new contract at the club

Ian Whittell
Monday 03 December 2018 17:43 GMT
Premier League weekend round-up

Pep Guardiola remains upbeat about the prospects of a rejuvenated Leroy Sane joining a number of key Manchester City players in signing a new, long-term deal with the Premier League champions.

The likes of Sergio Aguero, David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling, Ederson, Gabriel Jesus and Nicolas Otamendi have all pledged their futures to Guardiola’s club in recent months.

But talks with Sane have yet to reach a conclusion, although the German winger is clearly not being influenced by the negotiations, given his recent form and three goals in his last four Premier League outings.

The 22-year-old’s recent form marks an upturn in fortunes after a summer in which he lost his place in Germany’s squad for the World Cup and then returned to England to discover he had lost his starting place with Guardiola.

Sane has still only started seven of City’s 14 league games although he has become far more influential in recent weeks and, says Guardiola, is in line to join his team mates in agreeing a new contract.

“I don’t have any info about the club, about being in trouble with Leroy,” said the City manager.

“The last info I had was that it’s going well but the process is not one day – Raheem Sterling it was not one day.

“Except Kevin De Bruyne, it was in one or two days done, the other ones sometimes take longer but hopefully he can stay here for many, many years.”

The £60m summer signing of Leicester winger Riyad Mahrez further complicated Sane’s situation at the club, with the pair effectively locked in a head-to-head contest for the berth wide on the left of City’s attack.

Leroy Sane is in the process of deciding his future at Manchester City 

Mahrez has started one less Premier League game than Sane, though has been involved in one more game when substitute appearances are factored in. But Sane, who became a father for the first time earlier this year, has clearly responded well to the competition.

“I’m pretty sure becoming a father helps in many senses,” said Guardiola.

“I think he made an incredible last season, he played a lot of games because we had just one left winger, and he did an incredible season, but we’ll see.

“I don’t like to say too many times to the players how good they are in this moment because the season is too long. We are only in the 3rd of December.

“There are many games to play and I have a feeling he can do better. In many things he can do better, but with the age he has and the potential he has we are delighted to have him here and the way he is playing lately.”

The City manager, blessed with a plethora of riches in virtually every position, admits that team selection is one of the most difficult aspects of his job.

Riyad Mahrez has brought further competition to Guardiola’s squad

But the competition for places has also ensured that his players have maintained an unbeaten start to the domestic season and form that has them on course to eclipse even last season’s record-breaking championship campaign.

“It’s not easy, many players don’t play,” said Guardiola. “I said many times it’s the toughest period, the toughest situation I have to handle.

“When Sane plays he has to play good and Raheem the same, and it has raised their level, I’m pretty sure of that.

“So they feel, the players they are not stupid. The players know they have to play good or the other one close to me is a good player. It’s the only way.”

Meanwhile, Guardiola has not ruled De Bruyne, who has played just 81 minutes of league football this season due to two knee injuries, out of the weekend visit to Chelsea.

“He’s started training. It’s day by day,” said Guardiola. “This kind of situation, if the player himself decides if feels good, he will train with the team. We will see.”

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