Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has told youngster Brahim Diaz he should sign a new contract with the club or move on amid speculation linking the player with a transfer to Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain.
Diaz's deal at the Etihad Stadium is poised to expire at the end of the campaign. Given the lack of minutes he has been afforded in the Premier League champions' first team this season, there have been rumours he will be on the move.
When asked about the player at his press conference on Friday, Guardiola encouraged the 19-year-old to make a decision over where he wants to play his football, per Jonathan Smith of ESPN FC:
"We want him to stay. We want to extend his contract for four or five years, and we'll do absolutely everything to keep him here, but as I said before, it's in his hands.
"My advice is: If he doesn't want to stay, he has to leave. We protected him before we arrive in this period. It was the same with Jadon [Sancho] and Phil [Foden]. But he has to decide, and it's no more than that."
As Smith noted, Real Madrid are said to be confident of landing the Spanish youth international, who was on the bench for City's UEFA Champions League meeting with Lyon on Tuesday.
However, Sergio Santos Chozas of AS reported that French champions PSG are keen on securing the services of the player, too: "PSG have now entered the fray and are preparing an offer for the midfielder, whose advisers have suggested he wait and see what is on the table at the Parc des Princes."
AS (h/t Sport Witness) also reported Diaz's agent Pere Guardiola—the brother of the City boss—has advised the tyro to be patient when it comes to making a decision over his future, with Los Blancos said to be keen to snap him up in the January market.
The high-profile interest in the player is indicative of someone who is anticipated to reach the summit of the sport.
Keith Costigan of Fox Sports believes a departure would represent a big blow to City:
However, with so much attacking class available to Guardiola in the forward and midfield positions, it's tough to see Diaz forcing his way into the team consistently.
As the Manchester Evening News relayed, it's not as if the team are struggling in the final third at the moment:
Diaz would find it tough to get regular minutes at Madrid and in Paris with so much attacking class within their ranks, although he may be intrigued and inspired by a fresh start elsewhere.
Should he go and thrive, it will be disappointing for City. However, the likes of Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sane and Phil Foden are all quality operators and all have the best years of their careers ahead of them yet.