Bayern Munich would be prepared to pay €100 million (£88m/$112m) for Manchester City winger Leroy Sane, claims Lothar Matthaus, with the Bundesliga champions merely trying to negotiate the best possible price.
Those at the Allianz Arena had suggested that a move to bring the Germany international back to his homeland was unlikely due to the “insane” figures involved.
Club president Uli Hoeness has also previously stated that there is reluctance on their part to spend any more than €80m (£70m/$90m) on any single player.
Matthaus can understand why such statements have been made, but remains convinced that Bayern would dig deep for an exciting 23-year-old if City can be talked into a compromise that suits everybody.
He told Sky Deutschland: “I don’t think this transfer will fail because of a few million euros.
“If the player gives the Bayern bosses the signal that he wants to join them, I’m sure that the club will be ready to pay an amount in the three-digit million range.
“Bayern will have to strengthen offensively if they want to be internationally successful. And for this purpose, this transfer would be a great signal. And a little bit more quality simply costs a few million more.”
While being confident that Bayern would happily snap Sane up, Matthaus concedes that the player himself has a big decision to make on his future.
He was not a guaranteed starter for City in their 2018-19 treble-winning campaign, but would expect to be a leading man back in his homeland.
“Does he stay with City and Pep Guardiola, or does he change to Bayern?” Matthaus added.
“He is an absolutely exceptional player and shows that in almost every game.
“He is about to decide where he wants to play in the next few years.
He has to weigh up if he is satisfied with fewer games but otherwise feeling good under Pep in Manchester. If that is the case, then he must stay there.
But if he wants to have the chance to become a regular player and would like to live in Germany again, then he has to go to Bayern.
Everything else he has to be put to one side and make this decision entirely for himself and not listen to others.