Fresh Bernardo Silva contract talks prompt Barcelona to switch Man City targets to key Guardiola man

Joao Cancelo, Ilkay Gundogan Manchester City

Barcelona are reportedly monitoring Ilkay Gundogan’s contract situation and are pondering a move for the midfielder, who has become a key man in Pep Guardiola’s engine room.

The Germany international’s contract runs out next summer. alerting a number of foreign clubs who could agree a pre-contract with Gundogan from January 2023.

Another City man Bernardo Silva remains Xavi’s top target, but Guardiola is still hopeful of agreeing a new contract for the Portugal playmaker.

With that in mind, it’s unlikely City will extend the stay of Gundogan – especially as he’s three years older.

Barcelona still have doubts over the long-term future of Manchester United target Frenkie De Jong. That has led them to keep tabs on Silva’s situation, while Gundogan has emerged as a second option for Xavi, as reported in Sport.

At this stage, the 31-year-old has yet to make up his mind over his future. And with Guardiola previously admitting that he does not want players on board who no longer want to play for the club, that could well lead to an exit – if Gundogan starts to send signals he wants to leave on a free.

A similar scenario emerged with Ferran Torres and Guardiola allowed the player to move on.

Gundogan has scored 51 goals in 263 games for City since signing from Dortmund in 2016.

During his time at The Etihad, the German has won four Premier League titles and an FA Cup. He’s also been part of a City team who have won the League Cup four times.

Fresh Silva talks in the pipeline

Meanwhile, City are said to be planning a fresh set of talks with Silva over a new contract.

The Portugal international has expressed a desire to quit City in each of the last two summers.

Barcelona continue to chase his signature, but no formal bid have ever been made.

At this stage, City want to establish if Silva will follow the same path next summer and try and force an exit. And with that in mind they want to agree a new, improved contract. Silva’s current deal runs in June 2025.

There are reports, however, that City will no longer stand in the player’s way if he does want to leave.

They will not let him leave on the cheap though, with reports suggesting that will ask for £80million.

Pep Guardiola’s men return to Premier League action on Sunday when they host rivals Manchester United.

Unstoppable Haaland returns to Premier League action

The Red Devils are coming off four successive wins. However, City are unbeaten this season and in Erling Haaland they have the league’s top scorer with 11 goals already.

The Norwegian has been flying, despite it being his first season of Premier League football. And Gary Neville claims Haaland’s attributes almost make things unfair on his competitors.

The former Manchester United defender said: “Erling Haaland is… it just looks a bit unfair.

“I remember when I watched James Bond films when I was younger and there was the character Jaws, who was about 7ft 2in.

“He used to just pick people up and chuck them on the floor, and it’s a little bit like that when you watch Haaland against strong centre-backs. You think, ‘wow, he’s just unplayable – how do you even cope with him in the box?’

“The one thing I would say is Haaland’s career at City will probably prolong his overall career, because he’s just standing there.

“The way Manchester City play, with that possession that they keep, you never really see him stretching teams, other than when they get one or two in front.”

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