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From Jack Gaughan: Manchester City captain’s group held crunch talks with Pep Guardiola after Real Madrid exit



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Kyle Walker and the Manchester City first-team captain’s group held crunch talks with manager Pep Guardiola following their UEFA Champions League exit.

The defeat at the hands of Real Madrid at the Etihad Stadium served as a major blow to the club’s hopes of retaining their historic Treble success of the season prior, with the Spanish club coming out on top in a penalty shootout.

That outcome followed a staggering 3-3 draw at the Santiago Bernabeu the week prior, while the Etihad Stadium contest saw a 1-1 draw over regulation time and extra-time, resulting in the ultimate nail-biting decider.

Success and a place in the UEFA Champions League semi-finals would not happen however, with Manchester City falling short, and sparking some concerns over the fate of their remaining matches in the season.

Such was the severity of the situation, and perhaps the concern from within the first-team squad, that several members of Pep Guardiola’s team took it upon themselves to hold discussions with the Catalan boss.

That is according to the information of MailSport’s Jack Gaughan, who reveals that Kyle Walker and City’s five-man leadership group went to see manager Pep Guardiola the morning after the club’s penalty shootout defeat to Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals.

It is detailed that Guardiola ‘listened’ as the group ‘made their representations’, with one note being that should a player declare himself fit from then until the season’s climax, they would be ‘available without question’.

Another message was that Manchester City should not ‘ease up in training’ during the remaining week of the campaign, with the predominant message being, ‘Push us to the limit,’ according to the report.

Manchester City’s leadership group is voted for by members of the first-team squad prior to the start of the new season, with Kyle Walker taking up the lead armband role and Kevin De Bruyne adopting the position of vice-captain.

Joining Walker and De Bruyne are defensive midfield mainstay Rodri, alongside a Portuguese duo of Ruben Dias and Bernardo Silva, with the latter at the centre of transfer talk as the summer market approaches.