Pep Guardiola warned Jack Grealish could demand Barcelona transfer amid Man City treatment

Man City in 2021: Domestic dominance and European heartache

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Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has been warned that Jack Grealish could demand a move to Barcelona after he was dropped for the trip to Newcastle United. Both Grealish and Phil Foden were absent from the matchday squad after going on a night out following the thrashing of Leeds.

Guardiola was left furious by the duo’s decision to go on that night out, with the pair missing a warm-down session the next day.

With cases of Covid-19 rising, causing severe disruption to the Premier League fixture schedule, the night out was ill-advised.

Having reminded the pair of their responsibilities, Guardiola also removed them from selection for the clash with the Magpies as a punishment.

Following the game, Guardiola hinted at the reasoning behind their absence from the game at St James’ Park.

“I pay a lot of attention to behaviour on and off the pitch. And when off the pitch is not proper they are not going to play,” he told BBC Sport.

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“So they have to be focused all the time because the distractions in the Christmas time and everything that happens – you have to still be focused.”

In the days following the comfortable win over Newcastle, Guardiola has been continually asked about the duo.

While he has declined to directly name them, the City boss did send a veiled warning that they need to regain their focus.

“In our careers, the work you do on and off the pitch is the same importance, the same. It’s so important,” he said.

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“It’s so demanding physically and mentally – you have to live for your profession. All the time, every single second.

“But this is the message I’ve given to them, six years ago, every year, every month, every day many times.”

But amid his hardline approach, Guardiola has been warned by former Manchester United star Alan Brazil that he is risking seeing the pair demand a transfer.

“What if Grealish and Foden said ‘fine, we don’t think we’ve done too much wrong, we’re off, end of the season, we’re off’,” Brazil told talkSPORT.

“The point I’m trying to make is that we don’t know how bad it was or if it was much ado about nothing.

“What I do know is that they are two great young players and that would be a huge blow if City were to lose them.

“Two top young players. Suddenly they go to Barcelona or to Real Madrid. Barcelona’s pedigree is way, way, way above Manchester City.”

Grealish and Foden have the chance to regain Guardiola’s trust on Boxing Day, when City host Leicester with the chance to go six points clear at the top of the Premier League.

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