Saturday could be a landmark day for Manchester City as they meet Inter Milan in the Champions League final, with a piece of history and continental supremacy at stake.
Pep Guardiola’s side can go where no other Man City generation has gone before, lift the coveted ‘Big Ears’ and equal Manchester United’s unique record in the process.
After defending the Premier League title and conquering the FA Cup for the first time since 2018/19, the Cityzens are one win away from becoming only the second English side to lift the famous ‘Treble.’
In arguably the most significant fixture in the club’s history, the two long-serving Man City stalwarts may have the last chance to either hand themselves a lifeline at the Etihad Stadium or bid farewell with dignity.
Per the Manchester Evening News, Ilkay Gundogan and Bernardo Silva could be donning the sky blue jersey for the last time in Istanbul.
Gundogan’s future in Manchester has been a subject of wild speculation over the past few months, with the 32-year-old’s contract running out at the end of June.
While the ex-Borussia Dortmund midfielder insists on a lengthy new deal, Man City are unprepared to renew his contract for more than a year, which has been a sticking point in dragged negotiations.
But despite his uncertain future at the Etihad Stadium, he has been at his best when the Cityzens needed him most, scoring some crucial goals down the final stretch of the Premier League season.
His match-winning brace against Man Utd in the FA Cup final was the icing on the cake, although it’s still possible Saturday’s game at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium could be his farewell appearance for City.
After pipping cross-city rivals to the cup last weekend, Guardiola conceded Silva may not be part of his Man City squad next season amid constant rumours linking him with a move to Barcelona.
The 28-year-old, who joined the Cityzens from Monaco in 2017, is under contract at the Etihad until 2025, yet he seemed agonisingly close to leaving the club in the last two summers.
His long-awaited move to Camp Nou fell flat ahead of the 2022/23 campaign as Barcelona failed to raise funds to match Man City’s asking price, resulting in Silva staying with Guardiola’s troops.
Unfazed by his busted switch to La Liga, the Portuguese maestro has been one of the crucial figures at City this season, not missing a minute in the Champions League knockout stage.
However, helping the team bring home the elusive Champions League title could be his final act as a Man City player unless his showing in the showpiece event convinces the club hierarchy otherwise.
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