Pep Guardiola admits Bernardo Silva could leave Manchester City

Pep Guardiola has admitted Bernardo Silva could leave Manchester City, in what would be a blow to the champions.

Guardiola does not like to retain any player who wishes to depart but given how pivotal Silva has been to City’s recent success the manager admitted his preference was to retain the Portuguese, who favours a move to Barcelona.

Guardiola said: “What happens will happen, and if he stays it is perfect and in the end if he has to leave it is because football is like this; the player has a desire. I will not be a person to stop a desire for the people. When you are a football player it is so short, you don’t realise and it is nearly over. The player will have to talk to the club and I have never ever been involved in that.

“Sometimes for the club, sometimes for the players, sometimes for the agent, sometimes you have to divide our path. Especially the desire of the player is the most important thing. Of course I would love Bernardo to continue here, he is a special player for us. But I don’t know what is going to happen.”

Guardiola also stated City may need the rest of the transfer window to sign a left-back after refusing to pay Brighton’s asking price for Marc Cucurella, who is poised to join Chelsea for £55m plus up to £7m in add-ons.

“We still have lots of days until the end of the month,” Guardiola said. “We will see. There are a lot of players all around the world and a lot of them can fit in perfectly the way we are as a team, but at the same time transfers are always difficult.”