FC Barcelona have received a huge transfer blow if reports from well-informed ex-SPORT and Relevo journalist Toni Juanmarti are accurate.
According to Juanmarti, Bernardo Silva is willing to extend his contract with current club Manchester City, who are working on “a very important renewal proposal”.
Silva is attracted by the prospect of joining Barca the Catalan journalist explained, and he asked City for a few weeks in case a reasonable offer came in for him from the Blaugrana which has thus far failed to materialise.
With the English football season starting this weekend, however, and City taking on Arsenal in the Community Shield on Sunday, Silva has reportedly realised he “must be realistic”.
In an update on his report, Juanmarti added that City have never wished to sell Bernardo, whose current terms expire in 2025.
Even so, their Abu Dhabi owners made a promise to the player that if a fair bid comes in for him from Barca and they can find a replacement, his exit would be negotiated out of respect for everything that Portuguese has done for the Mancunians since joining from Monaco in 2017.
On Friday, SPORT reported that cash-strapped Barca were preparing a package of €65 million plus €10 million in add-ons for Silva that would probably fall short of City’s asking price considering they have already reportedly knocked back a €80 million offer from Paris Saint-Germain.
Later that afternoon, though, Silva’s City manager Pep Guardiola appeared to give the green light to the potential operation by saying: “I don’t want any players who don’t want to be here. I want to work with guys who want to stay.
“But we need a proper offer, we didn’t… If they want him, they’ll get on a plane and speak to our sporting director…,” the former Barca boss then trailed off.
If 29-year-old Silva does indeed commit his future to the Sky Blues, however, it seems as though he will never don Blaugrana with president Joan Laporta pushed to focus on other attacking midfield targets in an area of the pitch head coach Xavi Hernandez wants strengthening ASAP.