Leroy Sane: Who is the reported Manchester City transfer target?
By Edward Tarlton
Last Updated: 02/08/16 10:11am
Pep Guardiola has confirmed Manchester City are interested in Schalke's Leroy Sane - and the player says he wants to leave.
The German winger, who played at Euro 2016, has a host of heavyweight suitors, according to the British media, with Bayern Munich and Real Madrid also said to be interested.
So who exactly is Sane? And how would he fit in at City? Here's a rundown of all you need to know…
Name: Leroy Sane
Place of birth: Essen, Germany
Son of former Sengalese footballer Souleyman Sane, the young Schalke winger began his youth career with one of his father's former clubs, SG Wattensheid 09, joining them at the age of five in 2001. He moved on to Schalke four years later, before linking up with Bayer Leverkusen in 2008.
Having eventually returned to Schalke, the winger made his Bundesliga debut in April 2014, coming on as a late substitute in a 3-1 defeat at Stuttgart.
He began to establish himself the following year, scoring on his Champions League debut in a memorable 4-3 away win against Real Madrid, before netting in his first league start just four days later.
Having scored five goals in six appearances for Germany's U21s, Sane was promoted to the senior side last season, earning his first full senior cap in a 2-0 friendly defeat to Euro 2016 hosts France in November. He has three caps in total.
Sane impressed at club level in 2015/16, too, finishing the Bundesliga season with eight goals and six assists in 33 appearances as Schalke came fifth.
What does Sane bring to the table?
The 20-year-old's pace, skill and confidence in possession makes him a strong dribbler, with a level of composure that belies his tender years.
Sane is most comfortable on the left wing, where he is adept at cutting inside onto his favoured left foot. One of his greatest strengths, however, is his positional versatility, having also played on the left and behind the striker at club level.
Similarly, his return of goals and assists, predominantly from wide areas, demonstrates the genuine threat the youngster can pose to opposition defences.
Where would he fit at City?
The competition for attacking positions at the Etihad is already strong, with the likes of David Silva, Kevin de Bruyne and Sergio Aguero integral to the club's offensive playing style.
Sane could, however, challenge Raheem Sterling, Jesus Navas and Samir Nasri for a starting spot. All three have been inconsistent performers for City, and Guardiola could seek to freshen things up with a youthful addition on the flanks.
At just 20-years-old, Sane's best years surely lie ahead of him, and his versatility would also serve him well at the Etihad. Securing a place in Guardiola's team would be a big challenge, but Sane certainly has the talent to make an impact.
What they've said…
Schalke director of sport Horst Heldt has described the German international as "a very talented and versatile attacking player", while Guardiola was hugely complimentary of the youngster while in charge of Bayern Munich last season. "Leroy is a huge talent," he said. "I can only congratulate Germany on having a talent like him."
Leroy is a huge talent. I can only congratulate Germany on having a talent like him.
Pep Guardiola on Leroy Sane
Did you know?
As well as his father being a former footballer, Sane's mother is former German Olympic gymnast Regina Weber.