Pep Guardiola keen to keep Brahim Diaz at Manchester City

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola admits the club may be powerless to prevent Brahim Diaz from leaving at the end of the season when his contract expires.

The Spaniard marked only his third start for City in all competitions with a brace as Guardiola’s side booked their place in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals with a 2-0 win over Fulham.

The 19-year-old joined City in 2015 from Malaga for an initial £200,000, but he has been linked with a move to Real Madrid after finding his first-team opportunities limited under Guardiola.

After his man-of-the-match display, Guardiola was asked about the winger’s contract situation, and he put Diaz’s limited game-time into perspective.

He said: “Playing in the top teams is not easy for young players, but he showed his qualities again. His training is always incredible and he’s really appreciated by all of us.

“He played well against Oxford [United] in the previous round. Everyone here is ready to play in the first team, otherwise he wouldn’t be here.

“He knows we want him, but after that it’s down to his agent and himself. We will do absolutely everything to keep him with us – afterwards he decides. We want him, but at the end it doesn’t depend on us.”

The player himself admitted afterwards: “You have to be patient, and when you get the chance you have to take it. It’s amazing to be playing with so many great players.”

I always wondered how it would sound having my name chanted from the stands after scoring a goal. Now I have done it. Twice. And it’s unreal. Thank you for all your messages! On to the next round! ✨

This was a routine victory for City, who have reached the League Cup quarter-finals in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1978/79 season.

Guardiola added: “Everybody was good. Brahim made two goals, Aro [Muric] making a clean sheet – we didn’t concede too many chances, and he gave us good security. Every time Phil Foden plays a good level.

“It was another good performance. They played with a lot of discipline with and without the ball. We attacked both inside and outside. We could’ve scored more goals but it’s OK.”

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