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Pep Guardiola forced to ‘ignore’ major rumour as Manchester City brace for Erling Haaland and Bernardo Silva transfer links



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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has discussed the impact of transfer rumours, amid potential renewed summer interest for Erling Haaland and Bernardo Silva.

The 53-year-old manager allowed the exit of senior Manchester City trio Ilkay Gundogan, Riyad Mahrez and Aymeric Laporte last summer, as Guardiola continues to annually refresh his first-team squad.

A number of high-profile exits have taken place during the Catalonian’s time at the Etihad Stadium, with the Sky Blues conducting shrewd transfer business relating to both incomings and outgoings.

Manchester City have successfully navigated the departures of Sergio Aguero, David Silva and Vincent Kompany, as well as allowing the likes of Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus to sign for Premier League rivals.

The Sky Blues are however bracing for another summer of exit rumours, with a reported £50 million release clause throwing Bernardo Silva’s long-term future at the club into fresh doubt, despite the 29-year-old penning a new contract in September.

Real Madrid have also been linked with a fresh approach for Erling Haaland, with Manchester City eyeing contract talks with the 23-year-old in an attempt to counteract interest from La Liga.

Haaland, who returned from a substantial absence during Wednesday’s win over Burnley in the Premier League, opted to move to the Etihad Stadium in 2022, rejecting offers from Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Barcelona.

A number of other City first-team stars could also be set for a summer departure, with Bayern Munich having attempted to sign Kyle Walker last year.

Guardiola’s side have also been linked with a potential move for Joshua Kimmich, with Crystal Palace star Michael Olise also mooted.

Amid a number of transfer claims, Guardiola has revealed that he is forced to “ignore” exit rumours regarding his players.

“Of course I ignore it. I know the reality in this world, it doesn’t bother me at all. As much as the players are focussed on what we have to do, the rest is not important,” said the Manchester City manager.

“It’s normal that Real Madrid wants the best players, and Barcelona wants the best players, or in Italy, or PSG wants the best players – it’s normal.

“Always we want the best players, and (Manchester) United wants the best players, and Liverpool, and Arsenal, and everyone, so it’s normal!

“It’s not a surprise, but being linked to that is an honour. If they really want them, it’s an honour for us. It means that we did a good job and especially Erling (Haaland) in that case made an incredible job.

“But is it true? I don’t know. It’s just to make a little bit of noise, and it’s fine.”