Manchester City playmaker David Silva has stressed ahead of Monday’s crucial clash with Arsenal that he and his team-mates are “very happy” with manager Manuel Pellegrini and focusing only on the present.
Pep Guardiola is again being heavily linked with City after announcing that he is to leave Bayern Munich when his contract expires at the end of the season.
Pellegrini insisted last week such talk did not bother him and Silva claims the players will not be affected.
The Spaniard said: “We are all very happy with Manuel and it is not something we look at. We look at the day today and not what is going to happen in the summer.”
City – who won the Premier League and Capital One Cup under Pellegrini in 2014, but nothing last season – are currently third in the table, one behind second-placed Arsenal.
Monday’s game could prove critical to the title race and although Silva has emphasised the contest will not “define” anything at this stage, he has no doubt Arsenal have “everything they need” and – along with surprise package Leicester – are City’s “direct rivals”.
The 29-year-old has also expressed his admiration for Arsene Wenger’s dynamic side, and admits if City do not win the league, he would be happy to see the Gunners take the title.
“You always feel more attracted to people who play the way you play,” said Silva, speaking at a promotional event for the Anfi Group, the Gran Canaria-based vacation membership company for which he is an ambassador.
“If we don’t win it and Arsenal win it, it will be good. But we are here to win it ourselves.”
City could be boosted by the return of Sergio Aguero at the Emirates Stadium, and Silva himself has been “getting the rhythm” back after returning from an ankle injury lay-off at the end of November.
He has had plenty of ankle problems in recent years and had to play through the pain before, but says it is not on his mind when he takes to the pitch.
Silva said: “At the moment they are fine. In the past there have been games where I have played and had to have an injection.
“Two years ago when we won the league, I played for months with pain and having to have injections. But it is something you have to do for the team and the club.
“Clearly I have to look after them because both of them have been damaged over the years by football.
“But when you get on the pitch, there is no insurance that you might or might not get injured. So when I play, I don’t think about that.”