Guardiola hopes Leroy Sane can be retained at club

Winger’s age, potential and outstanding play among reasons City want to keep him

Manchester City’s Leroy Sane: maintained his recent high standards with a starring role in Saturday’s 3-1 defeat of Bournemouth. Photograph: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Manchester City’s Leroy Sane: maintained his recent high standards with a starring role in Saturday’s 3-1 defeat of Bournemouth. Photograph: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

 

Pep Guardiola is hopeful Manchester City can agree a new deal to keep Leroy Sane at the Premier League champions for “many, many years”.

Guardiola revealed in October the club were in contract discussions with the winger, whose recent performances have been outstanding.

There have been no public updates since but, with the 22 year old already committed until 2021, City manager Guardiola insists there is no rush.

Guardiola, who has had no personal involvement in the negotiations, said: “I don’t have any info about the club, about [there] being trouble with Leroy. The last info I had was that it’s going well.

“But the process is not one day. [With] Raheem Sterling it was not one day. Except for Kevin De Bruyne, which was done in one or two days, the other ones sometimes take longer. Hopefully he can stay here for many, many years.”

Guardiola feels the set-up at City will help keep their prize assets out of the hands of Europe’s biggest clubs.

He said: “Barcelona and Real Madrid are able to buy these players but they are comfortable. We try to keep these players, like every club. We try because they are young, that’s why we want to keep them.

“Kevin [De Bruyne], Raheem [Sterling], Leroy, Gabriel [Jesus] and [John] Stones, they have Europe in front of them. They like to stay here.”

Sane, who joined City from Schalke in 2016, maintained his recent high standards with a starring role in Saturday’s 3-1 defeat of Bournemouth.

Back to form

The German has roared back to form after the disappointment of missing out on selection for the World Cup and a slow start to the current campaign. Sane did not start any of City’s opening four Premier League games and had his attitude publicly questioned by Germany team-mate Toni Kroos.

Guardiola has maintained a balanced view of the player. He refused to criticise the player earlier in the season and is not getting carried away by his current form.

As he has with another form player, Sterling, Guardiola has continued to demand more.

Manchester City’s Leroy Sane: the German has roared back to form after the disappointment of missing out on selection for the World Cup. Photograph: Phil Noble
Manchester City’s Leroy Sane: the German has roared back to form after the disappointment of missing out on selection for the World Cup. Photograph: Phil Noble

He said: “He was incredible last season but 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 third [day] of December.

“There are many games to play and it’s the same with Raheem, I have a feeling he can do better.

“Many things he can do better but, with his age and the potential he has, we are delighted to have him here and [with] the way he is playing lately.”

Positive impact

Meanwhile, Ruben Loftus-Cheek will make a decision over his short-term future at Chelsea later this month as he waits to discover if the positive impact he has made in recent weeks earns him a first Premier League start of the season against Wolverhampton Wanderers.

The England midfielder has scored five goals in his last six club appearances, including the team’s second against Fulham on Sunday to secure a timely derby success, to draw praise from the head coach, Maurizio Sarri. The 22 year old has been a regular in the Europa League and Carabao Cup selections this season, regaining his place in the national squad for last month’s fixtures as a result, but craves greater involvement in the top flight.

Crystal Palace are keen to take the midfielder back to Selhurst Park, where he enjoyed a productive season-long loan last season, but Chelsea had made clear to prospective suitors that he would not be permitted to leave mid-season. However, it is understood Loftus-Cheek is still prepared to ask for a temporary switch if opportunities remain elusive through a busy month of fixtures up to the opening of the transfer window, not least in Tuesday’s trip to Molineux where his recent form would justify inclusion from the start.

The player, who has spoken regularly one-on-one with Sarri over his development, has been more progressive in his play of late, adding a different dimension to Chelsea’s midfield.

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