Schalke 04 manager Andre Breitenreiter has encouraged the much-coveted Leroy Sane to make a dream move to either Barcelona or Real Madrid in the future, amid speculation linking him with Liverpool and Manchester City. The German boss, nevertheless, believes it is too soon for the starlet to leave the Veltins-Arsena as he needs to develop further before being ready to play for one of Europe's giants.
The 20-year-old offensive midfielder has become one of the hottest prospect of the mercato after garnering a reputation as the next big thing from the prolific Schalke academy, following in the footsteps of Manuel Neuer, Julian Draxler and current Arsenal star Mesut Ozil.
Schalke director Horst Heldt revealed earlier this season that Liverpool already made a proposal to secure his services in the summer.
"There were a number of prestigious clubs that contacted us about Sane," Heldt told Bild in October. "Liverpool were ready to pay money for him. These offers didn't interest us or the player. I am really not concerned about losing the player. Two years ago, Ajax made an offer as well. Leroy can have a great career, he is on the right track."
Recent reports from Germany claimed that Jurgen Klopp was ready to renew the efforts to secure his compatriot during the current transfer window, while Bild later reported that Manchester City had joined the race.
However, last week L'Equipe said that Barcelona had won the race after agreeing to meet his €37m (£28.1m, $40.1m) buy-out clause ahead of getting his services in the summer, with Sane reaching a pre-contract six-year agreement with the Catalans.
Manager Breitenreiter has now added fuel to the speculations, admitting that the move will eventually happen and that Sane should decide to go to one of the La Liga giants – rather than to the Premier League.
"I'm not thinking about selling Leroy to another club. I think it's too soon for him to move to a big club, he's still developing", Breitenreiter told Sport Bild.
"The statements made by our CEO, Clemens Toennies, and our sporting director, Horst Heldt, are very clear, as are Leroy's performances on the pitch. We understand that this is the dream of every young player. It was always a dream of mine to play for Barcelona or Real Madrid. He'll have to choose between one and the other. He's in good hands here if he decides to stay. He can develop here and take the next step later".