Manchester City

Manchester City

Premier League • England

Crucial Man City star seeking summer exit, with European giants dominating pursuit

Bernardo Silva, Ilkay Gundogan, Manchester City, January 2023

Barcelona and Real Madrid both have their eyes Bernardo Silva, who is reportedly on the lookout for a summer move, after Manchester City discussions.

Silva has been one of City’s most crucial assets for most of the time he has spent at the club. Indeed, there has only been one full season in which he has missed more than four league games.

The midfielder has racked up 281 appearances for the Citizens and has contributed to more than 100 goals.

Things have not always been plain sailing for Silva, though. The one season in which he wasn’t a guaranteed starter for Pep Guardiola led him near the exit door.

Indeed, it was reported at the time that he was unhappy with his role and wanted to leave. During that period, and even since then, Barcelona have been keen on the idea of taking him to the club.

While City have not let the star go yet, with his role improving again over the past couple of seasons, that’s not to say they wouldn’t.

Indeed, Joao Cancelo had been one of their best performing players over the past couple of seasons, but he was recently allowed to leave for Bayern Munich.

They let one important asset leave the club, so it wouldn’t be a massive shock if it happened again.

Silva wants to leave in summer

It seems the answer to the question of whether or not they would might not be too far away. Indeed, Sport relays reports that Silva has communicated his decision to leave to City in the summer.

And it’s no surprise that Barcelona, along with Real Madrid, are in pursuit. Moves to either of those clubs would be preferable to Silva, as his ‘interest’ is to play in Spain.

For Barca, while they and Real are both ‘on the lookout’, the report suggests a summer move is ‘practically impossible’ due to financial troubles.

A potential move to Real ‘will depend on how the season ends’. As such, while there is a chance the midfielder could have options, there’s also a chance neither side he’d favour a move to will pursue him.

Silva departure not end of the world

Should Silva be allowed to leave, it won’t be the end of the world for City. Firstly, given he’s still got a couple of years left on his contract, they’ll be well compensated.

A player of his quality with time left on his deal will surely bring good money. If either Barca or Real can sign him, they’ll likely be able to pay a good sum – potentially after some juggling, in Barca’s case.

For a club the size of City, they’ll be able to attract another player with similar quality to Silva. It wouldn’t be a surprise if they managed to sign his replacement immediately.

Even without doing so, they wouldn’t be in the worst spot. Phil Foden hasn’t gotten on the pitch much recently, but like Silva, is capable to play in most attacking and midfield positions.

As such, there’s a ready-made replacement at the club already before they even take to the transfer market.

READ MORE: Predictions: Liverpool, Chelsea reignite fading top-four hopes; thumping wins for Arsenal, Man Utd; deja vu for Tottenham