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    Saturday, April 15, 2023

    Guardiola Wants Barca-Linked Silva to Stay at Man City 'Forever'

    Pep Guardiola is keen for Manchester City to keep Bernardo Silva beyond the end of this season, declaring he would like the see the midfielder stay "forever".

    Guardiola acknowledged Silva was interested in a move to Barcelona last year, but a transfer failed to materialise and the Portugal international stayed with the Premier League champions.

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

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

    "With Bernardo, it's not the first season we are together. What he is on and off the pitch… he's so sensitive, intuitive," Guardiola told Sky Sports.

    "All the club, not just me, want the best when you are lucky enough to have these kinds of football players and human beings in your team.

    "You would love to have him forever, it doesn't matter what position he plays or what he has to do, his contribution is massive."

    Silva is not the only City midfielder to have been linked with Barcelona, with the agent of Ilkay Gundogan denying reports the Germany international has agreed to join the Blaugrana upon the expiration of his contract.

    Asked whether he expected to duo to stay, Guardiola said: "I don't know what is going to happen. Honestly, I'm not involved, ever. In that, the club can take the lead and decide everything.

    "The words I gave to you right now about Bernardo… Bernardo could be the same as Ilkay, for many, many years. He's even my neighbour!"

    Silva and Gundogan have both featured in four Premier League title triumphs since joining City, though the Champions League trophy has so far eluded them.

    That could change this term as City remain in contention for a Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup treble, but Guardiola believes it is too soon to envisage winning all three.

    "The treble starts to happen when you are in the three finals, when you are there," he said. "You can talk about that when they start.

    "Now you are just in the quarter-finals, not even reaching the finals, it's okay for the writers but the reality is completely different."

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