What Pep Guardiola said on possible Barcelona return and Bernardo Silva’s Man City future

Pep Guardiola revealed Manchester City have never received an offer for Bernardo Silva from Barcelona.Pep Guardiola revealed Manchester City have never received an offer for Bernardo Silva from Barcelona.
Pep Guardiola revealed Manchester City have never received an offer for Bernardo Silva from Barcelona. | AFP via Getty Images
The Manchester City manager also discussed the possibility of Joao Cancelo returning to Barcelona.

Pep Guardiola has revealed Barcelona have never made contact about a possible move for Bernardo Silva, despite interest in the Manchester City star over several years.

This is the fourth summer in a row that Silva has been linked with an exit, a possibility City would entertain if they received an acceptable offer for the player. Reports have suggested that Silva has a £50m buyout clause this transfer window, with Barcelona still keen on the player.

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Club president Joan Laporta even made a public joke about Silva signing in front of Guardiola in 2022, but speaking on Monday, the City boss said his former club have never officially been in contact over a potential transfer for Silva.

“Barca has never called. There has been a lot of talk for years but no one has called us,” he said at a press conference ahead of the Legends Trophy, a charity golf event, as per journalist Victor Navarro.

“I hope he stays, he is a fundamental player for us, a gem of a player, as a person. If you want a player you have to call him, and it hasn't happened.”

One player who has spent time at Barcelona is Joao Cancelo. The defender, who fell out with Guardiola in January 2023, spent last season on loan at the Nou Camp, and it’s clear he will be allowed to return this summer if a transfer can be arranged.

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“It has to be the best for everyone,” said Guardiola. “The two clubs will sit down. He is our player and, if an agreement is not reached, he will have to return in the preseason. If he wants to stay here, and the clubs agree, it will be done again.”

Meanwhile, the 53-year-old ruled out a possible return to Barcelona for himself one day. Guardiola won two Champions League titles and three La Ligas during four seasons as manager at his boyhood club, in addition to an 11-year playing career in Catalonia.

With rumours that the City boss is set to walk away from the club in 12 months’ time, speculation has already turned to what his next move could be. Asked if the door is closed to a Barcelona return, Guardiola replied: “Yes, it is closed.”

The former midfielder has spoken on several occasions about the internal politics and stress of managing Barcelona and in January claimed it was ‘a thousand times tougher’ than taking charge of an English team.

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