Guardiola Urges Manchester City to Retain Silva Amid Barcelona Interest for Long-term Future

    Pep Guardiola wants Manchester City to keep Bernardo Silva after the end of this season, saying he would like the midfielder to stay “forever”.

    Guardiola admitted that Silva was interested in a move to Barcelona last year, but the transfer fell through and the Portuguese international remained with the Premier League champions.

    Silva has appeared in 27 of City’s 29 league games this season, and he delivered arguably his best performance of the campaign on Tuesday in a 3-0 Champions League win over Bayern Munich.

    While the 28-year-old is likely to attract more admiring glances in the next transfer window, Guardiola wants him to stay at the Etihad Stadium for the long haul.

    “With Bernardo we are not the first season together. What he is on and off the field… he is so sensitive, intuitive,” Guardiola told Sky Sports.

    “The whole club, not just me, wants the best when you are lucky enough to have such players and people in your team.

    “You would like to have him forever, no matter what position he plays or what he has to do, his contribution is huge.”

    Silva is not the only City midfielder to have been linked to Barcelona. Ilkay Gundogan’s agent denied reports that the German international had agreed to join the Blue Garnets after his contract expired.

    Asked if he expected the duo to stay, Guardiola said: “I don’t know what will happen. To be honest, I have never participated. In this, the club can take the lead and decide everything.

    “The words that I have said to you now about Bernardo… Bernardo can be the same as Ilkay for many, many years. He’s even my neighbor!

    Silva and Gundogan have both been part of four Premier League victories since joining City, although the Champions League trophy has so far eluded them.

    That could change that timeline as City are still in contention for the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup trebles, but Guardiola thinks it’s too soon to win all three matches.

    “Treble starts when you’re in three finals, when you’re there,” he said. “You can talk about it when they start.

    “Now you’re only in the quarter-finals, without even reaching the final, which is normal for writers, but the reality is completely different.”

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