Manchester City

Manchester City

Premier League • England

Hugely influential Man City kingpin reacts to Barcelona, Saudi Pro League links to leave Pep Guardiola smiling

Bernardo Silva and Julian Alvarez of Man City

Bernardo Silva and Julian Alvarez applaud Manchester City fans

Manchester City playmaker Bernardo Silva has reacted to continued speculation that he could join Barcelona or move to the Saudi Pro League in the very near future.

The 29-year-old only penned a new deal at The Etihad over the summer but there have still been rumours of him leaving his options to explore a new opportunity if one presents itself.

It was well-known that there was interest from Saudi clubs over the summer in the Portugal international, while PSG have also enquired about his availability in the past.

However, Barcelona remains the likeliest destination for Silva, if he ever decides to end his near seven-year stay at City.

Barca boss Xavi remains a big fan of Silva’s and is keen to get the attacking midfielder on board. However, the financially-hit LaLiga outfit have had issues trying to get a suitable package together that could make a move happen.

And while Silva continues to play a pivotal role for Pep Guardiola’s men, he insists his focus is purely on trying to help the club win even more silverware.

Speaking ahead of City’s Club World Cup semi-final against Urawa Red Diamonds on Tuesday, he was asked about Barcelona at the start of a press conference in Jeddah but insisted his focus remains on City and winning a remarkable fifth trophy in 2023.

“The first question I’m not going to answer, that’s not the point here, my focus is on Manchester City and winning a very important competition,” he said.

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Silva dials down on Saudi move talk

Later in the press conference, links to the Saudi Pro League were also raised after their unprecedented spending spree last summer.

Silva was very much in the mix to move to the Middle East, where former City stars Aymeric Laporte and Riyad Mahrez are currently plying their trade with Al-Nassr and Al-Ahli respectively.

However, Silva appeared to belittle the Saudi Pro League with his reaction to potentially joining his old teammates.

He added: “For now I’m focused on Manchester City, happy playing in European football at, in my opinion, the highest level, so I’m not thinking about that.”

If City get through against Urawa Red Diamonds they will face Fluminense in the final on Friday after the Brazilian side beat Al Ahly in the other semi.

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