Pep Guardiola has earmarked Phil Foden to step up when David Silva departs Manchester City at the end of the campaign.
The highly-regarded teenager has played just 10 minutes of Premier League football this season, but Guardiola says it would take an offer in excess of €500m to tempt City into letting him leave.
Will Foden succeed Silva? Five things to know…
- Foden is one of the England’s most promising youngsters, featuring 26 times for City last season.
- However, this term Foden has found playing time hard to come by, with Guardiola expressing his sympathy.
- David Silva is set to leave Man City at the end of the season after spending a decade at the club.
- Similar in stature and playing style, many have backed Foden to succeed Silva.
- And Guardiola has now echoed those views, describing the teenager as a “magician”.
Such is the rich pool of international talent at Guardiola’s disposal, Foden has had to wait in the wings and bide his time, prompting the Catalan coach to apologise to his starlet for a lack of minutes.
However, with Silva set to leave the Etihad at the end of the campaign, Guardiola has now backed the academy graduate to follow in the Spaniard’s fabled footsteps.
In the book ‘Pep’s City: The Making of a Superteam’, which is currently being serialised by The Sun, Guardiola is reported as saying: “We didn’t give Foden a new contract by accident.
“He is the only player that can’t be sold under any circumstances — the only one. Not even for 500m euros.
“Phil’s going nowhere — Phil is City. We won’t be signing anyone else for that position.
“When David Silva leaves, we know exactly who our new magician will be.”
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“One of the Premier League’s best”
During his tenure in the North West, Guardiola has seen a number of academy stars slip through City’s grasp as they looked for more prominent roles elsewhere, notably Jadon Sancho and Brahim Diaz.
Eager to avoid that happening with Foden, Guardiola has expressed a fervent desire for the talented tyro to continue his development under his tutelage, while assuring him of guaranteed first-team football down the line.
He added: “He’s grown up with us. He’s one of us and he’s going to be brilliant — one of the Premier League’s best.
“One thing is clear, Foden has a place in City’s first team.
“I’d be interested to see if a different manager would have given him his chance to develop, or loaned him out.
“I don’t like leaving him out of certain games but must think of the whole squad. Phil understands that.”