Bernardo Silva: Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola insists midfielder will stay at club amid Barcelona interest

Pep Guardiola says Bernardo Silva will not leave Manchester City in this transfer window.

Silva had long been linked with a move to Barcelona. Guardiola admitted the midfielder liked the club a lot in midweek – but reports emerged last night that PSG had made an offer.

The Man City boss has denied that story and is adamant that Silva will be playing his football at the Etihad this season.

“Bernardo Silva will stay at Man City, there are no negotiations,” Guardiola said at his press conference on Friday ahead of City hosting Crystal Palace in the Premier League this weekend.

“He will stay here. We don’t have any phone call from any club regarding Bernardo Silva. That’s why he will stay. I tell you, he will stay.”

Until now, neither Silva nor his representatives have told the club he wants out of the Etihad this summer.

City would also need to identify and sign a replacement, with less than two weeks remaining of the transfer window.

The Portugal star has started on the bench in both Pep Guardiola’s opening victories of the Premier League season before starting – and scoring – in last Sunday’s 3-3 draw at Newcastle.

Guardiola said earlier in the summer that he wants Silva to stay but would not stand in the player’s way if he had other ideas.

“What happens will happen,” he said earlier this month. “If he stays, it is perfect.

“In the end, if he has to leave, it is because football is like this; the player has a desire. I will not be a person to stop a someone’s desire.

“When you are a player, it is so short; you don’t realise and it’s nearly over. The player will have to talk to the club and I have never ever been involved in that.”

Guardiola admits it is a good record that Palace have against his City side, unbeaten last season in taking four points and not conceding in their two Premier League games.

Curiously, City have lost just two of their last 54 Premier League games kicking off at 3pm – but both times have been against Palace.

“It’s a good record,” Guardiola said about City’s record in 3pm kick-offs. “If I had another 54 games at 3pm and lose two, I’ll take it I promise you. But it shows you how good they are.

“They defend really well and they’re resilient. We have to be aware and not make mistakes. It’s a side that defends very well, good transitions, with [Eberechi] Eze, [Andre] Ayew, [Wilfried] Zaha, [Michael] Olise, they have weapons.

“They have experienced players in the middle but hopefully we can break them and win the game.”

Guardiola is relishing coming up against Patrick Vieira on the touchline on Saturday.

Vieira began his coaching journey at Manchester City after retiring from playing in 2011 where he was appointed as head of the club’s Elite Development Squad.

The Frenchman would visit Guardiola at both City and Bayern Munich, and showed his tactical acumen in frustrating City during their two encounters last term.

Guardiola said: “I have an incredibly high opinion of Patrick, first of all as a person. I have a high consideration about him and he is doing a very good job.”

“We won the Premier League. We don’t plan just to play against Crystal Palace. I’ve analysed the two games last season and we were more than decent. Here, we had a sending off which made life difficult.

“The Premier League is the Premier League. I’m not concerned. We’d prefer not to concede but each team has their weapons.”

“We saw they are a tough side as recently as a couple of weeks ago against Liverpool, but we are ready for them.”

Guardiola also did not confirm if Kalvin Phillips has been ruled out for the Palace clash after appearing to sustain a shoulder injury in the midweek friendly against Barcelona.

“We train this afternoon, and I will be able to see the fitness of everyone after that. For now, I cannot tell you.”

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Author: Arnold Watts