Bayern Munich pulled out all the stops to land Leroy Sané, and he is grateful for it. In a detailed interview with Sport Bild (Wednesday print edition), the German star revealed how the team pursued him and has made him feel welcome from top to bottom.
Sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic obviously tops the list. Sané said, “Hasan Salihamidzic and his plan played a very big part. He stood behind the transfer from the very first moment and let nothing deter him. For that I’m thankful. He showed me how the club works, what team he has in his head, how the way forward looks.”
Sané also credited Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, new executive member Oliver Kahn, and the current and former club presidents, Herbert Hainer and Uli Hoeness for all making to make it happen. “I felt ... that they all stood behind it,” he said.
Sané described meeting Hoeness personally in Tegernsee and also bumping into Hainer in Munich: “In fact around my signing I was with Uli Hoeness in Tegernsee and spoke with him ... I know that he also stood behind my transfer to FC Bayern. It was equally pleasant to speak with the current president Herbert Hainer. I met him by chance at dinner in Munich. We immediately had a good conversation. I could tell how passionate he is about sports and Bayern Munich.”
It was Sané’s own friends and Germany teammates at Bayern, of course, who played no small part in his decision to come. While he was listening to Salihamidzic’s presentation, the chemistry with his friends was an obvious attraction: “I saw immediately: I know lots of guys here, I fit in here very well,” he recalled.
“I also know many players from the U-national team,” he said, “we have some chemistry together. That helps greatly: we know how each other ticks, we can support one another.”
Three young Germany players in particular did their part to lure Sané to Munich: Leon Goretzka, Serge Gnabry, and Joshua Kimmich. Sané said, “It wasn’t the case that they asked every day, ‘Are you coming? When will it finally be done?’ But Leon Goretzka, Serge Gnabry, and Joshua Kimmich informed themselves and got in touch with me.”
“I paid them to apply a little pressure!” he joked.
And so at long last, once Manchester City and Bayern agreed on a transfer fee, Sané finally landed in Munich. On his transfer: “Everything really took too long,” he said in hindsight. “So I can understand if at some point it perhaps even became irritating to the fans. I’m all the happier now that it worked out.”
We are, too.