Man City could break transfer record as ‘huge admiration’ for Guardiola replacement is revealed

Joe Williams
Man City transfer target Florian Wirtz
Florian Wirtz has been linked with a move to Man City.

Man City will have to break their transfer record this summer if they are to sign Bayer Leverkusen attacker Florian Wirtz, according to reports.

There are rumours that Pep Guardiola is looking to sell as many as five players in the summer transfer window, while Joao Felix has claimed that he’s convinced Bernardo Silva to join Barcelona.

Bernardo Silva to leave for Barcelona in the summer?

Felix revealed: “If Bernardo Silva comes, I’m going to ask for a commission (laughs). Everything I have said is true and if he comes they will be delighted with him. He asked me about places to live, places to eat, about safety… He asked me a little about everything. Whether I have convinced him? I think so, I think so.”

On Silva’s potential move to Barcelona, transfer expert Fabrizio Romano wrote in his Caught Offside column: “Joao Felix has no doubt raised some eyebrows with his comments about talking to Portuguese teammate Bernardo Silva about joining him at Barcelona.

“Felix has made it clear he’s convinced Bernardo to come to Barca, and that they’ve spoken about life in the city and places to live.

“Still, Felix also added an important point that it’s not down to the player for now. Even though what he said was a serious statement, but again, the crucial point is Financial Fair Play for this story: Barca still don’t know how much they can spend, how it will work, so we’re at really early stages of the story. For sure Joao is big friend of Bernardo and he’d love Bernardo to join him at the Nou Camp.

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“Bernardo has been on Barcelona’s list for a long time – he was wanted by them last summer, but also by Paris Saint-Germain. At that time, Manchester City decided to extend his contract, but with a release clause, which is worth £50m and which is valid this summer. Interest from Barca has always been there, but let’s see what happens now with FFP, which will be crucial.

“So, the clause is there, and Felix would be happy to have his fellow countryman and friend alongside him, but let’s see what Barcelona will decide to do, and PSG as well, but for sure it looks like one to watch for this summer.”

And one of the options to replace Silva in the summer transfer window is Bayer Leverkusen’s Wirtz with the Germany international contributing 14 goals and 14 assists with Xabi Alonso’s men currently top of the Bundesliga table.

That form has attracted interest from a number of Premier League clubs with Man City reportedly keen – but TEAMtalk understand that Alonso’s ‘decision to stay at Bayer Leverkusen could prevent his departure’.

Man City, Liverpool and Bayern Munich are ‘all very interested in signing him’ with Leverkusen set to ask for €130m (£111.2m) to allow him to leave, which would eclipse the £100m that City spent on Jack Grealish in 2021.

Man City ‘ready to open talks’ with Pep Guardiola

The Citizens are unlikely to have a new manager this summer but Guardiola’s contract runs out at the end of next season with HITC claiming that Man City are ‘ready to open talks’ over a new deal.

HITC add:

HITC is told that City’s hierarchy have always made it clear to Guardiola that there is a new deal on the table ready for him – but they are not pushing him as they know the Spaniard will look at the situation ‘at the right time’.

HITC understands that City’s hierarchy is keeping an eye on the coaching market – as they would not want to be caught off guard should Guardiola decide to depart.

‘One of those they have huge admiration for is Arsenal’s Mikel Arteta – which stems from his time with the club, but sources insist that it is normal practice for any club to make sure they are well placed – should a replacement be needed and required.’

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