Pep Guardiola has backed Phil Foden to succeed David Silva as Manchester City's "magician" and guaranteed the 19-year-old will not be sold, "even for €500 million."
Foden has long been hailed as a potential superstar, but he has been kept out of the City side by the likes of David Silva, Bernardo Silva, Kevin De Bruyne and Rodrigo.
In City's eight Premier League games this season, Foden has played only 10 minutes, when he came on as a substitute in City's 5-0 drubbing of West Ham United on the opening weekend of the campaign.
However, in a new book about Guardiola's side, Pep's City: The Making of a Superteam, the Spanish manager has backed Foden to be a huge success at the club in the future (h/t David F. Sanchidrian of AS):
"He is the only player that can't be sold under any circumstances—the only one. Not even for €500 million. Phil's going nowhere—Phil is City. We won't be signing anyone else for that position. When David Silva leaves, we know exactly who our new magician will be.
"He's grown up with us. He's one of us, and he's going to be brilliant—one of the Premier League's best. One thing is clear: Foden has a place in City's first team. I'd be interested to see if a different manager would have given him his chance to develop or loaned him out."
Guardiola has been forthcoming in his praise, but he has not given Foden regular game time, as the England youth international has only started three Premier League games in his fledgling career:
Sam Cunningham @samcunningham
In the list of most mins played in the PL by players aged 19 years & 164 days, as Phil Foden is today 🎈, Rooney is top, Owen 2nd. Sterling & Ferdinand make the top 10. Foden is 196th. Will he keep letting Guardiola apologise for not playing him? Column: https://t.co/37pZFBlNci
Jadon Sancho is often held up as an equivalent to Foden.
Also 19, the London-born winger left City in 2017 because of a lack of opportunities under Guardiola, and he has since stablished himself as a key player in Borussia Dortmund's first team:
Guardiola has consistently backed Foden to become a star, and he even recently apologised for not playing him enough. However, he will soon have to reward him with game time or else Foden may leave the club.