“You have to be a bit sceptical. It is unlikely that it will work. It’s about sums: they’re insane.”
A cynic could point out that Sane’s asking price has not really moved over the course of a month and so the German champions would surely have known the sums involved before their very public overtures about signing him.
Since moving to Manchester three years ago for £37m, Sane has sparkled in a team that has recorded the two highest points totals ever seen in the Premier League and been voted the best young player in the league by his fellow pros. Especially in a post-Neymar transfer market, there is simply no way his price-tag hasn’t at least doubled – and that’s without City upping the price simply because they want to.
Bayern’s tactic of getting several high-profile figures at the club – with strange cameos from Dortmund and the German national team – to talk up what a good fit Sane is without actually putting a bid in for the player has hardly endeared themselves to the Blues.
What it has exposed is how badly the Bavarians could do with a quality, ready-made winger. When your chairman publicly teases that a player “would be the successor of Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery”, there can be very little sympathy if their club decides to take you to the cleaners to solve the near-impossible task of filling those boots.
City have been in this position before.
Pep Guardiola’s public courting of full-backs, his decision to let three full-backs leave and the failed chase of Dani Alves combined to write across the skies of Europe that the Blues really needed to strengthen there. As a result, Kyle Walker could become the most expensive English player ever, Benjamin Mendy became the world’s most expensive defender and Real Madrid got Danilo off their books.
The success of the last two seasons would almost certainly not have followed without those signings but they did not come cheap because the players were established, City’s need was obvious and the selling clubs were not desperate.
This is the situation that Bayern have worked themselves into. Even if the very public wooing of Sane makes the German more convinced about a move, that is very unlikely to make City move a penny over a player they still have under contract for another two years.
Having done such a good job of talking up their target, Bayern Munich are going to have to stump up and break their transfer record for a second time this summer if they are to land him.