Transfers between the European powerhouses are rarely smooth, with both prestige and huge transfer fees at stake.
This summer has been dominated by huge moves in Spain, with La Liga’s big three spending over €500m on new players ahead of the new campaign. Much of Ligue 1, the Premier League and the Bundesliga were relatively quiet over the summer, but one long-running England-to-Germany saga dominated the headlines. Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich have been clear in their determination to prise Germany international Leroy Sane away from Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, whatever the cost.
However, neither side have covered themselves in glory amid continual reports that the former Schalke 04 is on his way back to his native country. Bayern Munich boss Niko Kovac was clear in his pre-season Press conferences that he wanted to secure a deal for the 23-year old, antagonising City in the process by stating that Sane has grown disillusioned with life at the Premier League champions. The former Croatia international was ordered to backtrack on his comments by Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, with a deal far from being completed.
Guardiola was clearly irked by Kovac’s brash pursuit of his player and appeared to remove any potential for a deal. The Premier League’s early-close window, shutting on August 8, also reduced the likelihood of the move with City not having long to sign a replacement. Sane’s ACL injury also put the kibosh to the deal.
Bayern declined to take up James Rodriguez’s purchase option from Real Madrid in June, and following the retirements of club legends Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery, Kovac is under pressure to sign a big name attacker.
Sane has clearly been established as their No.1 target, however Kovac will have to dip back into the market, with a demanding season ahead and a growing requirement for Champions League success to safeguard his future at the club.