By India Today Sports Desk: Manchester City’s manager, Pep Guardiola, expressed his determination to retain Kyle Walker amidst interest from Bayern Munich to lure him away. The England international has only one year remaining on his current contract with City, but Guardiola values him as a crucial player due to his defensive versatility in playing both in a back-four and back-three formation.
Since his initial signing in 2017 for a fee of 45 million pounds, Walker has been an integral part of the team’s success, contributing to their 12 major trophies, including a historic treble last season. Guardiola acknowledged the 33-year-old Walker’s irreplaceable qualities and emphasised the importance of keeping him in the squad.
“He’s an incredibly important player for us… His specific qualities are irreplaceable,” Guardiola said ahead of Wednesday’s pre-season friendly between the two clubs. “We want him, yes, in the end. I don’t know what will happen. I know we’re in contact, both clubs. We will fight for him like I’m sure Bayern will… I don’t know how it will finish.”
Although negotiations between both clubs are ongoing, Guardiola remained hopeful that Walker will stay with Manchester City for the upcoming season. He expressed the desire to see Walker on the pitch for their pre-season friendly against Bayern Munich in Tokyo, underlining the significance of having their best players in action.
“We need our best players out there against Bayern and we hope he (Walker) is going to stay with us next season, so why should he not play?” Guardiola added.
Manchester City’s first competitive match for the 2023-24 season is the Community Shield game against Arsenal on August 6. As the Premier League champions gear up for another campaign, retaining key players like Walker will be crucial to their title defense and pursuit of further glory.