Strong Silva to miss Abu Dhabi trip, Guardiola confirms
David Silva will miss Manchester City's training camp in Abu Dhabi as the midfielder spends time with his prematurely-born son, Pep Guardiola has confirmed.
Silva has been sporadically absent for Premier League matches as he regularly returns to Valencia to be with his family.
The midfielder will be available to face Stoke City in the Premier League on Monday but will not travel with the squad to Abu Dhabi, with Guardiola taking advantage of a break in City's schedule next weekend, his side having been knocked out of the FA Cup by Wigan Athletic in the fifth round.
And the Catalan explained how Silva is keeping himself fit during a difficult time in the influential player's personal life.
"He's just strong. We've said many times family is the most important thing," Guardiola told reporters.
"He wants to be here but sometimes he needs to go back and see his son – he's doing well – and his wife.
"But of course, he knows he has to train. At the beginning it was okay but it's a long time without training – you cannot play good.
"He trains alone in Valencia when he goes there. For the game against Basel he decided to go to Valencia but he came back on Thursday to train and he will be ready to play against Stoke City.
"When we go to Abu Dhabi he will stay here and in Spain because, again, family is the most important thing.
"Hopefully he can solve [the situation] as soon as possible, his lovely kid can grow and grow back at home and he can stay with us all days."
COMUNICADO OFICIAL: pic.twitter.com/8Ooaef92ro— David Silva (@21LVA) January 3, 2018
Silva is considered one of the greatest players in City's history, playing a key role in Premier League title triumphs in the 2011-12 and 2013-14 seasons.
"I said many times last season he is the guy who has a lot of technical skills," Guardiola said.
"The league is so complicated because of the physicality, the conditions, the pitches – many reasons. And he survived as one of the best players in England over the last decade.
"It's a long time here and he is playing at a high level. We were so happy to have him extend his contract and to spend the next seasons with him. It means a lot.
"He is a huge competitor, one of the hugest competitors I've had as a football player. He's a short guy, he doesn't speak too much but on the pitch, the moment he is there, wow.
"He is a guy, especially in the bad conditions, who never hides. If the game is not going well he makes a step forward and that is so important."