At his pre-match press conference ahead of the match against Crystal Palace, Pep Guardiola was quizzed on Leroy Sane and asked if the German attacker had been dropped due to renewal difficulties.
The Manchester City boss insisted not, and explained: “Gundogan would not play if that was a reason why. Gundogan has one year left and doesn’t want to extend so he would not play and he plays.”
Those words have caused a great big fuss in Italy, where the idea of a move to Inter Milan has caught the attention of the sport media.
Earlier today we covered claims from Milan that City have set the sale price at €25m, and Inter would look to reduce that given the midfielder’s contract situation.
Tuttosport have it a little different, suggesting €30m would actually be needed.
They take Guardiola’s words to mean it’s now ‘official’ Gundogan won’t be renewing, so Manchester City only have a single summer window left to make some money from him.
It’s worth once again noting what Bild recently said about the player’s situation.
The German newspaper feel he’s playing a game: ‘His hesitation should not be much more than contract poker. A contract extension is probably only a matter of time.’
Gundogan did all this at Borussia Dortmund, on more than one occasion. Running his contract down and then extending by only a season and keeping the chance of a relatively cheap transfer.
Italian optimism could be misplaced, but perhaps Guardiola’s words show that City won’t be quite as patient and compliant as BVB were.