Guardiola favourite ‘tells friends’ UCL final will be his ‘last game’ for City as ‘fresh challenge’ awaits

Jason Soutar
Manchester City midielder Bernardo Silva and manager Pep Guardiola after winning the FA Cup.

Manchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva will play his final match for the Premier League champions on Saturday, according to reports.

Pep Guardiola’s men face off against Inter in the Champions League final on Saturday evening and will seal an historic treble with a win.

City are massive favourites to win the match, though the Italian giants have kept eight clean sheets in this season’s competitions and have some very dangerous players; they wouldn’t be in the final if they didn’t!

Even with the likes of Lautaro Martinez, Nicolo Barella and Milan Skriniar in their ranks, this is the biggest mismatch in Champions League final history.

Guardiola has had a relatively settled starting XI in recent months having altered his system to use three out-and-out defenders, with John Stones moving up into a defensive midfield role.

Saying that, it would not be a surprise to see the Spaniard make a completely random change to his team. He does have previous, after all.

One player who has been huge in City’s run to the final of the Champions League is Bernardo Silva.

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The Portuguese international scored the opening two goals in his side’s emphatic 4-0 victory over Real Madrid in their semi-final second leg and provided a goal and assist in the 3-0 quarter-final first-leg win against Bayern Munich.

Having featured in all 12 of the Cityzens’ Champions League games this season, playing the full 90 minutes of every knockout fixture, it would be a shock to see Silva start on the bench against Inter, even if Guardiola does overthink his team selection.

And if he does play, it could be his final appearance in sky blue.

This is according to talkSPORT correspondent Alex Crook, who claims Silva has ‘told friends’ he will leave the Etihad at the end of the season.

Crook says the City star is seeking a ‘fresh challenge’ with the Champions League final likely to be his ‘last game’ for the Premier League champions.

There has been a lot of interest in Silva over the last year, most notably from Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain.

Barcelona tried to sign the former Monaco man last summer but could not afford him, with City reportedly asking for around £80million.

City have shown a willingness to let important players leave should they ask for an exit, as long as the club’s asking price is met.

Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko both left to join Arsenal last summer, while Raheem Sterling joined Chelsea. You would expect their stance with Silva to be similar.

Given Barca’s financial troubles, PSG should be considered the frontrunners for Silva’s signature.

The French club’s sporting director Luis Campos brought Silva to Monaco in 2015 and is reportedly eager to sign the 28-year-old once again.

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