Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has refused to rule out a transfer for Leroy Sane – but has insisted that they want to deal with Manchester City first to avoid tapping the winger up.
Germany international Sane is heading into the last year of his contract this summer with Bayern regularly linked with signing him.
Sane hasn’t appeared since he was forced off after 13 minutes in the Community Shield in August with a knee ligament injury.
But he could be in line to make his return for City during their Carabao Cup semi-final second leg against Manchester United, having made his comeback to full training on Tuesday.
Sane is more likely to start getting minutes again in a couple of weeks.
The uncertainty over his short term future is only matched by doubts about where he will be playing next season.
Bayern have never made their interest a secret, with the Bundesliga club attempting to replace Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery.
And Rummenigge has insisted that nothing will be hidden from City in their pursuit.
“If we are still interested in principle, which I do not rule out, we will first talk to the club in order to create a friendly atmosphere of conversation,” Rummenigge told German journalist Manuel Bonke.
Then Bayern manager Niko Kovac was forced to apologise for publicly admitted he was “confident” of a deal for Sane.
Kovac said last summer: “Our club management is very committed. It is not easy in this day and age, you see, otherwise it would already be sorted. But I am very confident. I assume we can get it [done].”
Before later apologising: “We [Bayern and him] talked about it. Maybe I was too offensive in that interview. I talked to Pep and apologised because of it.
“I would like to apologise to the club, too. I will restrain myself in cases like this in the future.”
Pep Guardiola said earlier this month: “It’s a question for Leroy, his agents and the club. I’m not involved in that,” Guardiola said on Sane’s future.
“I have no doubts about him and his quality but each one has his own family, desires, dreams and, above that, I cannot do anything else.
What I want is for him to come back fit. His knee looks really good and after that, honestly, it’s not of my business. It’s not in my hands,” said Guardiola.
“What’s important now is that he has to recover well and after that he knows what we think of him, that we believe in him.
“I was the guy who pushed the club and convinced him to come here even though he didn’t play regularly for Schalke.
“Three years ago is different to right now. I’m not the same guy I was when I arrived here and the players are the same. They have their dreams and after the dreams are accomplished it needs another thing. I don’t know.”