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Kyle Walker considers Manchester City exit with potential league switch identified – Advice sought from former teammate



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Manchester City captain and England international Kyle Walker is reportedly considering a move away from the Etihad Stadium in the coming summer window.

The 33-year-old defender came very close to an exit from Manchester City during the previous summer market, having entertained conversation and negotiations from Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich over an extended period of time.

Ultimately, following the departures of Ilkay Gundogan and Riyad Mahrez in particular, Manchester City and Pep Guardiola deemed it of the upmost importance to persuade Walker to remain at the club, giving his wealth of experience at the top-level of the game.

In-turn, Walker received a contract extension from Manchester City, and following a private conversation with manager Pep Guardiola over a city centre dinner one evening, the England international stayed put and also became the club’s next captain.

However, some believe that Kyle Walker’s performances this season have been far from the standard required to remain at the club for much longer, and events off the field may also be intriguing the player over a move away from the English game too.

That is according to a new exclusive report from The Sun, who claim that Walker is now considering a move away from the Premier League to Saudi Arabia, having ‘sought advice’ from former Manchester City teammate Riyad Mahrez about relocating to the Middle East.

The newspaper quotes a source on the future of the Manchester City captain, who claims that Walker is “very happy” at the Etihad Stadium, but is “exploring all options further down the line” amid ongoing media coverage of his private life.

“Kyle (Walker) has been thinking about his future after the Premier League and thinks a move to Saudi could be perfect for him, Annie (Kilner), and their kids when he is done here,” The Sun quote a source as saying.

The unnamed source continued, “He has been speaking to Riyad (Mahrez) about the football clubs out there and what life is like for people who move there. Obviously, the lifestyle is vastly different.

“Kyle loves playing for Man City and is devoted to the club but he has his head screwed on and has been thinking about what the future holds for him when his time in the Prem and for England is done.”

Walker’s conversations with Riyad Mahrez are said to have “opened his eyes” on the prospect of playing for a Saudi Arabian club in the near future, as well as what his personal life could look like through an adventurous move away from the European game.

“His conversations with Riyad have opened his eyes to what it is really like to play for the clubs out there and what the reality would be if he moved there,” the source told The Sun newspaper.

“It is something Kyle and Annie have discussed too and she would be open to relocating there at some point in the future with their kids. And, of course, there would be a lot less public scrutiny on him which he would relish, especially after the past few months of turmoil which has been so publicly played out.”

At present, it remains unknown as to what Manchester City would do in the transfer market should they sanction a big-money move for Kyle Walker to the Saudi Arabian game, with a lack of natural full-back options at the club.

Rico Lewis remains Manchester City’s only other right-back in Pep Guardiola’s first-team squad, with the England international more often being utilised throughout midfield, while the Catalan coach has often turned to central defenders out of position when needed.

The likes of Manuel Akanji and John Stones have excelled in the right-back role and their defensive midfield instructions when in possession of the ball, however the club does have one name to assess in the coming months.

Brazil international Yan Couto is a player for Pep Guardiola to assess during pre-season, with the youngster having excelled in yet another loan move at Girona this season, driving the City Football Group side into next season’s UEFA Champions League.