David Silva Signs with Real Sociedad

David Silva is ready to kick things up in Spain…

Real Sociedad have signed the 34-year-old Spanish footballer and former Manchester City midfielder as a free agent, the La Liga side has announced.

David Silva

Silva recently left Man City after a decade of service, in which he won 11 major trophies including four Premier League titles.

Manchester City had recently announced that they’d be honoring Ruiz by building a statue of him outside the Etihad Stadium.

La Real, who finished sixth in La Liga, were searching for a new playmaker after Martin Odegaard ended a one-year loan spell to return to Real Madrid.

Silva had been linked with a move to Italian club Lazio, but instead returns to his home country, having begun his professional career at Valencia.

In a social media post, Silva said goodbye to Man City fans:

“I look back and it’s clear I could not have made a better decision than to accept City’s proposal to join their project back in 2010,” he said.

“Manchester City and I have grown together. In 10 years, I have developed personally and professionally. I have celebrated many victories and titles and lived through epic moments.

“I have seen my lovely child, Mateo, born and I have even started to feel comfortable under heavy rain! City are a fantastic family. I won’t ever forget the way they threw themselves into helping me when I suffered the hardest moments of my life, offering me support and empathy.”

Manchester City to Pay Tribute to David Silva with Statue

David Silva may be leaving Manchester City, but his likeness will live on…

Manchester City has announced that they’ll erect a statue of the 34-year-old Spanish footballer outside Etihad Stadium as a tribute to the player as he leaves after 10 years with the club.

City’s Champions League exit to Lyon on Sunday marked his final game after he announced in June that he’d leave Manchester at the end of the 2019-20 season.

Silva won 11 trophies with the club including four Premier League titles, two FA Cups, five League Cups and three Community Shield trophies.

“David Silva is a transformational player; a quiet leader who has acted quietly and deliberately and inspired everyone around him, from the youngest academy player to his senior teammates over the past 10 years,” City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarakn said in a statement.

“He has put a stamp on the team, on this club, its history and even the Premier League as a whole. In doing so he has been instrumental to the beautiful football philosophy you see today. He was the start of it.”

City announced in 2019 that a similar statue would be erected of former City captain Vincent Kompany, with both statues are set to be unveiled in 2021.

Capped 125 times by Spain, Silva won the World Cup in 2010 and the European Championship in 2008 and 2012.

He told ESPN last year that he’d like to end his career playing for Las Palmas, his hometown club on the island of Gran Canaria.

“Ten years for me is enough. It’s the perfect time for me,” he said of his departure.

“Initially, City were talking about two years, but I decided to sign [for] another one, so I finished at 10 years.

“It completes the cycle. It’s a nice round figure. I can never see myself playing against City for another team. So 10 years — that’s it.”

David Luiz Looking to Extend Contract with Arsenal

David Luiz could be staying put…

The 33-year-old Brazilian professional footballer’s future will be resolved this week with all parties working towards extending his stay at Arsenal, according to the player’s agent Kia Joorabchian.

David Luiz

Luiz’s existing agreement expires at the end of this month (June 30) having only signed a one-year contract when joining the club from Chelsea in an £8 million deal last summer.

The Gunners have an option to sign him for another year but a decision hasn’t been made yet and Luiz’s case wasn’t helped by a calamitous performance in Wednesday’s 3-0 defeat to Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.

After being dropped from the starting lineup, Luiz came on as a first-half substitute for Pablo Mari, made a mistake for the opening goal and was then sent off for conceding a penalty, which Kevin De Bruyneconverted.

His appearance lasted 25 minutes. Afterwards, Luiz decided to conduct a live television interview in which he expressed his regret that his contract situation has not been resolved before now.

For players whose contracts expire this summer, the deadline to extend for the end of the 2019-20 season is June 23.

And Joorabchian hinted in an interview with talkSPORTon Thursday morning that the delay is linked to ongoing contractual negotiations with several other players including Mari, Cedric SoaresBukayo Saka and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who are about to enter the final year of their deals.

“The situation from Arsenal’s point of view will be resolved this week,” he said. “I think it’s just not Luiz’s situation. There are several issues within the whole structure that will get resolved. June 23 is the deadline for most of the clubs to renew their contracts so that they can finish the season off and beyond. So irrespective of any situation, by June 23 everyone’s situation should be resolved.

Juan Manuel Lillo Named Pep Guardiola’s Assistant at Manchester City

Juan Manuel Lillo is Pep’s Man (City)…

Manchester City has announced the 54-year-old  Spanish football manager’sappointment as Pep Guardiola‘s assistant.

Juan Manuel Lillo

Lillo replaces Mikel Artetawho left the Etihad Stadium to become Arsenal manager in December.

Lillo arrives from Chinese side Qingdao Huanghai having coached Guardiola during a spell in Mexico with Dorados Sinaloa in 2006.

Guadiola once called him the “best coach I ever had,” while Lillo has previously described the City boss as “one of the most important people in my life, like a son to me.”

“I am delighted to have joined Manchester City’s coaching staff,” Lillo said in a statement. “My relationship with Pep goes back many years and I am thrilled to be joining him as part of this exciting team.

“Manchester City has enjoyed much success over recent seasons and played a brand of beautiful football we have come to expect from this club and its manager.

“It’s a pleasure to become a part of this group and I hope to make an important contribution to the club’s success going forwards.”

Lillo became the youngest head coach in the Spanish top flight when he took UD Salamanca to the Primera Divisionin 1995 at the age of 29. He has had spells in Spain, Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Japan and China, where he left Qingdao Huanghai due to the coronavirus pandemic after leading the team to promotion to the Chinese Super League.

“We are delighted to welcome Juanma to Manchester City,” director of football Txiki Begiristain said.

“His vast experience working across three continents and with some of the most famous names in world football will be an invaluable asset to Pep and his team. “We look forward to him playing a vital role as we return to football.”

Barcelona Expresses Interest in Eric Garcia

There’s growing interest in Eric Garcia… 

Futbol Club Barcelona has enquired about the 19-year-old Spanish footballer’s situation at Manchester City as they line up a potential move to bring the defender back to Camp Nou, according to ESPN.

Eric Garcia

Manchester City was quick to knock back Barca‘s initial approach, with high-ranking executives at the English club making it clear that Garcia isn’t for sale. 

Team manager Pep Guardiola is especially fond of Garcia and, while ManCity hope to sign a new centerback this summer, they also want to keep him involved as part of the first-team squad.

However, there is also an understanding at the club that the uncertainty over Guardiola’s long-term future could become a problem at some point. Players are also in the dark and with two years left on his contract, Garcia is in a strong negotiating position.

This provoked Barca to ask about his availability during recent talks between the two clubs regarding a possible swap deal involving right-backs Nelson Semedo and Joao Cancelo.

Garcia was considered one of the brightest prospects in Barca’s La Masia academy when he decided to leave in 2017 to join Premier League champions Manchester City,

Guardiola handed him his full debut in a League Cup game against Leicester in 2018 and he has made 11 appearances this season, starting twice in the league and once in the Champions League.

He’s also been capped five times by Spain under-21s and Barca have followed his development closely since he left three years ago.

A number of different sources at Barca said the club view Garcia as a “good fit” centerback for the team’s style of football. He was brought up on the club’s philosophy and one of his major strengths is his ability on the ball.

Barca, who missed out on Matthijs de Ligt to Juventus last summer, have been searching for a central defender for a long time as they contemplate a future without Gerard Pique, who turned 33 in February.

Manchester City’s reluctance to sell makes a move for Garcia this summer unlikely, especially as Barca expect to be less active in the transfer market due to the effects the coronavirus pandemic has had on their budget. They will focus on their main target, Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez, and will not have money left over to invest elsewhere.

But sources tell ESPN that Barca will not give up on Barcelona native Garcia in the long-term and will continue to monitor his situation as he moves into the final two years of his contract at the Etihad Stadium.