Ottmar Hitzfeld has criticised Pep Guardiola and Leroy Sane for how one of this summer’s protracted transfer sagas ended.
Sane was heavily linked with a move to Bayern Munich over the summer but any potential move ended after he sustained a cruciate ligament injury in their Community Shield win over Liverpool.
The 23-year-old German forward, who joined City from boyhood club Schalke 04 in 2016, has two years left on his current contract with the English champions.
However, following a season where he was no longer guaranteed a starting berth under Guardiola, there came mounted speculation Sane could be on his way out.
One club heavily interested – moreso after losing legendary wingers Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery – was Bayern but they could not make any inroads but were nonetheless surprised to see him start in English football’s traditional curtain-raiser.
Hitzfeld, who previously coached Bayern to European Cup success, was one of those dumbfounded by Guardiola’s move but equally felt Sane could have made things clearer regarding his future.
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“I did not find it correct from Sane that he did not announce himself, neither to Bayern nor to Manchester City,” he told Blick, before criticising Guardiola for playing Sane in the Community Shield final with his future not yet decided.
“I would not have done it, but if your club is about to sign such a big deal, you can not play your player in a rather insignificant game.”
Sane in Manchester: Five key things to know…
- Sane joined Man City from boyhood club Schalke 04 in 2016, the same summer Pep Guardiola took charge.
- He’s gone on to make 134 appearances, registering 39 goals and 42 assists.
- Only Raheem Sterling (146), David Silva (137) and Kevin De Bruyne (135) have played more games under Guardiola.
- And only Sergio Aguero (96), Sterling (62) and Gabriel Jesus (46) have scored more.
- Bayern Munich were keen to return him to the Bundesliga this summer, but a serious knee injury ended their pursuit.