UEFA’s bombshell ban of Manchester City from the Champions League is far from set in stone. Appeals upon appeals are likely to draw out the process, and the English club may find a way to get their ban delayed, reduced or removed entirely.
But if the Citizens are barred from the Champions League for two years, and if that ban begins the coming season, UEFA may have just handed Bayern Munich massive leverage in their negotiations to acquire Leroy Sané.
The transfer romcom has been covered thoroughly. Bayern wanted to add Sané before the current season, and the Manchester City winger had signaled his intent to move to Munich before a devastating knee injury in the FA Community Shield.
After switching agents, Sané still reportedly favors a transfer to Bavaria. Manchester City’s Champions League ban could now facilitate the move.
The ban would be another big factor working against the English side in Sané transfer negotiations. Sané’s contract runs until the end of next season, and if City could no longer offer Champions League football, extending the German forward would become extremely difficult.
Bayern has already reportedly offered Sané a bigger wage package than City has. The forward’s new agency, LIAN Sports, cannot negotiate on his behalf until April 1. Once talks resume, Bayern’s offer of Champions League football would go a long way in tipping the scales in their favor.
Sky Sports in Germany reported in October that the total transfer package – wages and transfer fee – would come to more than €100 million. However, when it comes to the fee, Manchester City’s potential ban may be an opportunity for Bayern to lower the asking price.
A nine-figure transfer fee seems far fetched since Sané is entering the final season of his deal. But UEFA’s punishment may put more pressure on Manchester City to balance their books, which would be tough if the German winger left England on a free transfer.
Could Bayern land Sané for less than €50 million? Maybe not, but they may no longer need to break their transfer record (€80 million to Atletico Madrid for Lucas Hernandez) to get the deal over the line. Such a decrease could be crucial for Bayern, which is reportedly also eyeing Bayer Leverkusen’s Kai Havertz.
The Champions League ban for Manchester City might ultimately prove to be inconsequential, either because it is reduced or eliminated or because Sané was headed to Bayern anyway. But there’s no question that, if the ban is enforced, it could play a role in this topsy-turvy transfer saga.