Josep Guardiola unsure if Bernardo Silva will stay at Manchester City

Manchester City boss Josep Guardiola wants Bernardo Silva to stay at the club but admits he doesn’t know what will happen.

The Portugal international has been linked with a move to Barcelona this summer, although there has been no official bid from the Spanish side.

Guardiola has allowed Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus and Alexander Zinchenko to leave at the end of the season, but he doesn’t want Silva to join the exodus.

However, the Spaniard knows that it depends not only on him.

“I have said many times that I really enjoyed training with the guys, it was really good. I felt comfortable working with Oleks, Raheem, Gabriel – incredible characters who helped us achieve what we have achieved,” Guardiola said at his press conference ahead of the first weekend of the Premier League.

“Sometimes for the club, sometimes for the players, sometimes for the agent, sometimes we have to separate our paths.

“Especially the desire of the player is the most important thing. Of course, I would like Bernardo to continue here, he is a very special player for us. But I don’t know what will happen.

“What happens, happens, and if he stays, that’s great, and in the end, if he has to leave, it’s because football is like that, a player has a desire, I won’t be the person who stops people from wanting.

“When you’re a footballer, it’s so small, you don’t understand, and it’s almost over. The player will have to talk to the club and I was never involved in that.

“I want the best for the player. I want Bernardo to stay here 100 percent. He is an important player for me. He’s special to me, I don’t know what’s going to happen. Manchester City, as far as I know, we have not received an offer. Anything. Last season too.

“Bernardo is ready, training very well and ready for Sunday. That’s all.”

Guardiola says he’s no closer to finding a new left-back after missing Marc Cucurella.

I want Bernardo to stay here 100 percent. He is an important player for me. He is special to me, I don’t know what will happenPep Guardiola on Bernardo Silva

It looks like Brighton’s Cucurella will move to Chelsea instead, leaving Guardiola to look for a replacement for Zinchenko.

Asked if anything was in store for the transfer market, he said: “Nothing special. This is the same. Let’s see. We still have a lot of days before the end of the month. Let’s see.

“There are many players around the world and many of them can fit perfectly into our team, but at the same time, transfers are always difficult.

“Selling is harder than buying at the same time. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. It might be possible, it might not be.”

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Brighton’s Mark Cucurella was City’s target but looks set to join Chelsea (Gareth Fuller/PA)

City will start their season at West Ham on Sunday, aiming for their fifth Premier League title in the past six seasons.

Guardiola believes that this campaign will be the most difficult in history.

“Every year I get the feeling that this season is harder,” he said. “I think next season can’t be harder, and it’s harder.

“Everyone gets better, every club every owner invests in. Many teams do it and do it well, the quality is there and the managers are exceptional.

“That’s why it’s interesting and that’s why the Premier League is the best.”