Manchester City

Manchester City

Premier League • England

Man City: Raging Pep Guardiola launches blistering attack on Barcelona over Bernardo Silva approach

Pep Guardiola is fighting to keep Barcelona target Bernardo Silva at Man City

Pep Guardiola is fighting to keep Barcelona target Bernardo Silva at Man City

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has gone in both barrels on former club Barcelona over their ongoing efforts to lure Bernardo Silva to the Nou Camp.

The Portuguese star has been the subject of intense speculation linking with Barcelona for the best part of 12 months. And while Guardiola managed to fend off the Catalonian giants last year, they continue to chase a move for the 28-year-old star.

Indeed, TEAMtalk exclusively revealed earlier this week how Barcelona are refusing to give up the ghost over Silva, despite their financial issues clouding their chances.

City value Silva at around the £75m – £80m mark, though have little intention of parting with the 90-goal star.

And having already lost Riyad Mahrez this summer, Guardiola and Co are hoping to show their committment to keeping Silva by offering him a bumper payrise at the Etihad.

However, the midfield maestro is yet to commit and there remains an aching feeling at City that Silva is keen to join the Spanish champions.

Barcelona, though, are yet to lodge any sort of official bid for Silva, despite their ongoing interest. And while he stopped short of accusing them of tapping him up, Guardiola is far from happy at his old club’s attempts to prise Silva from their grasp.

“I don’t want any players who don’t want to be here. I want to work with guys who want to stay.

“But we need a proper offer, we didn’t… If they want him, they’ll get on a plane and speak to our sporting director…

“For us to buy a player is £10-15m more expensive than other clubs, all the time it’s like that. And the same guys, when they want our players, really important players, first they have to make an offer – and it didn’t happen….

“In the case of Bernardo and Kyle [Walker], we talk many times over the last months and even years how important they are for us, how we want them and we will continue to do it until the end.

“What is going to happen I don’t know but it is not going to happen if both clubs don’t arrive.”

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Guardiola hopes to soon welcome Gvardiol to Man City

It all sets up what is likely to be a frantic last month of the window for Guardiola and City, who also have plenty of other incomings and outgoings to finalise.

The club are also likely to see Kyle Walker depart this summer as he nears a move to Bayern Munich.

However, reinforcements are set to arrive in the form of RB Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol in what could set a new world-record mark for a defender.

In addition, the City boss is also reportedly exploring a possible raid on Bayer Leverkusen for attacking midfielder Florian Wertz, as a possible replacement for the departed Ilkay Gundogan.

Guardiola, who is preparing his side for Sunday’s Community Shield clash against Arsenal at Wembley, has confirmed the imminent arrival of the Croatian.

“Regarding Gvardiol – what a beautiful surname he has – he’s doing a medical test.

“Everybody knows he’s here, and hopefully we can finish the deal in the next hours, the next days.”

Put to Guardiola that Gvardiol’s signing will give him six central defensive options, he explained: “The season is so long, there is many, many games. (It is) absolutely not (too many).”

When asked if, after Gvardiol, City would be done in the transfer marker, Guardiola teased his reply.

“I don’t know. I think it is going to move, something. Not yet,” he concluded with a smile.

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