Guardiola thanks Sane as Bayern move edges closer

London (AFP) – Pep Guardiola on Wednesday wished Leroy Sane “all the best”, with the Manchester City winger on the verge of joining Bayern Munich.

The clubs are close to completing a deal, with the Bundesliga champions reportedly agreeing to pay up to £54.8 million ($68 million).

Guardiola, speaking at a virtual press conference, said there were still some issues to be ironed out but the 24-year-old has travelled to his native Germany to complete the transfer.

Sane scored 39 goals in four seasons at City and played a major part in winning back-to-back Premier League titles in 2017/18 and 2018/19.

The winger has missed almost all of this season after suffering knee ligament damage in the Community Shield in August.

“I give him a big, big thanks for these years together and wish him all the best for his new chapter at a fantastic club like Bayern Munich,” said Guardiola, himself a former Bayern manager.

“I would have loved him to stay here but he has decided to move on.”

After losing out on the Premier League title to Liverpool, City host the newly-crowned champions at the Etihad on Thursday.

Guardiola was asked if the match was a chance to prove they were as good as Jurgen Klopp’s team.

“In sport, you have to prove every time,” said the City boss.

“We are incredibly satisfied with what we have done and are doing but for athletes it is never enough. The past is the past. What we have done remains in our soul, in our memories, but the show must go on.”

Klopp is one of few managers to have a winning record over Guardiola and the Catalan is full of admiration for what the Liverpool boss has achieved both at Borussia Dortmund and over the last five years at Anfield.

“I admire him, the way his teams, not just now at Liverpool but when he was at Dortmund, I think this type of football his teams produce always is a benefit for the whole of football,” he said.

Guardiola added: “He wants to win, I want to win, and our teams want to win but when it is finished the game is over, it’s done.

“He’s my colleague and of course after my career I want to have a good relationship with all the managers.”

The City boss was asked whether he was confused over the Premier League’s rules on the wearing of political symbols.

Players are wearing “Black Lives Matter” (BLM) logos on their shirts but the Guardiola was fined in 2018 for wearing a yellow ribbon in support of jailed Catalan independence leaders.

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said this week he considered the BLM movement a “moral cause” rather than a political stance.

“I think all the humanitarian causes must be defended,” said Guardiola. “I’m not allowed to wear the yellow ribbon but all the time I use and bring the yellow ribbon.”

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