Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola said that German winger Leroy Sane has not requested a transfer away from the Premier League club amid interest from Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich.
The transfer saga has dogged Guardiola throughout City's pre-season tour in Asia and the Spaniard reiterated his stance that he wants to retain the services of the 23-year-old whose 10 goals and 10 assists helped the club defend their league crown.
"I answered many times this question (on Sane's future), I know the rumours exist," Guardiola told reporters ahead of Sunday's Community Shield match against Liverpool.
"It's impossible for me to convince any player to stay when he wants to leave but the player did not tell me anything. If he says he wants to leave, we will speak to the club. He didn't tell me that.
"We want him to stay, we have tried to extend the contract for more than a year. We were quite close and now it's a little bit different but that's the reality, I can't say any more."
Bayern have been chasing Sane's signature but rumours of the Germany international making the decision to move were put to rest on Thursday when the Bavarian club released a statement saying the reports "do not correspond to the facts".
The Premier League transfer window closes a day before the season begins on Aug. 9 and Guardiola said he hoped other European leagues would follow suit so managers know the final makeup of their squad before the first game of the season.
"In many ways England lead in many aspects so hopefully the rest of Europe will follow," Guardiola added.
"I think it's the best before the first game for the Premier League you know exactly what players you will play for the rest of the season."
The Spanish manager led City to an unprecedented domestic treble last season but said it counts for nothing when the new season gets underway.
"We won almost every trophy (last season), not all of them," Guardiola said. "It was quite remarkable. We know each other better now than the first season. That's easier for our job."
"We start from zero now, we start again. But we are ready to accept the challenge."
Guardiola also reserved praise for his opposite number Juergen Klopp, having faced him many times in the Bundesliga, too, when he was at Bayern and Klopp was at Borussia Dortmund.
Liverpool ran City close in a tense Premier League title race last season, narrowly finishing one point behind the champions on the final day, but Klopp did later lead his side to their sixth European Cup.
"(He is a) class manager, top manager," Guardiola said. "He played quite similar in Dortmund an incredible challenge every time we face his teams and his message is always positive."
"I think he's so good for football. His message is always positive, sometimes some exceptions but most of the time always good."
Guardiola confirmed goalkeeper Claudio Bravo, who missed the majority of last season due to an Achilles injury, would play in the season's curtain raiser on Sunday and that all South American players except for Fernandinho were back in training.
Alves joins Sao Paulo on free transfer
Former Paris St Germain right-back Dani Alves has joined Sao Paulo on a free transfer, the Brazilian top-flight club said on Friday.
Brazil captain Alves, 36, signed a deal until Dec. 2022 after leaving PSG at the end of his contract in June.
Alves is the only player to win 40 trophies across club and international football and Sao Paulo referred to the signing as the “the most victorious player in the history of football”.
The former Barcelona and Juventus right-back will play Brazilian club football for the first time since 2002, with Bahia.
“Daniel Alves is the embodiment of what this management envisions for Sao Paulo,” Sao Paulo president Carlos Augusto de Barros e Silva said.
“He is also a socially engaged citizen and passionate about our country. Sao Paulo, therefore, wins on every possible front.
“One day I told Daniel that he would come to play at Sao Paulo. Today, I have the immense joy and pride to have kept that promise.”
Alves, who has been capped 115 times for Brazil, recently led his country to the Copa America title on home soil and was voted the player of the tournament.
Sheffield United sign McBurnie from Swansea in club record deal
Sheffield United have signed Scottish striker Oli McBurnie from Championship side Swansea City and broken their transfer record for a fourth time in the close season, the newly-promoted Premier League club said on Friday.
Financial details of the transfer were not disclosed but British media reported it was around 20 million pounds, eclipsing the 10 million pounds they paid Bournemouth for French striker Lys Mousset.
McBurnie was Swansea’s top goal scorer last season with 22 goals in the second tier. He has also played seven times for Scotland after making his debut last year.
“I am confident he will be a tremendous success,” United manager Chris Wilder said in a statement.
“We need options at the top of the pitch and Oli, as anyone who has watched a significant amount of Championship football will tell you, offers plenty in that area.
“He fits the profile of our transfer policy this season and is an age where his better years are ahead of him - hopefully he and the club can continue to grow together.”
McBurnie is the club’s eighth recruit of the close season after they signed Luke Freeman, Phil Jagielka, Callum Robinson, Ravel Morrison, Mousset, Ben Osborn and Dean Henderson (on loan).
Wilder’s side play their first Premier League game on Aug. 10 away at Bournemouth.
Zenit sign Brazilian winger Malcom from Barcelona
Zenit St Petersburg have signed Brazilian winger Malcom from Spanish champions Barcelona for an initial fee of 40 million euros ($44.39 million), the two clubs announced on Friday.
The 22-year-old, who joined the Catalans last season from French club Girondins Bordeaux, made 24 appearances for Ernesto Valverde’s side last season, scoring four times in all competitions.
“Barcelona and Zenit St Petersburg have reached an agreement for the transfer of the player Malcom. The Russian team will pay Barcelona 40 million euros plus 5 million euros in variables,” the La Liga club said in a statement.
“Barcelona retains an interest in case of a future sale of the Brazilian.”
Zenit are currently unbeaten and sit top of the Russian Premier League standings with three wins from three games.