Pep Guardiola has refused to rule out Bernardo Silva leaving Manchester City before the transfer window closes, as the Manchester City manager has revealed he will have more conversations about his own future at the club during the season.
Guardiola said City have yet to receive any offers for Bernardo, but Barcelona are keen to sign the Portuguese midfielder before the September 1 deadline.
The City manager insisted that “100 percent” he wants Bernardo to stay, but he is not sure what will happen in the coming weeks and would not stand in the player’s way if he made it clear he wanted to leave.
“I’ve said many times that I want the players to be happy here and that we try to do that together,” Guardiola said ahead of City’s Premier League debut against West Ham on Sunday. “I would love for Bernardo to stay here because he is a special player for all of us in the dressing room, but I don’t know what will happen.
“What will happen will happen. If he stays, it’s perfect. If in the end he has to leave it’s because football is like that – clubs have an agreement, the player has the desire and I won’t be the reason to stop the desire.
“When you are a football player, your life is so short. You don’t notice and it’s over immediately. At the same time, I’m just a small part of the club. Whatever the club decides is good for me.”
City have already sold Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko this summer and Fernandinho left as a free agent.
But the prospect of a player as important as Bernardo would be a blow and would no doubt force the club – who are still looking for a left-back after pulling out of a move to Marc Cucurella – back into the transfer market for a replacement. .
Guardiola currently has 20 senior players to call up, including three goalkeepers, which is the smallest squad during his time as City manager.
Asked if he would need a replacement for Bernardo, who has three years on his contract, Guardiola said: “I hope Bernardo stays and we don’t have that problem.
“If we have a lot of injuries, maybe [the small squad] It will be a problem, but I hope that doesn’t happen. I like to work with fewer players so they are more involved. We have the academy and we showed last year that we always have a small squad and we survive well. We have the window in winter, we might have to get something we can’t do now. We’ll see.”
On Bernardo, Guardiola added: “I want Bernardo to stay – replacing and finding players is difficult. I want 100% for Bernardo to stay, but if you want to leave and you have an offer and the clubs come to an agreement, what I said is common sense. This is the reality. He is an important player for me, Bernardo is special, but I don’t know what will happen. As far as I know, Manchester City have not received any offers [for him] – last season too.
“I talk a lot with Bernardo and with all of them. Maybe because I’m getting old and we know each other really well, but now the relationship is completely different from three or four years ago.
“I’m more relaxed as a coach now because I know them better, the good times and the bad times. I talk to them, but not especially in this situation.
“If I had to tell him something, I would and if he had to tell me something, he would. I have no doubts about that, but we don’t talk about our situation. He is our player, I know he is happy. He is engaged, he has a beautiful dog, so he is happy here and what is going to happen will happen.”
Guardiola is out of contract at the end of the season but said he would be happy to extend his contract if all conditions are right and plans to hold further discussions with the club throughout the season.
“We talked to the club. Halfway through the season, at the end of the season, we will be back to talking about how we feel and deciding what is best for the club,” he said. “I have said many times that if they wanted I would like to stay longer, but at the same time I have to be sure. It’s not the second or third season, it’s been many years and I have to see how the players behave.
“I don’t want to be a problem, sometimes when you stretch things out and push, it’s not good, so you have to go through it and relax and that kind of situation happens when it’s going to happen naturally.
“If you force it, it doesn’t go well. We will see what happens during the season and how we feel and the best decision for the club will be made.”
Guardiola believes this season will be like two campaigns in one, given the break for the World Cup in November and December, and feels City cannot afford to drop too many points during the first few months.
“It’s like two Premier Leagues in one this season. There is a Premier League before the World Cup. You cannot win, but you can lose,” she said.
“Not just Liverpool, but I have a feeling the other teams won’t lose many points so we have to start well.
“I have a feeling our rivals won’t lose too many points, but I also have a feeling that seeing us back after a longer-than-usual vacation, the guys are still there. It makes me feel like we’ll be there.
“The relationships in the locker room and the incredible focus on the sessions that we’re doing so far is really good. We’ll see how we react to the bad moments of the season and how we behave, but it’s good as coaches to live through them when they’re in low moments. .”