Gary Neville claims he was ‘told’ why Man City sold £95m duo to Arsenal, Chelsea last summer

Date published: Friday 16th December 2022 12:46 - Lewis Oldham

Neville claim about Man City

Gary Neville has claimed that he was “told” why Man City sold Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling to Arsenal and Chelsea respectively last summer.

Man City opted to refresh their squad during the summer after they won the Premier League for the fourth time out of the past five years.

Pep Guardiola’s side spent big to bring in Erling Haaland, Kalvin Phillips, Manuel Akanji and Sergio Gomez.

They were actually able to make a profit though as Jesus, Sterling and Oleksandr Zinchenko were among the players who departed for sizable fees.

Jesus and Sterling have both played a vital role in Man City’s success over the past few years.

But given Guardiola’s method of tinkering with his team week by week, Jesus and Sterling often found themselves in and out of their starting eleven.

They were never likely to be the main men at Man City so they decided that this summer was an opportune time to move on.

Jesus joined Arsenal for around £45m, while Chelsea splashed out a fee in the region of £50m to recruit Sterling.

The Gunners forward has not scored as many goals as he would have liked this term but he is a vital cog in Mikel Arteta’s armoury and he has got the best out of Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli.

Sterling meanwhile is taking longer to adapt since leaving City. This has not been helped by his position regularly changing but he has only managed five goals in 19 appearances for Chelsea.

Now Neville has indicated that City let both players leave because they wanted to afford Julian Alvarez a clear path into the team.

“I was told a year ago when City let Jesus and Sterling go – because I was quite surprised that City let both go at the same time – that this kid [Alvarez] was the reason,” Neville said via Sky Sports’ World Cup podcast.

“Someone said that to me, that is quite close to City, that he was the reason and they didn’t want to block his path.”

The 22-year-old signed for Man City from River Plate earlier this year. He has gone under the radar compared to Haaland but the youngster has still managed to find the net seven times in 20 outings.

Alvarez has also been shining for Argentina at the World Cup. He scored a brace as the South American side beat Croatia to advance to the final of the competition.

PSG superstar Lionel Messi has been taken aback by Alvarez’s form. He thinks the Man City star has been “extraordinary”.

“Nobody imagined Julian would have the participation and importance he has shown,” Messi said.

“The help he has given us has been absolutely spectacular.”

Messi added: “During the whole World Cup, but also on Tuesday, he was extraordinary. He ran everything.

“He fought for everything – creating chances, fighting. For us, he was the surprising discovery, and he deserves everything that has happened to him because he is a lovely guy.”

READ MORE: Messi, Mbappe put PSG top of the pile, City score most of Prem clubs as Liverpool misfire


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