Pep Guardiola says Cole Palmer asked for “two seasons” to leave Man City


Cole Palmer of Chelsea during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Everton FC at Stamford Bridge on April 15, 2024 in London, England.

Man City manager Pep Guardiola has stated that Chelsea star Cole Palmer asked to leave the Premier League champions for “two seasons” before leaving for Stamford Bridge last summer. 

City will face their former player on Saturday in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley and the midfielder has emerged as Mauricio Pochettino’s most dangerous player this season.

Palmer has proved to be an outstanding signing since making the £42.5m move to Chelsea ahead of the current campaign, with the England star scoring 23 goals in all competitions, including 20 in the Premier League.

A switch of clubs was necessary for the 21-year-old as he was not getting enough minutes at Man City over recent seasons. That was unlikely to change during the current campaign given the talent at the Manchester club and joining a weaker team has been crucial to Palmer’s development, which recently saw him earn a call-up to the England squad.

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Speaking ahead of Manchester City’s clash with Chelsea on Saturday, Guardiola has stated that Palmer was asking to leave the Premier League champions for two seasons but the former Barcelona boss stopped him.

Cole Palmer was desperate to leave Man City to develop as a player

“He’s an exceptional player, we knew that when he was here,” Guardiola said via Sky Sports about Palmer at his press conference on Friday.

“I said many times, I didn’t give the minutes that maybe he deserved and now he has at Chelsea. I understand completely.

“I am happy for him. He’s a shy guy with a lot of potential. It is what it is. He’s playing fantastically so what can I say? The decision has been made for many reasons.

“He was asking for two seasons to leave and I said stay. He said he wanted to leave. What could we do? I said stay in pre-season because Riyad [Mahrez] is gone, but for two seasons he wanted to leave.”

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