Manchester City have not clinched the signing of Germany international Leroy Sane despite reports to the contrary, according to his club Schalke. Stories in both England and Spain claimed the Etihad Stadium club had beaten the likes of Manchester United and Real Madrid to the 20-year-old but those suggestions have been firmly rejected.
The Sun claimed that a £40m ($56.7m) bid from City had secured the services of Sane, who is currently representing Germany at the European Championship. Pep Guardiola is eager to make the attacking midfielder his second signing of the summer after adding Ilkay Gundogan from Borussia Dortmund.
But Schalke have rebuffed reports that Sane, who is contracted with the Veltins-Arena outfit until 2019, has already agreed to move to the Premier League. The news breathes new life into United and Real's hopes of landing the youngster, with his future yet to be confirmed.
"The story is incorrect, nothing has changed with Leroy Sane," sporting director Christian Heidel told German newspaper Bild, according to Sky Sports. After finishing fifth in the Bundesliga last term and missing out on qualifying for the Champions League, Schalke will be keen to prevent their best players from leaving, after Julian Draxler departed for Wolfsburg last summer.
Sane looks set to be the first of many players City and United will fight over during the summer transfer window as new managers Guardiola and Jose Mourinho look to implement their plans for the upcoming season. Both managers have made just a single addition during the off-season, with Eric Bailly moving to Old Trafford from Villarreal, yet more are expected in order to improve both sides ahead of the new season.
City and United both endured similarly disastrous seasons last term. Manuel Pellegrini won the Capital One Cup in his final season in charge, but a tame semi-final exit in the Champions League at the hands of eventual winners Real Madrid coupled with a fourth-place finish in the Premier League saw the Chilean depart on a whimper.
Louis van Gaal meanwhile won his first trophy as United boss by claiming the club's record-equalling 11th FA Cup, but failure to qualify for Europe's premier club competition next season saw him replaced by Mourinho. It is yet to be seen whether the Portuguese coach can inspire an about-turn in the club's fortunes, but his dealings in the window are likely to be key.