Pep Guardiola has highlighted the importance of Bernardo Silva to his Manchester City side amid links with Barcelona.
The Portugal international has been the subject of interest from the Catalan giants, with Xavi still “hopeful” Barcelona can sign Silva before the transfer window closes.
However, Guardiola has recently stated that Silva will “stay” at the club, while City CEO Ferran Soriano has also stated that Silva will remain in Manchester.
The 28-year-old has featured in all five of his club’s competitive matches this season, and he has found the net in the previous two games.
Silva sparked City’s comeback from 2-0 down to beat Crystal Palace 4-2 on Saturday with a strike early in the second half, and following the victory, the City boss told reporters how important the midfielder is to the side.
Guardiola said: “I’m happy that Bernardo became a winning player,’ of course the highlights will be of Erling. But we cannot forget what Bernardo has done, scoring the goal and creating down the right side in the second half.
“What amazes me about Bernardo is that when the game is going wrong he makes a step forward, he loves to play in this situation. He’s comfortable with it.
“Some players maybe step backward and he makes a step forward. That’s why he is irreplaceable in many ways for us.
“He’s so important for us, he can play in four or five positions. And it’s not just on the pitch, it’s off it too. In the locker room, I want him here so much.”
Guardiola also went on to praise Erling Braut Haaland who scored a hat-trick within a 20-minute period in the second half against Palace.
“What’s important is he’s a lovely guy, down to earth,” the City manager said. “We are completely in love with him. It’s not just the goals, it’s how happy he is.
“I see his behaviour and his body language. You pay attention to the body language of the players and always his is in the right position.
“He’s always there, encouraging the players, making an incredible effort. He knows (the chances are) coming. He has an incredible sense of that.”
Guardiola will hope his side can claim consecutive victories when they play host to Nottingham Forest on Wednesday.