By Jonathan Veal, PA
Bernardo Silva said leaving Manchester City this summer was never an option and insists he is happy at the club.
The Portuguese midfielder had been linked with moves to Barcelona and Paris St Germain but boss Pep Guardiola was steadfast in his desire to keep the player at the club.
Silva said an offer did come in for him late in the transfer window, but is content staying at the Etihad Stadium.
“I’m staying. I spoke with the club and I’m staying,” he said after City’s 6-0 win over Nottingham Forest on Wednesday.
“I’m happy here at Man City and I will do my best. It’s Man City. In the last five seasons we have won four Premier Leagues and got to the final of the Champions League.
“It’s one of the top three clubs in the world right now probably so I couldn’t be better here. It’s a club I want to be at and I’m happy.
“It wasn’t a tough decision because there were no offers. There was one offer from one team, no more than that, so it was quite easy for me and for the club because the only offer that came came quite late so for the club to find a replacement it wouldn’t be easy.
“I’m very happy here as I said and I’m going to do my best. Here is a big mutual respect between me and Pep, I’ve learned so much from him and each day I keep learning. But not just him, the respect I have for my team-mates, the fans and the club.
“I’m staying for this season and if I stay here two or three seasons I’m always going to do my best for this club.”
It seems highly likely City will be celebrating a fifth Premier League title in six years given their electric start to the season.
Erling Haaland has added a different dimension to Guardiola’s side and having scored nine goals in his first five games – including back-to-back hat-tricks – an unprecedented end-of-season tally is on the cards.
Silva said: “He’s so good, so quick, so strong. His hunger for goals, he always wants more and to have a striker like him in our team is just great. Especially in the last two games he was unbelievable and I hope he continues in this way.
“I hope he can get 50 or 60! By Christmas. He’s playing well. It doesn’t matter who scores.
“If the strikers score it is always nice for the team because it’s good for the confidence and helps them go again. If I could choose then only strikers would score because it is nice to have them confident and aggressive, it’s where we need them. As many as possible.”