Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola will not stand in the way of Bernardo Silva if he wants to join Barcelona before the end of the transfer window.
Guardiola said there had been no bid from his former club for the Portuguese midfielder, but would not keep Silva in Manchester against his will.
Despite being 1.3 billion euros ($1.3 billion) in debt, Barcelona have started a spending spree this summer and will turn their attention to Silva if Frenkie de Jong leaves the Camp Nou.
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City have already let Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko join Arsenal and sold Raheem Sterling to Chelsea this summer as all three seek regular game time.
In contrast, Silva, who has won four Premier League titles in the last five seasons, is a key player for City and will be difficult to replace in the final weeks of the transfer window.
“I felt comfortable working with Oleks, Raheem, Gabriel, incredible characters who helped us achieve what we achieved,” Guardiola told a press conference ahead of City’s opening Premier League defense at West Ham on Sunday.
“Sometimes for the club, sometimes for the players, sometimes for the agent, sometimes you have to part ways.
“Especially the will of the player is the most important thing. Of course I would like Bernardo to continue here, he is a special player for us. But I don’t know what will happen.
“What happens will happen and if he stays it’s perfect and if he has to leave in the end it’s because football is like that, the player wants it. I’m not going to be the person who stops people from wanting it.”
Despite his exit from the Etihad in the close season, City’s squad looks stronger than ever with the arrival of Erling Haaland to fill the need for a natural striker.
The Norwegian superstar had a debut to forget last weekend, missing a glorious chance in the 3-1 loss to Liverpool in the Community Shield.
But Guardiola dismissed any suggestion that Haaland would struggle to adapt to City’s possession style.
“He adapts to the way we play and we adapt to him,” he added. It will take time but at the same time I have no doubt that it will happen.
For the second time in four years, City beat Liverpool by a point last season.
Expect another tight battle between the two at the top of the table.
But Tottenham and Arsenal have invested heavily to try to close the gap, while Chelsea and Manchester United are expected to be active in the final weeks of the window.
“Every year I think this season is difficult,” Guardiola said.
“Everybody is getting better, every club, every owner invests. Lots of teams do it and do it well, the quality is there and the managers are exceptional.
“That’s why it’s exciting and that’s why the Premier League is the best.”
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