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The 31-year-old also reveals that fellow central midfielders Javi Garcia and Jack Rodwell are settling in very well, expecting the former to adapt to the Premier League quickly

Manchester City midfielder Gareth Barry has stressed the importance of David Silva, describing the midfielder as "fantastic" to play alongside.

The Spaniard has been the subject of reported interest from Real Madrid, however, as exclusively revealed by Goal.com, the winger is close to agreeing a new five-year £200,000-a-week contract with the reigning Premier League champions.

The 31-year-old revealed how he enjoyed lining up with the ex-Valencia man last season, suggesting that they complemented each other well after getting to know his colleague's game.

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"Last year was fantastic and when you play alongside people like David Silva you get to know his game and where he likes to receive the ball," Barry told the club's official website.

"Playing with players like that can make your job so much easier, so you can bounce off other players sometimes and it can be good for you and them."

Javi Garcia and Jack Rodwell have been brought into City's midfield and Barry is happy with the added competition, praising the pair for settling in well at the club.

"Javi and Jack already seem to be settling in well,' he added.

"I know Jack better because he's an English guy and been playing in the Premier League for a few years and he's a great addition to the squad.

"I think he's done really well in the first few games he's played and he seems to have bedded in nicely. I'm sure that the longer he's here and the more games he plays, he'll get better and better.

"I don't know that much about Javi just yet but, but his English is excellent and I have done a bit of individual training with him.

"He seems like a really good player and I'm sure he'll adapt to the English game quickly."

"Nigel de Jong will be a big loss in the dressing room and to the club - if you ask the other lads they'll say the same thing"

- Gareth Barry

Nigel de Jong left the Citizens as a counterpoint to the new arrivals and Barry reflected on fond memories of the 27-year-old, who he claimed was a big character among the squad.

He recalled: "I started with Nigel and he was here on my first day and made me feel very welcome so he'll be a big loss in the dressing room and to the club – if you ask any of the other lads, they'll say the same thing.

"Unfortunately that’s part and parcel of football and players come and go at every club. We had a good relationship on and off the pitch and played a lot of games together so as I say, he’ll be missed."

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