English Premiership

Guardiola urges Diaz not to quit City

Pep Guardiola (Getty Images)
Pep Guardiola (Getty Images)

Manchester - Pep Guardiola insists Manchester City have done everything in their power to keep Brahim Diaz, but he will not try to stop the young star from leaving in the new year.

The 19-year-old Spanish midfielder, who is out of contract with the Premier League champions next summer, has been frustrated at his lack of first team opportunities under Guardiola.

His only starts have been in the League Cup, in which he has made three, while his Premier League experience with City has been limited to five substitute outings.

That has led to reports that Real Madrid and Paris Saint Germain are both interested in signing him offering him guarantees of more first-team experience.

Diaz could even start talking to foreign clubs as early as January and agree a pre-contract.

City manager Guardiola insists he will not stand in the player's way if that is his wish.

"We want him, we want to extend his contract and we'll do everything, but it's in his hands," Guardiola told reporters on Friday.

"My advice if he doesn't want to stay, he has to leave. Before we arrived it was the same with Jadon, Phil. He has to decide and it's no more than that."

Jadon Sancho is another City academy product who opted to move abroad - in his case to Borussia Dortmund - and has seen his career blossom with three full England appearances having come his way under Gareth Southgate.

Phil Foden, meanwhile, has suffered similar frustrations to the pair in trying to break into Guardiola's team, although City are confident that his local roots will convince him to sign a long-term deal.

"It's what it is, the market is the market," Guardiola said.

"They cannot say we didn't do absolutely everything to take care of them, him and his family - as a human being, as a person, as a football player.

"We cannot push more than we pushed with Brahim for example or with the others. They arrive as young kids, but the market is the market.

"City go around England to take players, they work at other clubs and want to stay there.

"At Barcelona, there were many players, for example Cesc Fabregas, wanted to leave and go to Arsenal, it happens always this situation.

"All we can do is speak with the families, find out what they want to do with these guys. We tell them the truth, how complicated it is in some periods.

Meanwhile, Guardiola is confident that there is no sign of his team losing their imperious form as the busy Christmas period looms into view.

Since the start of last season, 16 months ago, the only English clubs to have beaten City in any competitions are Liverpool and Manchester United and Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup.

"We've been in this level 15 or 16 months. There is no reason why we will not be who we are.

"That doesn't mean we win or lose but the way we approach the games, I don't see any signals to see we are not going to try or not going to be who we are.

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