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Pep Guardiola and Ruben Dias send transfer plea to Manchester City duo amid exit links



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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola and defender Ruben Dias have sent a message to both Kyle Walker and Bernardo Silva following intense transfer speculation.

The treble-winning pair have both been linked with potential departures from the Etihad Stadium this summer, despite being part of Manchester City’s pre-season tour of Asia, unlike Riyad Mahrez, who is finalising a move to Saudi Arabia.

Bayern Munich remain heavily interested in signing Kyle Walker, meanwhile Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona continue to circle for Bernardo Silva, with the potential for PSG to be armed with a significant sum of money, should Kylian Mbappe leave the French club for a world-record fee.

Both Walker and Silva featured for Manchester City on Sunday, when the Sky Blues beat J-League champions Yokohama F. Marinos 5-3 at the Japan National Stadium in Tokyo.

The pair played a crucial role in City’s treble triumph last season, with Silva assisting Rodri’s winning goal in the Champions League Final and scoring twice against Real Madrid in the semi-final second-leg.

Walker didn’t start the Champions League Final in Istanbul last month, and after making a joint-lowest number of appearances last season, the 33-year-old has become a transfer target for a number of clubs.

Bayern Munich, who are favourites to sign the Englishman, are Manchester City’s pre-season opponent on Wednesday, when a repeat of April’s Champions League quarter-final clash takes place in Tokyo.

Manchester City beat the Bundesliga champions 4-1 on route to their maiden Champions League trophy, emphatically winning 3-0 in the first-leg at the Etihad Stadium.

Speaking ahead of Wednesday’s friendly in Tokyo, Guardiola provided an update on the future of Walker, amid interest from Bayern Munich.

“He’s our player, we need to play against Bayern with the best players. We hope he is going to stay the whole season with us, so why should he not play?

“He is a very important player for us, has a very specific quality, formidable opponent out wide. That quality is irreplaceable. The clubs [Bayern Munich and Man City] are in touch, we will fight for him.”

Manchester City defender Ruben Dias also revealed his hope that both Walker and Silva choose to remain at the Etihad Stadium for the new campaign, with the Cityzens bidding to win the Premier League title for a fourth successive season.

“Decisions are decisions. Whatever decision is made we need to respect and move forward,” said the Portugal centre-back.

“In the end, football is about people coming and going. You’ve said two names, other names have gone this season and last.

“It’s unfortunate because of how good we are together. It’s football, it is what it is.

“Since I came, every time the circumstance of someone might be going, everyone would like it not to happen and it says it all about the club.”

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