Bayern Munich were successful in signing Leroy Sané from Manchester City in 2020, a year after they failed to take him away from the Etihad.
The Cityzens had reportedly identified Real Sociedad star Mikel Oyarzabal as a potential target to replace Sané in 2019. The deal, however, didn’t progress because the German stayed at City after suffering an injury setback in August of that year.
Pep Guardiola’s side never looked at the 24-year-old to replace Sané, but recent reports in England have mentioned about the English champions wanting to sign the La Liga forward.
Noticias Gipuzkoa journalist Mikel Recalde has detailed how the Spain international is adored by La Real and their supporters. He further uses City’s failure to sign the player as an example to suggest it won’t be easy for any suitor to take Oyarzabal away from Real Sociedad.
“I think Oyarzabal thinks a lot about Prieto’s famous phrase; ‘You can achieve a lot even in Real Sociedad’,” TV2 quoted Recalde as saying.
“It is clear to him that he can make it happen here, at the same time as he knows that nowhere else will be like San Sebastián for him. He has a good salary, wears No 10 shirt, captain of the team and everyone loves him.”
“He has said no to so many offers. Manchester City have knocked on the door, Atlético Madrid is another example of a club that has shown great interest in him for several years. He’s a player Simeone loves. It takes a lot for him to ever leave the club.”
“Oyarzabal may not be a world star, but he is a Gipuzkoa star. His demeanor is typically a person who comes from Gipuzkoa. He is a person who works hard, a leader who takes responsibility.”
“Last week has shown a prime example of the person Oyarzabal is. He had two bad games, where he missed a great chance against PSV and a penalty kick against Sevilla, but he did not hide for that reason.”
“After the match against Sevilla, he went to the supporters and gave his suit to a boy, at the same time as they sang his name. Oyarzabal is a star at Real Sociedad.”
Recalde’s comments doesn’t make it clear as to when Oyarzabal turned down an approach from City, but it’s clear the interest is there, and Pep Guardiola likes the Spaniard.