Barcelona and Man City play out 3-3 thriller in fundraiser - in pictures

Guardiola admits City midfielder Silva 'likes Barcelona a lot' amid reports Spanish club will bid for Portugal international

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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said he is keen to keep Bernardo Silva at the club but conceded the lure of joining Barcelona may prove too much to convince the Portugal international to stay.

Silva has been linked with a move to the Spanish side in recent weeks and Guardiola left the door open for the midfielder's potential departure from the reigning Premier League champions.

The Premier League champions faced Barca in a friendly fundraiser at Camp Nou on Wednesday with Silva starting before being withdrawn in the second half.

Guardiola told reporters after the match he wanted Silva to remain at the Etihad Stadium, but added that the player "likes Barcelona a lot" and may have already had his head turned by the Spanish giants.

"I'm no one to tell Barca to forget about [signing] Bernardo," Guardiola told reporters.

"We want him to stay with us, but I don't want anyone who's not happy. The first thing would be for the clubs to come to an agreement, but there has been no offer for him in these last two years.

"I don't want him to go, he's a superlative player and a great person ... And there are only seven or eight days left [in the window] and we would have to turn to the transfer market. I want him to stay. That said, it is true Bernardo likes Barcelona a lot."

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola, left, embraces Barcelona counterpart Xavi. Getty Images

Barcelona manager Xavi, who was sitting besides Guardiola in the news conference, said any move would "depend on City".

The match was in aid of Juan Carlos Unzue, Guardiola's former goalkeeping coach during his time in charge at Barcelona, who was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, ALS, two-and-a-half years ago. Thousands attended the match, with the proceeds helping to raise money for research into the disease.

City, who are second in the Premier League standings, host ninth-placed Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Barca are fifth in La Liga face Valladolid at home on Sunday.

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Updated: August 25, 2022, 6:26 AM
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