City’s David Silva a doubt for the Manchester derby
Boss Pep Guardiola confirms midfielder won’t feature against Shakhtar Donetsk
Manchester City’s David Silva is a doubt for the derby on Sunday. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty
David Silva is a doubt for the Manchester derby after picking up an injury, according to manager Pep Guardiola.
The Spain international, who scored the winning goal against West Ham on Sunday to maintain City’s eight-point lead at the top of the Premier League, will sit out Wednesday’s Champions League showdown with Shakhtar Donetsk and now faces a fight to prove his fitness ahead of Sunday’s derby.
“He was uncomfortable in the last minutes after the goal,” said Guardiola on Tuesday in reference to the victory over David Moyes’s side - City’s record-equalling 13th in a row in the Premier League. “Before the goal he felt something. Now hopefully he can play on Sunday, but it was too risky to play here.”
Given that he has only failed to start one of City’s league matches so far this season, his potential absence at Old Trafford would be a major blow to the leaders.
Meanwhile, Guardiola has denied that City offered Lionel Messi a €100m (£88m) signing on fee to leave Barcelona in the summer, with the manager stating “it is not true.”
Last week Messi agreed fresh terms with the Catalan club that will extend his stay there until 2021. Yet a report in Spain on Tuesday claimed City tried to lure the 30-year-old with the €100m fee plus a €50m a-year salary.
Yet asked specifically about the signing on fee, Guardiola said: “Lionel Messi has signed a contract one week ago. This was never was going to happen, Messi started his career there and he’s going to finish it there. If he wanted to leave he wouldn’t have signed the contract.”
Pressed that the report claimed the offer came before Messi agreed new terms at the Camp Nou, Guardiola said: “It’s not true.”