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Guardiola: “Sané has to decide” about Bayern Munich; family and girlfriend are at odds

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Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola is resigned to await the German winger’s decision whether to transfer to Bayern Munich. His family is not making matters simpler.

Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League Photo by Matt McNulty - Manchester City/Manchester City FC via Getty Images

Bayern Munich is not the only one awaiting a decision from Manchester City’s young German forward Leroy Sané. His current coach, Pep Guardiola, is also waiting to learn whether he can count on Sané to be part of the team in the upcoming season. The decision has dragged on long past Sané’s return from summer vacation. Manchester City is now nearing the end of its tour Asia, but it remains unknown whether Sané will stay.

Guardiola stated outright that City wants to keep Sané — “We want him to stay,” he insisted — but he betrayed a sense of helplessness to affect the outcome in City’s and his own favor (Daily Mail, BBC):

So it’s not in our hands — he has to decide. If he wants and there is an agreement then it’s good but if he wants to leave he can do it but we will be sad. Hopefully he stays.

Guardiola expressed his affection for the while arguing in the same breath that he still has far to go to improve his game:

Leroy is a guy who I appreciate a lot — I like him a lot. I think he has an incredible gap to be better in terms of being connected in the game.

The statements from Bavaria have been rather warmer. Bayern Munich’s head coach Niko Kovac openly acknowledged that Sané is the club’s “preferred player” as a target (Wunschspieler — the translation “dream player” greatly exaggerates Kovac’s remark). And players such as Robert Lewandowski have described Sané in glowing terms as “a player who can immediately take us higher.”

Bayern is allegedly willing to pay Sané over £200,000 a week — or about €224,000, presumably gross. At roughly €118,000 net per week, Sané would be earning slightly less than Thiago, Jerome Boateng, and (last season) Franck Ribéry. If the amount is in fact equal to their wages (which tend to cluster around round numbers), Sané would make €121,885 or €6.338 million net annually (just under €12 million gross). It is an attractive offer.

Family ties

But life is more complicated than numbers in an accounting book. Leroy Sané’s decision affects not only himself, but also his family, and they are apparently pulling the young star in opposite directions. The Daily Mail reports that Sané mother, Regina Weber, “has proven obstructive in contract negotiations” with Manchester City over a new contract to bind Sané to the club beyond 2021, when his current deal expires.

On the other side, Sané’s 32-year-old American partner, Candice Brooks, with whom he has a daughter, is said to favor staying in the United Kingdom. The Daily Mail claims she is “becoming increasingly vocal too,” presumably against a move back to Germany (the Daily Mail fails to specify specific whether she favors or opposes the transfer).

In the meantime, City, Sané, and Guardiola have carried on with the show. Sané scored two goals in City’s 6-1 preseason evisceration of Kitchee FC in Hong Kong. The Blues will play Yokohama F. Marinos in Japan on July 27.