Manchester City have balked at Schalke’s £42 million starting valuation of Leroy Sane but hope to reach a compromise with the German club after the attacking midfielder signalled his desire to move to the Etihad Stadium.
Sane is ready to sign the offer of a four-year contract with City but negotiations over a fee for the highly-regarded 20-year-old are proving difficult with Schalke asking for €50 million (£41.7 million) with further performance related payments to follow.
Although Pep Guardiola has pinpointed City’s defence as the main area of the team that needs addressing, the new head coach is keen to add more pace, creativity and goal threat to the attack and regards Sane as a priority target.
Sane has played less than 60 senior games for Schalke and City – who regard the valuation as excessive – hope to secure a deal for around the £35 million mark. Much as Manchester United paid an inflated price for Anthony Martial last summer in order to secure the France forward’s services before an anticipated stampede of interest from Europe’s leading clubs, so City are keen to tie up a deal for Sane before competition for him intensifies.
Most of the continent’s elite clubs have scouted Sane extensively and Barcelona and Real Madrid have expressed interest in the player.
Sane played just 11 minutes for Germany at the European Championships this summer, when he appeared as a substitute in the 2-0 semi-final defeat by France, but he is regarded as one of the country’s brightest young talents.
Fast, a formidable dribbler with flair and excellent technique and a strong finisher, Sane has been used mainly on the right side by Schalke and his anticipated arrival at City would increase the pressure on Raheem Sterling.
Guardiola believes Sterling has the quality to flourish under him but English football’s record buy will face fierce competition for a starting place from Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva, Sergio Aguero, Kelechi Iheanacho, Nolito, a new signing from Celta Vigo, and Sane in the likely event he joins