Guardiola confirms Bernardo Silva will go to Barcelona, but only as a Man City player

·1 min read

Barcelona will have to switch their targets after Pep Guardiola appeared to close the door on Bernardo Silva leaving Manchester City.

Playmaker Bernardo has been linked with Barcelona for much of the current transfer window, with Xavi looking to build a team capable of challenge for LaLiga and Champions League honours.

However, former Barcelona head coach Guardiola has been insistent he wants the 28-year-old Portugal international to stay at City.

On Thursday, Guardiola said Bernardo would be in Barcelona next week, but only on City duty as the clubs play a charity fundraising friendly at Camp Nou.

The match will benefit research into motor neurone disease (MND), also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

It is a condition suffered by former Barcelona goalkeeping coach Juan Carlos Unzue, as well as Stephen Darby, who is the husband of Steph Houghton, captain of Manchester City Women.

Speaking on Catalunya Radio, City manager Guardiola told Unzue how he sees Bernardo's future.

"On Wednesday you will see him play," Guardiola said. "Of course! And what is certain is that he will do it with us, City. Bernardo and 10 others will play."

Bernardo has been with City for five years, winning four Premier League titles among a host of honours and establishing himself as a key cog in Guardiola's midfield.

Guardiola said City welcomed the chance to raise money for a worthwhile cause next week.

"It's a gift to return to the Camp Nou to play a solidarity game to fight against [MND]," he said, quoted widely in the Spanish press.

Praising Unzue, Guardiola added: "Life has given him a punch, and he gets up every time. With his gestures and actions he helps many people."