Manchester City

Manchester City

Premier League • England

Guardiola encourages mega Man City offer for midfield star to replace completely different player

Inter midfielder Nicolo Barella, Man City star Bernardo Silva and manager Pep Guardiola

Inter midfielder Nicolo Barella could replace Bernardo Silva at Man City

Man City could make a substantial offer for Inter midfielder Nicolo Barella after he impressed them in the Champions League final, according to reports in Italy.

Barella was on the losing side last month when Man City completed the treble by lifting the Champions League trophy. Nevertheless, the Italy international has caught the attention of Pep Guardiola and his transfer team.

According to Tuttomercatoweb, Man City are ‘in love’ with Barella and could make an ‘indecent’ offer for him.

Inter have the midfielder under contract until 2026, but every player has a price. It recently became apparent when they had to cash in on goalkeeper Andre Onana to Man Utd.

Now, Inter could lose a key player to the other Premier League club from Manchester. However, in order to sell Barella to Man City, they will be aiming to receive a similar (or superior) fee to the one Arsenal spent to sign Declan Rice from West Ham.

In other words, Man City would need to bid somewhere in the region of €120m (just under £104m) for Barella.

But there is a belief that Barella would be a perfect fit for the new system Guardiola has been implementing for Man City. Therefore, the 26-year-old could well be worth pursuing.

That said, Man City withdrew their own bid for Rice when Arsenal took things beyond the nine-figure barrier. It remains to be seen if there would be different parameters for Barella.

Barella seen as Silva replacement by Man City

Interestingly, the report claims he has been identified as the ideal replacement for Bernardo Silva, who is a major target for Paris Saint-Germain.

So far, PSG’s offers for Silva have been insufficient. But if they return to the table with an acceptable bid, Man City will have a void to fill in their squad.

Barella – who has also been linked with Liverpool by other sources – could be the man to address the issue, even if the report acknowledges he is a different style of player to Silva. Indeed, Barella is a box-to-box midfielder, whereas Silva is an advanced playmaker or winger.

But given how Guardiola has transformed the Man City setup in recent months, there seems to be logic behind their interest in Barella.

Besides, Man City have already said goodbye to Ilkay Gundogan, a more similar player to Barella, after he went to Barcelona on a free transfer. The addition of Mateo Kovacic from Chelsea, though, has already addressed that void.

Whether Man City really need to spend a huge sum on Barella, regardless of his talent, could be called into question, then.

But they have ensured they have plenty of depth in other areas of their squad, such as their defence, which means it wouldn’t be a complete shock if they did try to sign another highly-rated option for their midfield.

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