Leroy Sane

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Leroy Sane returns to Man City training five weeks early

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After sustaining a nasty ankle injury with confirmed ligament damage, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola ruled Young Player of the Season candidate Leroy Sane out for two months.

That was two weeks ago.

The 22-year-old has returned to training and while Guardiola says he’s not yet 100% healthy, Sane is fit enough to be included in the squad for the Champions League Round of 16 first leg against Basel on Tuesday.

“He is not in perfect condition, but he has run a lot and wants to help us,” Guardiola said in his pre-match press conference. “It is not perfect, but he is with us, and that is good news. They have done a good job, both the physios and Leroy himself.”

Sane’s return is a massive boost for Manchester City, who were hit hard by injuries through the festive period but are slowly getting healthier, with only Benjamin Mendy and Gabriel Jesus still out with long-term injuries. The German national team will also be lifted by Sane’s earlier return, although they could be left frustrated if it turns out he has returned too quickly, which risks a longer-term problem.

Guardola had nothing but praise for his youngster for putting in the time to return this early. “I am surprised, but he has worked a lot,” Guardiola said. “I couldn’t expect it with a young guy, to be so professional.

Man City chasing Mahrez; Leicester demand “mind-blowing” fee

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With Lery Sane set to miss up to two months with ankle ligament damage suffered over the weekend, Manchester City have decided to address the problem the way they know best: by throwing a few million — 85 million, to be more specific — dollars at it.

[ MORE: Tuesday’s transfer rumor roundupMonday | Sunday ]

According to multiple reports out of the UK and France, Man City hope to tempt Leicester City into selling their most prized player, winger Riyad Mahrez, sometime in the next 30(-ish) hours. It is unclear at this point whether or not an official bid has been made — various outlets claim an offer of $85 million was made and rejected, while Leicester have stated in no uncertain terms that a bid has not yet been made.

It has been reported that Leicester would only sell ahead of tomorrow’s transfer deadline should a “mind-blowing” bid (read: Philippe Coutinho-like) come in for the 26-year-old Algerian international. The price would, presumably come down considerably this summer, when the Foxes are afforded ample time to sign Maherz’s replacement(s).

[ MORE: Man City sign French defender Laporte, for $80 million ]

Additional reports have stated that, as a result of City’s interest and possible bid, Mahrez has handed in another transfer request. He did the same, unsuccessfully, last summer as he attempted to force through moves to Chelsea and Roma, among others perhaps.

Guardiola: Sane out up to 2 months with ligament damage

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MANCHESTER, England (AP) Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says Leroy Sane will be out for “six, seven weeks” after sustaining ankle ligament damage during the team’s FA Cup win over Cardiff.

[ MORE: Guardiola calls on refs to protect players from horror tackles ]

Sane’s absence leaves the Premier League leaders short of attacking options in a crucial part of the season, with the Germany winger potentially missing up to 11 matches in four competitions. That includes the League Cup final.

[ MORE: Man City sign French defender Laporte, for $80 million ]

With Gabriel Jesus also injured, Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva will shoulder the attacking burden for City.

[ MORE: Tuesday’s transfer rumor roundupMonday | Sunday ]

The 22-year-old Sane, who has scored 11 goals and set up 14 more in all competitions this season, was injured by a challenge from Cardiff defender Joe Bennett, who was shown a yellow card for the tackle and later sent off for a second bookable offense.

Sane out “weeks” as Guardiola renews protection calls to refs

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Leroy Sane was chopped down with a terrible studs-up tackle during Sunday’s FA Cup win over Cardiff City, and the Manchester City man is expected to miss significant time with an ankle injury.

[ RECAP: Cardiff City 0-2 Man City ]

He’s fortunate it’s not worse, as Cardiff’s Joe Bennett made sliding contact with Sane’s leg as the German wizard made a near field-length dribble.

Pep Guardiola was raging after the injury, as an obscured referee needed the linesman to advise a straight red card. Instead, a yellow came.

That’s hardly any comfort as Guardiola says Sane will be out for a minimum of “two to three weeks,” a time span which includes league matches against West Brom, Burnley, and Leicester City before a Feb. 13 UEFA Champions League first leg against Basel. It also puts Sane’s status for the League Cup Final on Feb. 25 in question.

From ManCity.com:

“They [officials] have to protect the players,” Guardiola said. “Not my players. All players. They [refs] are there to protect the players. When there is fault, there is fault, and when it is dangerous, it is dangerous. I don’t understand the goal [Bernardo] that we didn’t get, but that is okay. We can accept that. But they have to protect the players. They have to do their job.”

All clubs face horror tackles, but teams have been explicitly physical against the difficult-to-slow City set-up. It’s difficult to fault Guardiola for his criticism, and ex-Aston Villa and Middlesbrough defender Bennett should see retroactive disciplinary action for his foul.

Man City into League Cup final (video)

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  • City outshoots Bristol 28-5
  • Sane, Aguero put MCFC up 2-0
  • Pack, Kent pulls two back for Bristol
  • De Bruyne answers in stoppage
  • City wins 5-3 on aggregate

A pair of late goals put a scare into Man City, but the Premier League leaders scored just before and right after halftime to insure its first leg lead en route to a 3-2 win over Bristol City at Ashton Gate Stadium on Tuesday.

City wins 5-3 on aggregate in the League Cup semifinal, with Sergio Aguero, Leroy Sane, and Kevin De Bruyne scoring in the second leg.

Pep Guardiola moves to within 90 minutes of his first significant title as Man City boss, and will face either Chelsea or Arsenal on Feb. 25 at Wembley Stadium.

Marlon Pack and Aden Flint scored for Bristol City.

[ MORE: Full stats, box score ]

Sane scored in the 43rd minute and Sergio Aguero struck less than four minutes after the teams returned from the halftime break.

An errant John Stones clearance helped Bristol to the scoreboard in the 64th minute, with Pack scoring the goal.

Flint then nodded home in stoppage time to give the Robins hope for a miracle win, but new contract hero De Bruyne scored within a minute to burn those hopes to the ground.

Bristol would be in the Football League Championship playoffs if the season ended now, sitting in fifth place.