Man City star told to leave for Real Madrid amid Guardiola exit talk; Grealish could join him

Joe Williams
Man City midfielder Kevin de Bruyne
Kevin de Bruyne gives Pep Guardiola a hug after the FA Cup final.

Man City midfielder Kevin de Bruyne has been urged to think about leaving the Etihad Stadium in the summer by a Belgian journalist.

The Citizens won the Premier League title on the final day of the campaign by beating West Ham to secure the championship by two points from closest rivals Arsenal.

They undeserved losers in the Champions League quarter-finals against Real Madrid earlier in the year, while Pep Guardiola’s men were beaten 2-1 in the FA Cup final on Saturday against arch-rivals Man Utd.

There has been a lot of speculation over the last few months about Guardiola’s future with his contract running out at the end of next season.

And Guardiola even admitted himself that he is “closer to leaving than staying” at Man City with reports expecting him to leave in 2025.

That has come on top of speculation over when Man City’s hearing over their 115 charges for alleged breaches of the Premier League’s financial fair play rules will take place and the possible punishment if found guilty.

And there is a feeling there could be changes this summer with Belgian journalist Filip Joos suggesting that De Bruyne may no longer be a key player for Guardiola after the Man City boss took him off on 57 minutes in their 2-1 FA Cup final loss to Man Utd.

Joos said: “That’s a hard change because it says something about how the coach sees you. Guardiola would never have done this with Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo. Not even with the best De Bruyne, but a slightly inferior De Bruyne can still be trusted.

“I say: ‘Go!’ Go and replace Kroos. If De Bruyne now goes to the top [leaders] of Man City and says: ‘I have been good here for so long, but I am 32 and it is my last chance. Real want me and I would really like to do that.’ Is he going or not? I think so. I think he has built up such a status that City would allow it.”

Jack Grealish is another player who has been linked with a move away from Man City after starting just ten Premier League matches this term.

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And former Everton CEO Keith Wyness can “certainly see” Grealish “leaving” this summer after not being “played properly”.

Wyness told Football Insider: “I think Guardiola has built a very good nucleus, he’s been able to freshen things up with just one or two new moves each summer.

“That’s what I think he’ll carry on this year – there’s no need for any major surgery. It just needs to be refreshed slightly, and that’s what I think he’ll do.

“I’ve always felt that Grealish, who I had at Villa, hasn’t been played properly. That may be one question mark, whether Jack stays or not.

“We’ll have to wait and see but I can certainly see him leaving. I don’t see too much movement in this City squad.”