Manchester City are now ready to sell Bernardo Silva to FC Barcelona and have named their asking price for the Portuguese midfielder, according to reports.
Silva was Barca’s top target last summer. After the Catalans spent €158 million ($168 million) on new signings such as Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha, and Jules Kounde, however, they lacked the funds required to secure Silva as well.
Barca needed to offload Frenkie de Jong to Manchester United to make the deal happen. They reportedly accepted an €80 million ($85 million) offer for him from City’s crosstown rivals, but the Dutch playmaker then refused to move citing a lack of Champions League football at Old Trafford and an ambition to succeed under Barca head coach Xavi Hernandez as two motivating factors.
Barca therefore failed to raise the €80-100 million ($85-107 million) it was said City would accept for Silva, but their interest has never waned in the former Monaco man.
They tried to land him in the recently closed January transfer window too, and had a proposal worth a total €70 million ($74.4mn) rejected for him by his Abu Dhabi-backed employers.
With Barca president Joan Laporta and the player’s agent Jorge Mendes continuing to work on the potential operation, however, it is said that City have finally tired of the situation.
“If you want to leave, go,” sporting director Txiki Begiristain reportedly told Silva at a recent meeting according to SPORT, who say that City have opened the door to the 28-year-old leaving the Etihad.
City are also said to have named a price for Silva too – some €65 million ($69mn) that Barca may struggle to raise given their current financial predicament.
Barca have been warned by La Liga president Javier Tebas that they must shave €200mn ($212.6mn) from the wage bill ahead of 2023/2024 to stay on the right side of Financial Fair Play rules, and it is only through mass player sales that they might be able to meet City’s demands for Silva.
De Jong is now considered ‘untouchable’ at Camp Nou following his part in firing Barca to a seven-point lead at the La Liga summit, but the Blaugrana will possibly look at selling Silva’s former City teammates such as Eric Garcia and Ferran Torres to raise cash.
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