Manchester City are already gearing up for crunch talks with star midfielder Bernardo Silva to sort out his future plans after he expressed a desire to leave the Etihad for Spain the last two summers.
Barcelona are keen on the 28-year-old although no formal bids have been tendered yet and City are eager to determine if their star is still intent on leaving the club at the end of this season. Both the Premier League-winning club and manager Pep Guardiola want Silva to remain at the club. He has two-and-a-half years remaining on his contract.
Straight off the cuff after joining from Monaco in 2017, Silva has proven to be one of Guardiola’s best signings and a regular fan favorite but has admitted in recent weeks that while he ‘loves’ Manchester, he does harbor a yearning for the Iberian culture he badly misses.
Both the club and player have appreciated the honesty in previous discussions and there is a realisation that they will need clarity early on this term.
Talks with Silva, expected to take place over the coming months, will go some way to dictating City’s strategy in the summer transfer window as they are still on the lookout for a full back but are expected to make a significant investment into the midfield area.
Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham has admirers at City – particularly after an eye-catching display in the Champions League earlier this month – although a host of elite clubs, including Liverpool and Real Madrid, are vying for his signature.
Sporting director Txiki Begiristain is drawing up a list of a few potential replacements for Silva, while captain Ilkay Gundogan’s contract expires at the end of the campaign.
Gundogan, impressive since assuming the armband from the departed Fernandinho, has previously refused to rush decisions on his future.