Leroy Sane has urged Bayern Munich left-back David Alaba to reject any move to Manchester City and remain with the Bundesliga champions after detailing why he decided to leave the Premier League club before the end of the season.
Sane completed a £54.8m move to Bayern at the start of the month, ending his four-year stay at the Etihad Stadium to return to Germany after leaving Schalke in 2016. The 24-year-old’s departure is likely to force City into the transfer market to fill the attacking void, but Pep Guardiola is also keen on strengthening his defence this summer in an effort to claw back the ground lost to Liverpool this season.
It’s reported that City are looking at Alaba as a possible option to reinforce the left side of their defence, while Bournemouth’s Nathan Ake, Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly and Diego Carlos of Sevilla have all been linked as possible centre-back targets.
Real Madrid have also been linked with Alaba, with the Austria international valued at around £33m as he has entered the final year of his contract with Bayern.
But despite having attractive interest elsewhere, new arrival Sane has urged Alaba to reject the advances and sign a new contract to remain at Bayern.
“I really hope David stays,” Sane told Sport Bild. “I would like to play with him. He is a good guy, a great footballer, and we like each other privately. David has proven that he is not only one of the world’s best left-backs, but also exceptional in the centre.”
By choosing to leave City this month, Sane has sacrificed his chances of winning the Champions League this season, with City due to take a 2-1 advantage into their last-16 clash with Madrid in two weeks’ time. The Germany international could have remained at the Etihad to finish off the season in the hope of ending his stint at the club with European glory, but instead he elected to move to Munich at the earliest opportunity.
With the end of the 2019/20 season set to roll into preparations for the 2020/21 campaign, Sane decided that it would be a better outcome to find his feet back in Germany to prepare for the upcoming Bundesliga, even though he will be ineligible to play for the club in the remainder of their European campaign next month.
“I can feel it (the spirit and excitement at Bayern). The boys are hot and focused, they have big goals with the club. I think a lot can be achieved. I definitely see a realistic chance of winning the Champions League with Bayern,” Sane said.
“That's right, but the club also wanted me to be able to properly prepare for my new job in Munich. If I had finished the season (with City), the preparation (for next season) would have been very short. I want to arrive (at Bayern) in peace, find a place to stay, prepare for the new chapter in my career, and then start all over.”
Sane returns to Germany after being left out of the national team plans at the 2018 World Cup by Joachim Low, having failed to impress the Germany head coach while playing under Guardiola that also drew criticism from teammate Toni Kroos, who took aim at his behaviour during the last few years - something that Sane strongly disagreed with.
A serious knee injury suffered in the 2019 Community Shield wrecked the majority of his season, but he has managed to work his way back into Low’s plans and Sane hopes that the move back to Germany will help his international prospects even if it was not the motivating factor behind his return.
“I was very surprised about that,” he said. “Statements and judgments about my character came from many corners, from people who don't know me personally and don't know what makes me tick. I wondered how things like that came about? If I don’t know a person, I would never talk about their character. I was far away [from Germany] and, of course, there is speculation but, still, I found it strange, surprising.
“I’ve completely ticked off the 2018 World Cup chapter, and I don't think about it anymore. My relationship with Jogi Low was very good right from the start, and that hasn't changed. He is counting on me for the future, and I appreciate that. I really enjoy working with him. I didn't focus on the national team when I made the transfer but I know how much it has helped the national team when there was a strong Bayern block at tournaments.”
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