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Cole Palmer was asking to leave Manchester City for two years before Chelsea move

Palmer was asking to leave Man City for two years before Chelsea move
© Reuters
Pep Guardiola reveals Cole Palmer had been expressing his desire to leave Manchester City for two years prior to his move to Chelsea last summer.

Pep Guardiola has revealed that Cole Palmer had been expressing his desire to leave Manchester City for two years prior to his move to Chelsea last summer.

The 21-year-old attacker, who came through City's academy, made his breakthrough into Guardiola's team in 2020 and opted to make the £42m move to the Blues at the start of this season.

Since then, he has netted 20 Premier League goals, placing him level with Erling Haaland in the race for the Golden Boot. He is also set to feature for England in the upcoming European Championship in Germany.

The Citizens were knocked out of the Champions League in the quarter-final by Real Madrid on penalties in midweek after the tie ended 4-4 on aggregate.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola on April 3, 2024© Reuters

Guardiola admits he could have given Palmer more playing time

When asked if he had any regrets about Palmer's departure, Guardiola responded, "I don't know. He was an exceptional player during his time here. I've mentioned it many times before, perhaps I didn't give him the minutes he deserved, and now he's getting them at Chelsea. I completely understand.

"He's a shy guy with a lot of potential. It is what it is. He's playing fantastic so what can I say? The decision has been made for many reasons."

The City boss also indicated that he wanted to retain Palmer over the summer, especially after the departure of Riyad Mahrez to Al Ahli in July.

"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 because Riyad [Mahrez] is gone, but for two seasons he wanted to leave."

Chelsea's Cole Palmer celebrates scoring their fifth goal on April 15, 2024© Reuters

Palmer thriving at Stamford Bridge

The 21-year-old is now in contention with his former teammate Phil Foden for the PFA Player of the Year award following his remarkable debut season at Stamford Bridge.

The England international made 25 appearances in all competitions for Man City last season, but he started just two of his 14 Premier League outings.

Palmer will face his former club this weekend when Chelsea take on Manchester City at Wembley Stadium in the FA Cup semi-final on Saturday afternoon.

Guardiola suggested that Kevin De Bruyne will be available for this weekend's showdown despite being substituted during the midweek match against Los Blancos. However, Haaland's availability is in doubt and he will be monitored ahead of the game after he was also taken off against Real Madrid.

Man City are currently in the driver's seat in the Premier League standings with 73 points after 32 games, two points clear of both Arsenal and Liverpool in second and third place respectively.

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