Antonio Conte reviews Man City defeat
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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola could lose a key squad member due to Kylian Mbappe, who has reportedly requested that Paris Saint-Germain make a move for Bernardo Silva. The Portuguese has hinted on more than one occasion that he would be keen to pursue a new challenge after six years at the Etihad Stadium.
City’s agreement to sign Bernardo emerged when the former Monaco star was still a fresh-faced 22-year-old, who had run rings around the Sky Blues during a two-legged Champions League clash just a few months prior.
The Portuguese international has gone on to establish himself as a key member of Guardiola’s squad, notching 50 goals in 280 appearances for City and scooping up a host of silverware along the way, including four Premier League titles.
Bernardo expressed a desire to leave the club last summer but City refused to let him go due to a lack of acceptable bids. The player has since admitted that his stance hasn’t changed, with many expecting him to move on at the end of the current campaign.
According to The Sun, jet-heeled superstar Mbappe has asked those above him at PSG to make their move. Bernardo and the Frenchman shared a dressing room at Monaco and the City ace’s creativity was key in allowing Mbappe – still a teenager at the time – to take Europe by storm.
Under the threat of losing him to Real Madrid last year, PSG handed Mbappe an influential role behind the scenes and they certainly have the funds to follow through on his request to reunite with Bernardo. The 28-year-old claims to want a new project before eventually returning to boyhood club Benfica at the end of his career.
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Losing a player of Bernardo’s calibre would come as a huge blow to Guardiola, who has faced tough questions in recent weeks as City fall further behind Premier League leaders Arsenal. The Sky Blues are expected to ramp up their efforts to sign a midfielder at the end of the season with Jude Bellingham among those in their crosshairs.
Bellingham is also linked to Liverpool, Real Madrid and Manchester United, while many have tipped Anfield as his most likely destination with Jurgen Klopp, Steven Gerrard and Jordan Henderson all publicly praising the Borussia Dortmund youngster. On the other hand, Former United defender Rio Ferdinand believes that City stand a great chance of pipping their Premier League rivals.
“Pep Guardiola has just signed a new deal and, especially if they don’t win the Champions League this year, he [Bellingham] goes there with the mindset ‘I am going to be the man that brings you the Champions League’,” Ferdinand said on his YouTube channel late last year.
“That’s how I think he’s moving. That’s how I think he rolls. I think he will [join City]. I just think he’ll say ‘I’ve got a couple of mates there – English boys, I’m an English lad. I can go Madrid in five years’.”
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