Manchester City winger Leroy Sane reportedly wants to join Bayern Munich in the winter as he continues his recovery from a serious injury, and manager Pep Guardiola is unsure if he'll stay at the club past January.
Guardiola spoke to reporters ahead of City's Carabao Cup quarter-final away to Oxford United on Wednesday and was asked about a January transfer for Sane, replying: "I don't know about that. Anything can happen."
Bild journalist Christian Falk reported on Tuesday that Sane, 23, wants to move to the Allianz Arena as early as next month:
Max Winters of MailOnline carried further details on the report, saying that Bild claims Sane "has made up his mind that he wants to return to his homeland as soon as next month."
Sane will enter the final 18 months of his contract at the Etihad Stadium in the new year. The Germany international was heavily linked with Bayern over the summer, but James Ducker of the Telegraph wrote in August that Die Roten were some way off City's £137 million valuation.
Sane tore his anterior cruciate ligament in this season's FA Community Shield clash against Liverpool, which City won 6-5 on penalties following a 1-1 draw after 90 minutes.
Quizzed about a possible return date, Guardiola said: "When will he be back? I don't know. The process is (about) getting perfect, not setbacks. I think he is physically strong, muscular, but he is recovering well. The next step is on the pitch and then the team, and always will be so happy when he is back."
Sane posted an Instagram story on Monday confirming he had returned to training on the pitch. Simon Bajkowski of the Manchester Evening News provided more reaction from his manager:
Die Roten bid farewell to veteran wingers Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben over the summer, with Serge Gnabry and Kingsley Coman having taken over as their successors out wide for the most part.
However, the club could be in need of a winter statement after falling to fifth in the Bundesliga.
Goal's Ronan Murphy cited Coman's recurring injury issues during a recent appearance on Love Sport Radio and said Bayern will likely make their move for left-sided star Sane in January:
Love Sport Radio @lovesportradio
🔜 "They're going to have to make a move for Sané" @Goal's Ronan Murphy (@swearimnotpaul) says Bayern Munich will go all out for #MCFC winger Leroy Sané - and #ManCity will shake their hand on a deal! 📞 Call - 0208 70 20 558 📻 Tune in - DAB 📲 Listen - https://t.co/XWhRQh9myF https://t.co/3WkIAFdie6
Guardiola recently reiterated City would not invest in the winter transfer market despite several key injury absences this season, via Omnisport:
Former Bayern manager Niko Kovac apologised to City in July following his public approach over the Sane rumours at the time, when he said: "I am very confident. I assume we can get it (done)."
Their transfer hopes will be aided should Sane help them push a deal through from his side, while City's valuation of the player is another major factor as he prepares to enter the last 18 months of his deal.
City travel to Oxford before they're due to host second-place Leicester City in the Premier League on Saturday, with a chance to move within one point of the Foxes.