Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has admitted that he doesn’t expect loyalty from the club’s game-time starved academy players in wake of reports that highly-touted midfielder Brahim Diaz is set to join Real Madrid on a free transfer at the end of this season.
Diaz has only featured twice in the League Cup for City this season and has been superseded by Phil Foden in the squad. Yet, despite insisting that the club “want to extend his contract four or five years,” Guardiola conceded that “it is now in Diaz’s hands,” with an air of resignation in seeing the 19-year-old follow Jadon Sancho overseas.
However, Guardiola doesn’t begrudge academy players at the club wanting to leave when opportunities in the first team are so slim and claimed he didn’t expect any added loyalty.
“No [I don’t expect their loyalty],” he said. ”They have their own families, their careers are short and they decide what’s best for their career. We always offer what they are [worth] and then the people decide. All we can do is our best. It’s always happened, the big players stay here and then go to the big opponents. All we can do is what we do.
“The second team is playing in a poor league in terms of competitiveness and it’s difficult for them to visualise spending more years here playing in front of 10 people. It’s no competition. A lot of clubs across Europe come here and tell them they are going to be the most important player in our team, you have to come here. Then they can decide. It’s normal. It happens everywhere, not just Man City.”
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