Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has admitted that he cannot rule out a departure for Bernardo Silva this summer.
The defending Premier League champions have had a busy summer in the transfer window but not in the way you might expect. For many, Man City’s squad was pretty much perfect, needing only a recognised striker and that spot was filled by Erling Haaland pretty early on.
While Kalvin Phillips and Julian Alvarez have also joined, the summer was more about moving players on, particularly those far too good to be used in rotation at key points in their career who want to push on for a regular spot.
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Gabriel Jesus was the first of those to go, joining Arsenal for £45m and taking the No.9 shirt to play in his preferred role having been pushed out to the wing for the majority of last season. Raheem Sterling followed him out the door, moving to Arsenal’s London rivals Chelsea as they look to rebuild their squad, and the £50m man appears to be a big part of Thomas Tuchel’s attacking plans.
Fernandinho also left the Etihad to return to Brazil, but the third big-money departure was Oleksandr Zinchenjo joining Jesus at Arsenal for £30m, praised by Mikel Arteta for his versatility, able to play well in defence and midfield.
But they were not the only players behind linked with a move away from Man City this summer. Another name is Bernardo Silva.
The Portuguese midfielder was expected to leave Man City last summer, expressing his desire to move on, but with no deal materialising he stayed and became a key part of the club’s Premier League title win.
Playing a central midfield role, Silva created 59 chances for Man City in the Premier League, with only Kevin De Bruyne managing more at the club, while also completing 53 take-ons and 57 tackles.
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However, speculation surrounding Silva’s future has once again grown with Barcelona being earmarked as a potential destination – the Catalan club have reportedly long been admirers.
And while Guardiola would want Silva to stay, having already lost big names this summer, the Man City boss has admitted the midfielder could still leave.
“I was so happy working with Oleksandr, Raheem and Gabriel,” he told reporters.
“They were three guys with fantastic character, but sometimes the move is better for many reasons and you have to debate our path.
“The players’ desire is most important, I want people to be happy here. I would love Bernardo to stay, he is a special player, but I don’t know what will happen.”
“I want him to stay, definitely. But my answer was the same with different players last season. If a player wants to leave and the club has a good offer, it is common sense. It is nothing special; it is the reality.
“Bernardo is special, an important player, but I don’t know what will happen. As far as I know, we’ve not had an offer.”