Manchester are reported to be looking to Burnley to replace the departing Leroy Sané, with Dwight McNeil shortlisted as a potential summer signing.
Pep Guardiola confirmed last week that Sané has rejected the offer of a new contract at the Etihad, and though he refused to concede that he will leave this summer, the chances of City allowing him to run down his contract and depart for free in 12 months appear slim.
The Germany international set the club back close to £50m in 2016, and though he has made just two appearances this season due to injury, they stand a good chance of recouping much of that outlay if they sell now – with Bayern Munich still interested in his signature.
If he does depart in the weeks ahead, however, City aren’t likely to spend too long rueing their loss. According to ESPN, work is already being done behind the scenes to replace the 24-year-old, with McNeil – said to be a favourite of Guardiola’s – on a shortlist of targets.
20-year-old McNeil has been a regular source of creativity for the Clarets ever since breaking into the first team in the back-end of last season, and has assisted an impressive 11 goals in his 18 months as a Premier League regular. In particular, his impressive physical attributes and ability to feature on either flank are said to have grabbed Guardiola’s attention, with the Spaniard holding the belief he has the potential to blossom within his squad.
McNeil signed a long-term contract with Burnley in January 2019, so wouldn’t come cheap, especially considering his increasingly key role at Turf Moor.
Despite Guardiola’s apparent keenness to sign McNeil, who has been capped three times by England at Under-21 level, he insisted as recently as last week that a replacement may not be sought. Phil Foden has recently proven his worth as a wide option, something Guardiola hinted could offset any potential new additions.
“Gabriel [Jesus] can play on the left, Phil Foden can play on the left, we have Raheem [Sterling] there,” he said when asked about replacing Sané. “We have big, talented players up front. Most of them are in good, healthy condition.”