Sociedad stand firm on City target Oyarzabal

Manchester City
Striker Mikel Oyarzabal has boosted Real Sociedad by confirming that he has no plans to leave the club "for many years".

Manchester City are reluctant to pay the £75million release clause for Real Sociedad winger Mikel Oyarzabal, according to reports in Spain.

Bosses at the Etihad are understood to have identified the talented 22-year-old as a possible replacement for Bayern Munich target Leroy Sane.

The Germany international has continued to stall on City’s offer of a new five-year-deal and, with the Bavarian giants still hovering, there is a growing acceptance he is likely to leave next summer.

Sane suffered a cruciate knee ligament in August’s Community Shield victory over Liverpool at Wembley, although the rapid forward could be back playing again early in the new year.

City’s brokers are believed to have ramped up efforts in recent weeks to try and put something provisionally in place for Oyarzabal, who, like Sane, is predominantly left-footed.

The Spain international is being hailed as one of the brightest talents in his homeland after becoming the main man last season for Sociedad, scoring 14 times and bagging the same amount of assists.

City have good relations with Oyarzabal’s club and an initial dialogue was started in the summer, before Sane’s injury ended any possible hopes he had of completing a £130m switch to the Allianz Arena.

Further talks have taken place but it is understood the Manchester giants are trying to negotiate down the Spaniard’s £75m buyout figure, with a valuation closer to £60m in mind.

The player still has four years left on his deal and has stressed he is happy at La Real, as such Sociedad are entitled to hold firm at this stage – especially with Barcelona also known to be admirers of his tricky footwork.

Pep Guardiola’s own contacts in Spain are said to have commented on Oyarzabal’s excellent temperament, added to how well he could fit the City manager’s demands for precise ball retention at all times.

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