By Editor Wayne Veysey | Former Evening Standard, Press Association and Goal chief correspondent with 18 years experience of breaking big stories, including exclusives like this
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David Silva is facing the Manchester City axe in the summer – because he does not do enough work off the ball.
A City source has told Football Insider that incoming manager Pep Guardiola is ready to take the unpopular step of telling the club to listen to offers for Silva.
The Spaniard is widely regarded as one of City’s outstanding players and an integral member of two Premier League title triumphs as well as their ambitions to develop into one of Europe’s dominant teams.
But Silva does not fit into Guardiola’s plans for how he wants the team to play next season.
The Etihad Stadium-bound manager believes some of City’s star players have become stale and is adamant the team become more efficient in recovering possession.
Guardiola is ready to sanction the sale of the Spanish playmaker because he does not track back enough.
Silva has been a firm favourite of City supporters and one of the first names on the teamsheet since his £22million transfer from Valencia in 2010.
In 249 matches for the club, he has scored 42 goals and supplied 87 assists, and his understanding with Sergio Aguero has been one of the most productive in the club’s history. He also signed a £190,000-a-week contract in the summer of 2014 that runs until 2019.
Silva, who turned 30 last month, began the season in superb form but has been less effective since returning from an ankle problem that sidelined him for two months.
Guardiola will be given licence to overhaul the City squad when he takes over as manager from Manuel Pellegrini in the summer.
With three years remaining on Silva’s contract, City will be hopeful of receiving a £25million-plus fee for the player in the summer.