Guardiola fumes over Bayern’s Sane pursuit, wants winger to stay at City - GulfToday

Guardiola fumes over Bayern’s Sane pursuit, wants winger to stay at City

Pep Guardiola

Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola arrives to attend a press conference in Shanghai on Friday. Agence France-Presse

Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola took a swipe on Friday at Bayern Munich over their pursuit of Leroy Sane and said there had been no contact from them about the winger.

Former Bayern star Lothar Matthaus was quoted as saying that the German can become the “new face” of the Bundesliga champions.

But Guardiola has made clear his determination to keep Sane, who has been offered a new contract at City but found himself out the Premier League champions’ side at times last season.

“For a long time they are talking about their interest in Leroy Sane,” said an unamused Guardiola, who joined City from the Bayern in 2016.

Speaking in Shanghai on the eve of City’s Asia Trophy final against Wolves, Guardiola said there had been no contact from Bayern over the highly-rated German international.

Sane came on as a second-half substitute in a 4-1 win over West Ham on Wednesday in Nanjing and Guardiola is adamant he wants the 23-year-old to stay.

“He is our player and we hope that he can stay here this season and next season and next season.”

The Spaniard, who backed by money from the Middle East has made City a formidable outfit, did not rule out buying a replacement for central defender and captain Vincent Kompany.

The Belgian left in the summer to take over as player-coach of Anderlecht.

City have since been heavily linked with Leicester City’s England international Harry Maguire, who is also interesting Manchester United.

“There’s a chance (they could buy a defender) but I don’t know it will be possible,” he said.

“We have three incredible centre-backs who can play in that position so... we will see.”

Meanwhile, Guardiola failed to hide his frustration about the demands of their pre-season visit to China, saying bleakly: “It’s survival.”

The Premier League champions arrived in China two days late because of red tape related to their flight, which is likely to have infuriated a perfectionist like the Spaniard.

The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss, speaking to reporters in Shanghai, looked far from happy when asked about preparations ahead of another gruelling season.

“We are here to try to get our best level as soon as possible,” said an unsmiling Guardiola.

“Here we try to get our sleep during the day and try and sleep during the night, so it’s survival,” he said.

“We cannot train and keep our energy for the match day.”

City’s badly delayed flight, jet lag, punishing temperatures and promotional demands placed on his players while in China are all conspiring to make it a far-from-ideal pre-season for City.

Such summer trips are however typical for many European football clubs attempting to increase their support abroad.

China, with the world’s biggest population and second-biggest economy, is a key market.

Rivals Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur will play one another next week in Shanghai, while Juventus and Inter Milan will be in nearby Nanjing.

Asked how seriously he was taking the tour to China, Guardiola replied: “As much as possible.”

Agence France-Presse

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