Leroy Sane has finally left to join Bayern Munich, hours after the German club cobbled together a series of apologies after pictures of the German winger emerged following his medical on Thursday.Embed from Getty Images
Sane, who might have left last summer were it not for the knee injury that ruled him out of almost all of this season, played only 11 minutes during Project Restart.
The Germany International, capped 21 times, had only a year left on his City contract and will cost Bayern just £45m with a potential £10m in add-ons – not bad for a player who made 135 appearances, scoring 39 goals and making 45 assists for City.
His electric pace, crossing, and eye for goal terrified opposition teams and he helped City pick up seven major titles in his time at the club.
The fee might have been north of £100m had Sane not picked up his injury during the Community Shield last August.
The pre-season curtain raiser at Wembley seems a lifetime ago now but the Germans had been publicly courting Sane since before that.
His refusal to sign a new deal to stay at City forced the hand of the clubs hierarchy and, although lower than what they could have had last summer, a deal potentially worth up to 60 million Euros is at least satisfactory in these strange times.
Sane can’t play for City or Bayern in the remainder of this season’s Champions League – which is due to restart in August.
But City could promote some youngsters to bolster the squad for what might be the last push for European silverware if City’s Champions League ban is upheld in any way.
The result of City’s appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) is due to announce their judgement over the legality and length of the punishment meted out by UEFA following the publication of hacked emails from within the club.
City are expected to spend big to plug the gaps from Sane and David Silva’s departure this season, and Vincent Kompany’s departure last season.
Regardless of the result of the appeal, City may not have worry too much about filling some of the spots, as defender Eric Garcia and midfielder Phil Foden have stepped up in recent weeks to show promise for this season and perhaps next.
And while striker Sergio Aguero may be ruled out for more than just the rest of the Premier League campaign, the likes of Jayden Braaf and Liam Delap have been called up to the first team squad from the Elite Development Squad.
Foden and Garcia, who starred in the 4-0 thrashing of Champions Liverpool this week, might not be the only youngsters getting game time before the end of the season.
Is anyone going to suggest that City manager Pep Guardiola couldn’t win anything with kids?