Pep Guardiola has challenged both Barcelona and Bayern Munich to make better offers for Bernardo Silva and Kyle Walker as the Manchester City manager prepares for a battle to keep hold of both players.
The two City stars have been approached over summer exits but Guardiola does not want to weaken his squad any further, having already lost both Ilkay Gundogan and Riyad Mahrez during this transfer window.
While Guardiola has long insisted he will not block any unhappy player from leaving, he warned both Barca and Bayern that City will not simply hand their players away for cheap.
“I don’t want any players who don’t want to be here but I’m an employee. I want to work with guys who want to stay and work with staff and players, but after we have to get a proper offer,” Guardiola explained.
“If we don’t get a proper offer, he’s our player and we want him. If they want him, they will take a plane and come here and talk to our sporting director and CEO to make an agreement because three parts have to be there.
“For us to buy a player, just because we are Man City it is £10-15m more expensive than other clubs all the time. If people want our really really important players, first they have to make an offer – and that hasn’t happened. When it happens, we will fight to extend the contract and be with us. That has happened with all of our players since day one.”
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Guardiola went on to stress that the challenge of replacing two undisputed starters on a treble-winning side would be a costly operation and so those players will only be sold for substantial offers.
“When you win the Treble, it looks like the job is done. Players who are 32, 33 like Ilkay and Riyad say we arrived here for Premier Leagues and then people ask about the Champions League,” he continued.
“Some players feel they want a new experience. I will not be the guy who says no – but they have to make an agreement with the important part of the club, the business. Make a deal and it happens.
“In the case of Bernardo and Kyle, we talk many times over the last months and even years how important they are, how we want them and we will continue to do so until the end. I don’t know what will happen but it won’t happen if the clubs don’t arrive because they are massively important players.
“When we lose those players we have to go to the market for the replacements and these players and they cost more than £50m. We need that money to reimburse on other players to make the team as strong as possible to defend the crowns that we won and win games for our people.”
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