Pep Guardiola reportedly ‘promised’ a Manchester City he could leave the club this summer, as Spanish giants Barcelona and Atletico Madrid eye a deal.
Bernardo Silva is said to have reached an agreement with Guardiola over a year ago, when Barca were keen on bringing the Portugal star to Catalonia. But after a suitable offer did not materialise, City decided to keep the player for another season as they reclaimed their Premier League title.
But now the 26-year-old wants a fresh challenge. He has won three league titles, four League Cups, and an FA Cup in his time at The Etihad.
According to Duncan Castles of Reach PLC’s Transfer Window Podcast, Guardiola’s private agreement is set to be used against City during negotiations with interested parties, namely Barcelona.
“In the case of Bernardo, there is an additional element of leverage from the player’s side,” Castles said.
“He asked to leave Manchester City last summer and was given to go ahead assuming an appropriate offer came in.
“Barcelona were interested in signing him that summer but the deal didn’t happen.
“He then had a conversation with Pep Guardiola during that period I’m told in which Guardiola told him ‘if you give me another season, I will allow you to leave (in 2021).’
“Bernardo is not unhappy with Manchester City as a team even though his playing time declined last season.
“He has basically had enough of English football and the climate. He wants another league to play in.
“But he has the promise from Guardiola and his representatives are using that to secure him an exit.”
Silva swap deal proposal knocked back
Atletico are reported to have offered Saul Niguez in exchange for the player, only to be turned down.
As for Barca, they have continued to try and charm Silva’s entourage, despite their current financial constraints.
“Barcelona are interested again and have made an informal proposal to the player,” Castles added.
“They then have to get a transaction that works for Man City and satisfies their valuation.
“They value him highly and in their ideal world they would get a large cash offer from Barcelona or Atletico Madrid and they could take the money to try and sign Jack Grealish and a centre-forward.”