Aguero would be surprised if City let Silva join Barcelona

By Sports Desk August 11, 2022

Sergio Aguero would be surprised if Bernardo Silva leaves Manchester City for Barcelona, but believes the midfielder could play a key role in Xavi's rebuild if a move goes through.

Barca have signed Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha, Jules Kounde, Andreas Christensen and Franck Kessie during a busy transfer window.

With Frenkie de Jong expected to leave Camp Nou, reports have suggested Portugal international Silva is Xavi's next target.

Silva made 50 appearances for City in all competitions last season, a tally only bettered only by Joao Cancelo (52), scoring 13 goals and providing seven assists.

Only Kevin de Bruyne (129) and Jack Grealish (78) created more chances for City than Silva's 76 last term, but he could be on the moving after stating the Premier League champions "know what I want" this week.

 

Aguero – a team-mate of Silva's before leaving City for Barcelona in 2021 – is unsure whether a move will materialise but believes the 28-year-old would suit Xavi's new-look side perfectly. 

"Bernardo is a great player. He carries the ball, he sacrifices, has quality to assist and score goals and he can play in different positions," Aguero told Stake.

"It would surprise me if City let him go. He is a player who contributes a lot every season, but everything is possible.

"If he finally arrives at Barca, then he will be someone who can be key to the possession game that Xavi likes."

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    Pep Guardiola feels having four clear days ahead of a Manchester derby is a “dream” at this stage of the season.

    Guardiola’s Manchester City host arch-rivals United at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday in what could be a key match in their bid to win a fourth successive Premier League crown.

    It is a crucial month for City with games against title rivals Liverpool and Arsenal to come, as well as the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie and an FA Cup quarter-final.

    City were last in action on Tuesday when they thrashed Luton 6-2 in the cup fifth round and Guardiola believes the derby preparations since have been ideal.

    “Tuesday to Sunday is enough (time), it is a dream,” he said. “We will recover well.

    “The problem is Saturday to Tuesday with trips, that is less recovery, but the players were extraordinary against Luton.

    “We had two days off with rest, not seeing each other, and then two days to prepare for United.”

    Yet despite opportunities for rest being minimal as last season’s treble winners again pursue glory on three fronts, Guardiola admits this time of year – with all its intensity – is what he relishes most.

    He said: “Absolutely, (these periods) are the best. How nice. I prefer that than the opposite.

    “It is so nice to have this fixture against United, to have the chance to qualify for the quarter-finals of the Champions League, then we have Anfield and then before the international break we have the chance against Newcastle to reach the semi-final of the FA Cup.

    “We worked so hard since we arrived here to live these kind of moments.”

    United’s form throughout most of the season has been unconvincing and they face a tall order to finish in the top four.

    Manager Erik ten Hag’s future has been the subject of recurring speculation but Guardiola refused to offer an opinion on the reasons for United’s failures to sustain momentum.

    The Spaniard said: “I expect the best from United but I don’t talk a word about what they do because I respect them too much and I don’t want my words to be misunderstood.

    “When I make comments people always say, ‘Pep jibe’ and it’s never my intention. That’s why it is better I don’t say anything.

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    Jamaica's senior Reggae Boyz drew first blood against their Trinidad and Tobago counterparts, as they registered a 1-0 win in the first of their two-match friendly series at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on Friday.

    Kaheim Dixon's 58th-minute strike proved the solitary goal of the contest which was played behind closed doors to facilitate preparation for the twin island republic's Carifta Games trials.

    Dixon, the former Clarendon College stalwart, was the first Reggae Boy to score on debut since Justin McMaster's feat against Cameroon in 2022.

    Reggae Boyz assistant coach Merron Gordon said their main objective to expose new talents were met as they fielded 13 debutants on the day.

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    "When you see a player like Kahiem score a goal on his debut is amazing and these are the kind of things that we want for them to transition from schoolboy football into international football and I think he acquitted himself well, and young Jayden Hibbert in goal is a teenager as well so that augurs well for us," he added.

    The Jamaicans started well, and were more threatening in open play in the early exchanges, before Trinidad and Tobago's Soca Warriors found their rhythm. Though the first half ended goalless, it wasn't for a lack of trying, as both teams had looks at goal.

    In the 12th minute, Kaihim Thomas got the first effort off for the Soca Warriors from a distance, but Reggae Boyz goalkeeper Kemar Foster took flight to tip over.

    Alex Marshall, who proved a menace to the Soca Warriors's backline, responded for the Reggae Boyz, but his effort was parried by Adrian Foncette, in goal for Trinidad and Tobago.

    Jamaica's Reggae Boyz maintained the momentum on the resumption and again went close through Romeo Guthrie, whose shot was blocked by Foncette at his near post two minutes in.

    The deadlock was eventually broken when Dixon produced an intelligent run down the right channel, dismissed a defender and tucked home.

    They should have doubled the lead in the 65th when Sue-Lae McCalla found himself with space and time to fire home from Guthrie's corner, but somehow steered the effort wide.

    Seconds later, Marshall and Dixon connected well with the latter driving his right-footer into the sidenetting.

    The Reggae Boyz continued to apply consistent pressure but found the Soca Warriors defence in defiant mode, as a 69th-minute effort by Jason Wright from Andre Fletcher's pass, was charged down.

    A minute later, Devante Campbell played a perfect pass across the face of goal, but Wright couldn't apply finishing touch.

    Campbell also had a grand opportunity to get on the scoresheet in time added, when he found himself in a one-on-one situation with substitute goalkeeper Christopher Biggette, but his tame effort was swallowed up by the custodian, who left his line well.

    Despite the scoreline, Soca Warriors Head coach Angus Eve, took heart from the performance.

    "Not disappointed at all. Many of these players are playing at this level for the very first time and I think they acquitted themselves well and we were in the game for the most part, but we gave away a sloppy goal that proved the difference in the game. We want to give people exposure as you can see, we made minimum number of changes because we wanted to expose the young guys as much as possible. So, this is a good exercise for them to understand the pace of the game at this level going forward," Eve said.

    The teams will meet again on Sunday at the Larry Gomes Stadium in Arima at 3:00pm Jamaica time.

    NB: That game can also be seen live on SportsMax 

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    Milan grabbed their first win in four matches, a run which has seen their already faint hopes of a title challenge completely fade away, when substitute Okafor finally broke the deadlock three minutes from time.

    The match turned in their favour when Lazio’s Luca Pellegrini needlessly got himself sent off with over half an hour still to play.

    Lazio lost their heads in stoppage time and finished with eight men after Adam Marusic and Matteo Guendouzi were also dismissed.

    Lazio, who travel to Bayern Munich on Tuesday looking to protect their 1-0 lead from the first leg of their Champions League clash, were inches away from taking the lead after 10 minutes.

    Felipe Anderson flicked on a Luis Alberto corner and Matias Vecino prodded the ball narrowly wide of the far post.

    They were denied a penalty moments later when Milan goalkeeper Mike Maignan took a poor touch from a backpass and then wiped out Valentin Castellanos with his follow through, but nothing was given either on the field or in the VAR room.

    Milan’s first chance arrived when former Roma right-back Alessandro Florenzi crossed for Olivier Giroud, but the Frenchman’s header was off target.

    Giroud should have put the visitors ahead in first-half stoppage time after Christian Pulisic’s drive was pushed over the crossbar by Ivan Provedel.

    Theo Hernandez swung in the corner, but Giroud’s header at the far post flew harmlessly over.

    Lazio were reduced 10 men just before the hour when Pellegrini, who had been booked seven minutes earlier for a foul on Pulisic, was sent off for blatantly pulling back the former Chelsea man.

    Moments later, Giroud played a one-two with Ruben Loftus-Cheek, but he could only hit his shot straight at Provedel.

    Provedel showed great reactions to get a hand to a Loftus-Cheek volley, before the 10 men had a golden chance to go ahead when substitute Ciro Immobile somehow missed the target from four yards out.

    Milan thought they had taken the lead with 13 minutes remaining when Rafael Leao fired home from a tight angle, but a lengthy VAR check ruled the effort out for offside.

    The goal came after Provedel made another fine one-handed save to keep out Okafor’s initial drive.

    But Lazio could not clear the loose ball and when it fell to Okafor again, the Switzerland international forward lashed it into the net.

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