Bayern close in on Sane, sign French talent Kouassi

Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich are close to signing Germany winger Leroy Sane from Manchester City and have already landed French teenage defender Tanguy Nianzou Kouassi.

“We are in very good discussions with Leroy Sane’s management and with Manchester City. But now we must be patient,” Bayern board member for sport Hasan Salihamidzic said on Wednesday.

City manager Pep Guardiola said: “There are some little issues but it looks like he is going to go to Munich. We wish him all the best and big thanks for our years together.”

City have reportedly agreed to let the 24-year-old go for 49 million euros (55 million dollars), rising to a possible 60 million euros with bonuses.

Sane was already linked with Munich 12 months ago but then ruptured his cruciate ligament which sidelined him for many months.

There was speculation that Sane would cost Bayern around 100 million euros last year but after the injury and with only one year left on his contract it will likely be less than half that amount.

Sane can add to Bayern’s speed on the wings along with Kingsley Coman and Serge Gnabry.

The 18-year-old Kouassi received a four-year contract in a free transfer from French champions Paris Saint-Germain, where he started playing in their academy four years ago.

Kouassi made his first-team debut at PSG last December and is also a junior international.

“He is one of Europe’s best players in his age group. We are very pleased to have been able to sign him and are convinced that he will be looking to help strengthen our team,” Salihamidzic said.

Kouassi said: “I’m very happy to be able to play for FC Bayern. It’s a big club, rich in tradition. I really hope I’ll be able to establish myself here and play a lot of matches. For that I’ll work hard.”

He is the third French defender at Bayern, joining Benjamin Pavard and Lucas Hernandez, and the sixth Frenchman overall in the squad, alongside Coman and midfielders Corentin Tolisso and Michael Cuisance.

Bayern will hope that Kouassi will have a similar strong development as young Canadian full back Alphonso Davies who had his breakthrough this season.

Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is looking for “sustainability” in these difficult transfer times and has pledged that the club won’t do anything silly during the window.

They have renewed the contracts of Davies (2025) and of veterans Thomas Mueller and Manuel Neuer (2023) but question marks remain around defender David Alaba and Thiago Alcantara whose deals expire next year, even though Flick badly wants to keep both.

While the imminent Sane signing could mark the end of Bayern’s pursuit of Bayer Leverkusen super talent Kai Havertz, a departure of Thiago and/or Alaba could prompt Bayern to take action.

But Rummenigge’s designated successor Oliver Kahn has also said that “this is a time where you have to act in a very cautious way economically.”

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