Pep Guardiola has admitted he does not expect loyalty from Manchester City’s brightest young stars, amid reports that Brahim Diaz is poised to walk away for free next year to join Real Madrid.
It has become something of a trend in recent years, with Jadon Sancho the most famous recent example of a young City prospect who has sought increased first team football away from the Etihad Stadium.
Lyon's Houssem Aouar impressed Pep Guardiola and Mikel Arteta so much on Tuesday that leaders of Manchester City approached representatives of the midfielder one day later. Besides City, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool have taken an interest in the 20-year-old. [L'Equipe] pic.twitter.com/6FBLA0tj8I— City Watch (@City_Watch) November 30, 2018
Sancho has found great success in the Bundesliga with Borussia Dortmund and there is increasing speculation that Diaz is set to become the latest City starlet to seek greater opportunities overseas. Via the Independent, Guardiola said: “No [I don’t expect their loyalty].
“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.”
Though the former Barcelona coach insisted that City “want to extend his contract four or five years,” Guardiola admitted “it is now in Diaz’s hands,” with the Spaniard’s the latest case in an ongoing battle for all of the club’s youngsters to break into the first team.
“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 ten people,” Guardiola added. “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.”
Diaz has been restricted to just two Carabao Cup appearances in City’s senior set-up under Guardiola this term, with fellow prodigy Phil Foden finding a greater rate of opportunities at the Eithad in recent weeks.