Nanjing (China) (AFP) – Coach Pep Guardiola warned Leroy Sane on Wednesday he only wanted to keep players at Manchester City who are happy to be at the club.
The German winger has been strongly linked with a move to German champions Bayern Munich and found himself frozen out at times last season.
Former Bayern boss Guardiola gave mixed messages about the future of the 23-year-old following a pre-season friendly victory over West Ham in China.
Asked whether he expected Sane to stay at the Premier League champions, Guardiola replied, “Yes”, and initially refused to say more.
But, speaking after the 4-1 thumping of the Hammers in the Premier League Asia Trophy, Guardiola described Sane as having “a special quality that is hard to find”.
City have offered Sane a new contract, but casting fresh doubt on the Germany international’s future, Guardiola added: “We want people here to be happy.
“He knows, they all know, it’s difficult (to get games) because of the quality we have.
“But at the same time I spoke to the club 10 times, I want people here to be happy, if they don’t want to be here, they go.”
Guardiola was brief in his response when asked about reported interest in Leicester City’s England defender Harry Maguire.
“Leicester player,” he replied, refusing to say more.