Guardiola will allow ‘important’ Man City star to join Barcelona this summer, but it’s not Gundogan
Manchester City ‘will not stand in Bernardo Silva’s way’ if he insists he wants to leave this summer, according to reports.
The Portugal international was keen to join Barcelona last summer, who once again came calling for him in January. But, Guardiola insisted he would remain for this season at least.
However, it now seems that the Man City manager has had a change of heart, and will now allow Silva to leave the Etihad if he so desires.
This is according to 90min, who claim the attacker will not be prevented from leaving this summer.
They note that Guardiola has ‘long made it clear’ to his players that he does not want anyone to stay at Man City if they don’t want to. This is evidenced by the departures of Gabriel Jesus, Leroy Sane and Oleksandr Zinchenko.
Although, the Cityzens will not let Silva leave cheaply. He is under contract until 2025, so they will demand his full market value, which is thought to be in the region of £75m.
READ MORE: Liverpool to leave Guardiola fuming as raid for ‘wonderful’ Man City star predicted, with Klopp favourite to be ousted
Man City could struggle to replace Silva
Despite Guardiola’s policy of not forcing players to stay at Man City, they could find it difficult to replace Silva.
Since joining the club in 2017, he has made 298 appearances across all competitions – scoring 53 goals and making 58 assists in the process.
During that time, Silva has helped his team to four Premier League titles, an FA Cup and four League Cup victories.
The only trophy he hasn’t won with Man City is the Champions League, which he has a great chance of securing this season.
Guardiola is certainly under no illusions as to how important he is to his team, either.
In an interview in April, the manager said: “Bernardo is a football player.”
“What does it mean? He will play everywhere, every position, even left back, everywhere because he understands the game in every action Bernardo has the ability to read the game.
“But Bernardo is such an important player, especially in these type of games, he can play holding midfield, he can play false nine. We need this type of player. And lately he has scored a lot of goals. He always lacked that a little bit.
“He is a player if you say play in this position, you don’t have to say anything else, he understands everything. Understands everything.
“From my point of view, I was lucky as a manager to have incredible, outstanding players at Barcelona and Munich. He is one of the best players I ever trained in my life. Ever. He is something special, a special football player.”
Barcelona, PSG favourites to land Silva
As mentioned, Barcelona have been admirers of Silva for a long time. After the Catalan’s January approach was blocked by Guardiola, Silva was reportedly adamant he wanted the opportunity to join them this summer.
The only problem with their interest, though, is their lack of available transfer funds. Due to this, manager Xavi is likely to be limited to mostly signing out-of-contract players.
Ilkay Gundogan, for example, has been heavily linked with a switch to the Camp Nou. But, it now seems Man City are poised to offer him a new contract – with his current deal set to expire in June.
With that in mind, Barcelona would need to sell players before they can afford to sign Silva permanently.
However, as per 90min’s report, Paris Saint-Germain are also ‘huge fans’ of Silva and are ‘ready’ to make a move.
There is clearly no shortage of interest in Silva, so it seems likely he’ll leave this summer. The only question is if Barca can afford him and if not, whether or not he will agree to join PSG.
READ MORE: End of an era at Man City as PSG line up four-time Prem winner and two others face ruthless Guardiola axe
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