Man City: Guardiola’s ‘painful goodbye’ moves a step closer as Citizens make plans for triple exit

Joe Williams
Man City duo Kyle Walker and Pep Guardiola
Kyle Walker could be leaving Pep Guardiola in the summer.

Man City boss Pep Guardiola is preparing to lose Kyle Walker, Bernardo Silva and Stefan Ortega in the summer transfer window, according to reports.

The Citizens are again on course for a successful season with their 5-1 victory over Wolves on Saturday putting them back in control of the Premier League title race after Arsenal’s 3-0 win against Bournemouth earlier in the day.

Pep Guardiola’s side are currently one point adrift of Arsenal but have a game in hand on their title rivals with the Citizens still having to play three matches.

Man City won’t be able to repeat their Treble this season after narrowly losing on penalties to Real Madrid in the Champions League quarter-finals but a Double is still on the cards if they can win the Premier League and beat arch-rivals Man Utd in the FA Cup final later this month.

Despite that, there a doubts over the futures of a number of Guardiola’s squad with strong rumours linking Walker, Silva and Ortega to new clubs.

Bayern Munich and Saudi Arabia have shown interest in Walker, La Liga giants Barcelona and Real Madrid are in for Silva, while Bayern have also been linked with Ortega.

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And now Spanish publication Fichajes insists that the Man City squad next season ‘could include significant changes’ with Guardiola ‘thinking about possible replacements in case’ Walker, Silva and Ortega leave.

Walker’s future is described as ‘uncertain’, Silva’s ‘continuity at City is in doubt’, while goalkeeper Ortega is ‘looking for more opportunities to play and prove his worth’.

And Fichajes adds that the ‘possible departure of these three figures would represent a challenge for Guardiola’ as he looks to continue his success at the Etihad Stadium.

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A previous report claimed that Guardiola could have to wave a ‘painful goodbye’ to Walker in the summer with Bayern Munich set to ‘return to the fray for a player who fits them perfectly’.

Another report in The Sun earlier this week seemed to move his departure closer to reality by revealing that the former Sheffield United defender is ‘considering a move away from the Premier League to Saudi Arabia’.

Despite being ‘very happy’ at Man City his friends have told The Sun that he is ‘exploring all options further down the line’ as he looks to get away from the media spotlight.

A source told The Sun: “Kyle has been thinking about his future after the Premier League and thinks a move to Saudi could be perfect for him, Annie, and their kids when he is done here.

“He has been speaking to Riyad about the football clubs out there and what life is like for people who move there. Obviously, the lifestyle is vastly different.

“Kyle loves playing for Man City and is devoted to the club but he has his head screwed on and has been thinking about what the future holds for him when his time in the Prem and for England is done.”

Kyle Walker has been talking to Riyad Mahrez over his future

The source added: “His conversations with Riyad have opened his eyes to what it is really like to play for the clubs out there and what the reality would be if he moved there.

“It is something Kyle and Annie have discussed too and she would be open to relocating there at some point in the future with their kids.

“And, of course, there would be a lot less public scrutiny on him which he would relish, especially after the past few months of turmoil which has been so publicly played out.”