Kyle Walker has reportedly been given assurances over his Manchester City future from boss Pep Guardiola despite a turbulent few months off the pitch.
England international Walker feared he would be given the chop this summer with Guardiola plotting a complete overhaul in defence.
City have already captured Bournemouth’s Nathan Ake in a £41million deal and plan to bolster their defence further before the new season begins next month.
Walker, 30, had been facing an uncertain future at City after the club reprimanded him for flouting lockdown regulations by hosting a £2,000 sex party with escorts.
The right back was forced to make a public apology after it came to light but just weeks later broke rules again three times in 24 hours by travelling from his house in Prestbury, Cheshire, for a party at his sister’s house in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, before visiting his parents’ home in Sheffield and then going for a bike ride with a friend.
Fans were angered by Walker’s actions as it came just days after he had urged people to obey lockdown rules with some even writing to the club to complain about him, but City have now guaranteed the player that he remains an integral part of the club’s plans going forward.
According to The Sun, Guardiola has grown closer to Walker in recent months and has told him that he has no intentions to replace him for next season and that his first-team place is safe.
Walker opened up on his mental health troubles back in May after addressing his controversial behaviour around breaching Government rules.
Since football has returned, the former Tottenham defender has been in fine form on the pitch and recently helped Guardiola’s men overcome Real Madrid to reach the Champions League quarter-final against Lyon on Saturday.
City boss Guardiola is still hoping to bring in another player in Walker’s position but only as back-up to provide competition.
Goalkeeper Claudio Bravo, meanwhile, is set to join Real Betis with former City boss Manuel Pellegrini desperate to bring him back to Spain with the promise of more regular game time on offer.