Cole Palmer has made a huge impact at Chelsea since joining from Manchester City (Picture: Getty)
Desperate for a more concrete guarantee of regular first team football, however, Palmer sought clarification from his now former manager following the signing of Jeremy Doku.
The 21-year-old was met with a surprise ultimatum with Guardiola informing him he would have to either remain and fight for his place, or leave on a permanent basis.
‘Initially I didn’t want to leave,’ Palmer told MailSport.. ‘I said I would go on loan and play for a year so I was ready for first team football more because I didn’t play a lot of minutes [last season]. But then Pep said “you’re either staying or you’re getting sold” and, so yeah, I just got sold.
‘I was a bit confused why they wouldn’t let me go on loan but [then] I said I wanted to go to Chelsea and I’m glad it’s turned out the way it has.’
City’s loss has emphatically been Chelsea’s gain, with Palmer delivering a series of outstanding displays that suggest Guardiola has made a rare error of judgement.
With eight goals to his name already, Palmer looks well set to force his way into Gareth Southgate’s squad for this summer’s European Championships.
While a host of expensive recruits have failed to live up to their price tags at Stamford Bridge, Palmer already looks like a bargain at just £42million and is playing with a confidence that belies his lack of first team experience.
‘I just like to always have the ball, try and make things happen,’ he added. ‘When the team is struggling a bit I just liked people to turn to me to try and do something.
‘That pushes me and the manager says “be free, express your abilities. Do what you do.” From young, I feel like I’ve scored important goals, even throughout the academies. I’ve always liked that.
‘I know my abilities and stuff but for it to go like this has surprised me,’ he says.
‘Obviously things can change so fast but hopefully this continues.’
For more stories like this, check our sport page.
A rare mistake from the Man City boss.