Exclusive – Manchester City have a contingency plan in place for the expected departure of Leroy Sane and are prepared to activate the buyout clause of Real Sociedad star Mikel Oyarzabal in 2020 ahead of a summer move.
23-year-old Sane has long been a target for Bayern Munich, but the German champions were rebuffed in their advances for the winger this summer as City held out for an offer in excess of £100m.
However, Sane’s subsequent cruciate ligament damage in the Community Shield at the start of 2019/20 has not deterred Bayern’s interest and 90min understands that the player himself is fixated on completing a move to Munich, despite competing interest from Paris Saint-Germain.
Bayern want to agree terms with Sane ahead of summer 2020, with the Germany star keen to move back to his home country and prove himself as the main man at the Allianz Arena in a way he has not been able to at the Etihad Stadium.
Despite winning two Premier League titles, the FA Cup and the 2018 Young Player of the Year award, Sane has often found himself behind Raheem Sterling, Bernardo Silva and even Riyad Mahrez in Pep Guardiola’s plans. He was even dropped from Germany’s squad for the World Cup last year.
City, for their part, are resigned to Sane’s exit sooner rather than later, though they will hold out for between £80-100m from Bayern for the forward – who still has more than 18 months left on his current deal.
With that money, 90min has learned that City will turn to long-term target Oyarzabal, who has a contract release clause of around £68m.
It was reported that the Citizens looked at the six-cap Spain international during the summer, with Sane’s situation unclear, and they have since kept the player at the top of their targets list.
While £68m would be the most City have ever spent on a player, the ability to bypass negotiations with Real Sociedad, sort a deal ahead of the summer and reduce their net spend make Oyarzabal an attractive prospect in their succession planning.
It is not out of the question that City make their move in the coming months, and ahead of the summer window, in order to mitigate the loss of Sane and prepare for the next campaign.
22-year-old Oyarzabal has scored 12 and 13 goals in each of his last two full La Liga seasons and won the Under-21 Euros with Spain this summer. His dribbling and end product make him one of the country’s most exciting young talents.