Manchester City

Manchester City

Premier League • England

Man City transfers: High-profile deal ‘getting closer’ as Guardiola dumps star from pre-season plans

Pep Guardiola, Manchester City manager, during a Champions League game at Etihad Stadium

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola

Pep Guardiola has provided an update on Kyle Walker amid claims he has withdrawn the player from Manchester City’s pre-season plans with a €15m transfer to Bayern Munich seemingly gathering pace.

The England star has proved a vital component in the City side over the last six seasons, having won five Premier League titles, two FA Cups, four League Cups and the Champions League since a £50m switch from Tottenham.

But at the age of 33, his deal at the Etihad now has just a year left to run. And after finding himself in and out of Guardiola’s starting line-up towards the back end of last season, it’s claimed he is tempted by one final career challenge.

To that end, the 76-times capped England international has emerged as a target for Bayern Munich, who want to bring him to Bavaria alongside his former Tottenham teammate Harry Kane.

And while City would prefer to tie Walker down to a new deal, there is a growing feeling at the Etihad that Walker is ready to make the move. To that end, reports over the weekend claimed City had put a £13m asking price on Walker’s head.

Now reports in the German media reckon a move for Walker is gathering pace.

The two clubs are reportedly close to settling on a fee, with Sport1 explaining that the signing of Walker is ‘getting closer’.

Furthermore, it’s claimed talks over a prospective deal will gather pace and ‘take shape in the sidelines’ of Wednesday’s friendly between the two clubs in Japan.

Guardiola reponds to speculation over Kyle Walker Man City future

Providing an update, Sky Deutschland reporter Florian Plettenberg insists the move is edging nearer.

In addition, he says Walker has been removed from duty by Guardiola ahead of the clash at the Japan National Stadium.

He tweeted: “News Kyle #Walker: It‘s planned that he won’t play against FC Bayern on Wednesday in Tokio. Bayern is aware of it Understand, it’s all going in the right direction Bayern and ManCity will negotiate in Tokio this week – as reported. #MCFC #Walker, he still wants to join Bayern now. Guardiola 100 % informed. Deal should be finalized soon.”

Walker has made 254 appearances for City over his six seasons at the Etihad, scoring six goals.

Guardiola, however, would not be drawn on the player’s future but was adamant he only wants the best for his players.

“Honestly, I didn’t think there is the movement,” Guardiola said. “I think many things will happen. I cannot answer because I don’t know. I want the best for my players and of course the club.

“I spoke with Kyle and everything is right – we will see what happens. I cannot tell you because he is still thinking about that.”

If the move does go through, it looks like Walker’s final appearance for City could have been in City’s 5-3 win over J1 League side Yokohama F.Marinos.

City’s goals came from Erling Haaland (two), John Stones, Julian Alvarez and Rodri. Walker started the game, captaining the side for the first 45 minutes before being withdrawn at half-time.

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