Eyeing the Exit Door
Updated: Aug 7, 2021
Speaking ahead of Manchester City’s Community Shield clash with Leicester City on Saturday evening, manager Pep Guardiola expressed his delight at the signing of English midfielder Jack Grealish for a record-breaking £100 million. The Catalan boss insisted the deal could not have gone ahead without the sales of ‘academy players’ which has generated close to £40 million this summer alongside the £11.2 million received as a sell-on fee for Jadon Sancho.
There have been no high-profile departures as such at the Etihad Stadium this summer, however, when asked about further sales at the club and the future of Bernardo Silva, Guardiola was open and declared that some members of his team are seeking a move:
“Not just Bernardo, there are two or three players that want to leave. They are our players and when they bring some offers and they want to leave, we are open to discuss, but it depends on them.”
“In previous seasons players who want to leave know the door is open because we don’t want players who are not satisfied.”
New signing Grealish will bring desire and hunger as he aims to achieve major honours and play amongst the elite in the Champions League whereas for others they wish to play on a more regular basis.
Bernardo Silva appears the most likely to leave and that has been reported all summer. The Portuguese forward was on international duty at the Euros but he returned to pre-season on Monday, a week later than his compatriots Ruben Dias and Joao Cancelo, further fuelling his desire to move on.
It could take £60 million for City to allow Silva to leave with Atletico Madrid among the favourites to land the 26-year-old who signed for the Blues back in 2017 for £45 million.
But who are the reported wantaway triad also looking for the Etihad exit?
Doubts arose over the futures of Riyad Mahrez and Raheem Sterling earlier in the year with their contracts coming up in 2023. However, City officials are believed to be preparing new deals in order to tie down both wingers.
Joao Cancelo has in the past been frustrated by his lack of game-time but he was renaissance last season and one of City’s most influential players.
Perhaps, it’s Aymeric Laporte looking to turn the page with the 27-year-old apparently eyeing a return to Spain. City signed the centre-back in January 2018 from Athletic Bilbao and in speaking with ‘The Independent’ back in May he admitted “I never played less than I did this year. It’s difficult to accept.”
With all the rumours swirling around City’s interest in Harry Kane it’s quite possible Gabriel Jesus sees himself without a future at Eastlands. The Brazilian striker is said to be Juventus’ ‘top target' and with his contract ending in 2023 City will have to decide whether or not to cash in.