Bayern Munich manager Niko Kovac has issued a public apology to Pep Guardiola following his comment about Manchester City winger Leroy Sane.
The Croatian manager, who won the Bundesliga in his first season in-charge, spoke to ZDF on Sunday, expressing his confidence over signing the 23-year old from the Premier League champions. “We want him and the club is working on it. But I’m confident and assume that we can get him,” he said.
Leroy Sane, who won back-to-back Premier League titles with Manchester City last season, has not been a regular starter under Pep Guardiola due to the brilliant form of teammates Bernardo Silva and Raheem Sterling.
The German winger was signed by Guardiola in the summer of 2016 for £37m and his stock has increased ever since. Bayern Munich are hence desperately seeking the services of the £100m-rated winger as they hope to put up a serious challenge in the Champions League next season.
Niko Kovac previously spoke to BILD when he labeled Leroy Sane as his “dream player”. “We all know that Sane is our dream player,” he remarked. “The public knows that. We know that. We will do everything to realize this transfer.”
Bayern Munich sporting director Karl Heinze-Rummenigge strongly reacted to his manager’s comments. “We have good relationship with Manchester City and Pep Guardiola. Sane is under contract at City. I didn’t like the statement [Niko Kovac made] — being optimistic or pessimistic doesn’t help.”
The director’s remark forced Niko Kovac to apologize Pep Guardiola and Manchester City. “I talked to Pep and apologized for my statement [on Leroy Sane]. I was too offensive. I will hold back in the future. I also want to apologize to the club.”
However, Kovac re-iterated that his comment was verified information. “I always speak the truth. What I said was absolutely right and is verified.”
Bayern star Joshua Kimmich also spilled cold water on the claims that his national teammate will be at the Allianz Arena next season. “If Leroy wanted to, he probably would already be here,” he said.
The whole incident has suggested that Bayern Munich are still a long way from getting their man, with reports also claiming that Pep Guardiola has made it clear to Leroy Sane that he is staying put in Manchester next season. The domestic treble holders only have a week to negotiate with the Bavarians and also find a replacement for Sane, which now seems highly unlikely.