Bayern Munich have warned Manchester City they will delay signing Leroy Sané until next summer, with him free to discuss a deal with prospective clubs from January.

The German international has been linked with a move to Bavaria since last summer, with the Bundesliga giants having made it clear he is among their prime targets.

He appeared to be close to sealing a move late in the summer transfer window before a cruciate ligament injury picked up in Manchester City’s Community Shield win over Liverpool ended it in its tracks.

Bayern’s interest has not diminished, though, with them still keen to sign the 24-year-old and working towards that end this summer.

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A big stumbling block has been City’s asking price, the Premier League club having demanded a big price for the forward that Bayern appear to be unwilling to match.

That has led to intense negotiations between the two clubs, with reports in England indicating that in a new round of negotiations last week Manchester City made it clear they wanted €70m, but Bayern offered €40m.

There is, then, a considerable gap to be closed in terms of price and according to Sky Sports Germany, Bayern Munich have a trick up their sleeve to help bring down his price.

They report that Bayern have argued in negotiations with Manchester City that they can wait until January to negotiate a deal with Sané.

His contract expires next summer, so he is free to negotiate with teams in Europe come January, six months before his contract at the Etihad expires.

Thus he could move to the Allianz on a free in the summer, a deal that would suit Bayern and Sané himself as he could demand a bigger signing bonus if the German giants haven’t had to pay a significant transfer fee.

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This is something they have made clear to Manchester City, essentially telling them to sell this summer or risk losing out on a fee for a player who cost them £46.8m four years ago.

Whether it’s a tactic that will work isn’t made clear, although Sky do say that a ‘quick agreement’ is not in sight.

They believe that a transfer is ‘still likely’ given City are under pressure to earn a transfer fee or lose the player on a free in a year.

Bayern are happy to pay, both they and Sané want the deal to happen this summer, but they will not do so at ‘any price’ and so they are now using whatever tactic they can to bring Manchester City closer to a more agreeable transfer fee.