Transfer Talk: City star Silva wants Nou challenge at Barca
Manchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva has reportedly given the green light to a move to Barcelona.
The Portuguese international, 27, is key player for Pep Guardiola’s Premier League champions but there continues to be speculation over his long-term future.
Silva was supposedly ready to leave the Etihad last summer before putting in another excellent personal campaign to help City defend the title.
Yet fresh reports are once again claiming he is seeking a new challenge elsewhere, with Spanish outlet Sport suggesting he has told agent Jorge Mendes he wants to join Barca.
It is said the Blaugrana are similarly keen on City’s No20, though facilitating a deal looks to be difficult at this stage.
Silva’s contract at the Etihad does not expire until 2025, with Guardiola seeing the creative maestro as a major part of his plans.
Often starting his side's biggest games last term, the Lisbon native managed 13 goals and seven assists in 50 appearances.
And while the Spanish boss has reiterated Silva’s importance, he has previously admitted he will not keep players who do not want to be at the club.
The 51-year-old said: "I think he will stay. But as I have always said, since my time at Barca, I don't want players that don't want to be there.
"What I can say is that Bernardo is very important to us."
City have slapped an £86million asking price on the former Monaco man — a fee which could prove impossible for the cash-strapped Catalans to meet.
While they hope City may reduce that figure by £34m, boss Xavi is apparently ready to offload SIX of his players in order to raise more funds.
A separate report from Sport says Samuel Umtiti, Clement Lenglet, Riqui Puig, Neto, Oscar Mingueza and Moussa Wague have all been told they have no futures at the club.
In other news
Transfer guru Fabrizio Romano says Juventus will complete moves for Paul Pogba and Angel Di Maria next week.
The departure of Juve defender Matthijs de Ligt to Chelsea could be edging closer, with CBS Sports claiming the Serie A giants have lowered their asking price for the Netherlands international.
Meanwhile, the Mail say the Blues also expect to agree a deal to sell winger Hakim Ziyech to AC Milan.