Manchester City will not stand in Bernardo Silva’s way if he insists that he wants to leave this summer, but they will demand their full valuation of him is met, 90min understands.
Silva was keen to leave City last summer for Barcelona, but the club stood firm and told the Portugal international he would not be allowed to leave this season.
Barcelona also came calling in January, but again City insisted that he would remain part of their squad until this summer at least. Now, the Catalans are ready to return ahead of next season to try and get Silva once more – if he pushes for the move as expected.
Pep Guardiola has long made it clear to all his players that he does not want anyone to stay if they do not wish to play for the club, no matter who they are. City have shown that in recent years allowing the likes of Leroy Sane, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Gabriel Jesus to leave the club.
City sources insist that same would be true of Silva, despite his importance to the team – if he wants to leave, he can. But the former Monaco star is under contract until 2025 and any club wanting him will have to pay his market value, which 90min understands is seen at around £75m.
Paris Saint-Germain are huge fans of Silva and are ready to make a move. Yet it is clear that if he does decide to leave the Etihad Stadium, he only has eyes for one club and that is Barcelona.
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However, Barcelona are keeping eyes on more than just Silva. They are keen on a number of players this summer, including fellow City midfielder Ilkay Gunodgan, who has the added benefit of being available as a free agent if his contract runs down – 90min has already reported that an agreement is close even though City are holding onto hope a new deal could be agreed.
But despite pushing for Gundogan and Silva, Barcelona’s priority signing is still Lionel Messi. They are working hard to put together a deal, which also needs to be ratified by La Liga, who refused to do so with previous contracts for the likes of Gavi and Ronald Araujo.
Barcelona are confident of finalising a deal for Messi, as well as resolving other issues. But, to pursue a deal for Silva, they are going to have to raise funds. That means player sales and whilst they could cahs in on Frenkie De Jong and Ousmane Dembele, it does highlight that a Silva transfer is going to be difficult to pull off in the circumstances.
It is understood that if Barcelona are not able to agree terms, Silva won’t otherwise push to leave City and will stay in Manchester. Indeed, City sources have also not ruled out tying him to a new deal, if a switch to Camp Nou does not materialise.
On this edition of Talking Transfers, part of the 90min podcast network, Scott Saunders, Graeme Bailey & Toby Cudworth discuss Chelsea’s likely appointment of Mauricio Pochettino, the carnage at Tottenham and Harry Kane’s next steps, David de Gea and Harry Maguire’s Man Utd futures, Lionel Messi’s impending Barcelona return & more!
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