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Manchester City bosses have been wracking their brains in a bid to come up with a suitable leaving present for David Silva.

Let's be honest, it will have to be something special because Silva has played such a pivotal role in turning the club into an elite one that became the dominant force in English football.

Silva has won 14 major trophies and represented the club with incredible distinction both on and off the field during a decade of brilliance at the Etihad.

In my opinion, the supremely gifted but humble bloke has been the greatest foreign player to ever grace our game - and will be impossible to replace once he leaves City later this month.

City like to make a song and dance when iconic figures depart. Even former manager Manuel Pellegrini was treated to a painting by LS Lowry costing a small fortune when he left in 2016 - and he had been sacked to make way for Pep Guardiola.

The problem City have is that Covid-19 has deprived them of the chance to make a fuss of Silva before he leaves.

The prospect of Silva going without a proper farewell has to be right up there with the biggest footballing travesties. Like Steven Gerrard never winning the league title.

As it stands, Silva will be invited back to the Etihad, along with his family, to attend a game once supporters are allowed back post the pandemic.

He will be able to take a lap of honour and soak up the adulation, gratitude and respect he deserves. A further tribute to him will be unveiled at the training campus.

But perhaps the greatest gift of all City could give to Silva would be the chance to lift the Champions League trophy in Lisbon on August 23.

Forget Lowry, a framed picture of Silva clutching the greatest prize in domestic football would be the most fitting addition to his vast collection of memorabilia back at his home in Gran Canaria.

Conquering Europe remains the one thing even Silva hasn't managed to achieve, but if he can it would cement his status as the club's greatest ever player.

To do this, City have to first get past Real Madrid this week in the second leg of their last 16 showdown at the Etihad.

Guardiola's men hold a precious 2-1 advantage from the first tie in Madrid and are strong favourites to reach the mini knockout tournament in Portugal.

But all the pressure will be on City and not Real. The Spanish giants have already tucked away the La Liga title and have little to lose in Manchester.

Guardiola has not won the Champions League since 2011 and despite all his greatness, has only done so twice in a span of 12 years. Zinedine Zidane won it three times in three years.

Winning the European Cup remains the Holy Grail for City's billionaire owner Sheikh Mansour. It's why he moved heaven and earth to appoint Guardiola in the first place.

But the clock continues to tick and we all know Guardiola won't remain as City boss for too much longer.

This could be their best chance to scale the footballing mountain and, with a little help from the man himself, City owe it to Silva to get him to the final and provide him with the most magical gift of all.

Staveley needs to choose her words carefully

Without a hint of shame or irony, Amanda Staveley claimed she was 'devastated' following the 'awful' news that the attempted takeover of Newcastle by a Saudi Arabian backed consortium had collapsed.

Staveley is the British businesswoman behind PCP Partners, who were involved in putting the proposed £300m deal together.

The saga might have dragged on for ages, but Staveley appears to have a poor and selective memory.

What is genuinely awful is the deplorable human rights record of the Saudis. She might feel devastated, but she won't feel quite as devastated as the families of those thousands of innocent people killed in Yemen.

Or the fiancee of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was butchered to death in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Or relatives of those people publicly executed by Saudi authorities.

This is heartbreak in a genuine and proper context - and Staveley needs to choose her words much more carefully.

She also needs to have a think about the company she keeps, because English football doesn't want or need the Saudis in it - even if it comes at the expense of Mike Ashley.

Stuart Broad - Reached the remarkable milestone of 500 Test wickets and continues to set the standards for others to follow - at the ripe old age of 34.

Brentford - A new stadium and the chance to reach the promised land after making the Championship play-off final. The future looks bright indeed.

Judd Trump - He called out Ronnie O'Sullivan and insisted he should withdraw from this year's World Snooker Championship if he has genuine coronavirus concerns. Fair play to him.

Liverpool - Chief executive Peter Moore has announced he is to stand down at the end of this month, having masterminded the club's rise to being the world's fourth most valuable brand. He will be a hard act to follow.

US Open organisers - Women's world No1 Ash Barty has pulled out of the tennis Major at Flushing Meadows due to Covid-19 fears. Expect others to follow suit.

John Stones - Manchester City's decision to sign Nathan Ake from Bournemouth in a £40m deal is seriously bad news for the defender. He needs to find a new club.