Updated: Feb 5
Bernardo Silva has been, and still is, a fabulous player for City, but this annual transfer chatter is getting wearisome.
In a recent interview, City’s No 20 sounds as if he’s bemoaning the fact that he wants to leave the Etihad, but the likes of the crooked Catalans of Barcelona can’t afford him.
He’s a great player, totally instrumental in our success under Pep Guardiola and a genuinely nice character, but he’s contracted to City until 2025.
If he wants to go to warmer climes he has to understand that City aren’t a charity and there’d be uproar if he was allowed to go the Nou Camp in a cut price deal.
We’re not here to do favours for the corrupt b@st@rds who run FC Barcelona, but neither would Pep want to keep an unhappy want-away player.
If he is determined to leave in the summer of 2023 and someone wants to pay City’s asking price - whatever it might be £65m+ for a player who’d presumably sign a four or five year contract - then so be it.
City have offered him a bumper pay rise and new terms, but Bernardo has yet to sign a new contract and looks increasingly unlikely to do so anytime soon.
At least that’s to his credit, he hasn’t been a hypocrite and taken the money, only to agitate at a later stage.
He’s loved by the fans and City obviously want him to stay, but if he goes he has to go on the club’s terms, not simply because he wants a change of climate and surroundings.
Here’s what Bernardo is quoted as saying:
“At the end of the season, we'll talk again to see what's best. I'm focused on winning more titles for City. We want to win the PL again, we have never won the UCL and that is a great objective, so we want to try again.
“I’m very focused, it makes no sense to talk about leaving in the middle of the season. I've been at City for almost six years, a lot of respect for the club, news keeps appearing and people know there have been talks between me and the club.
“Going to a new project at 29, I’ll only finish this contract probably at 34. If you ask me: what did you think 10 years ago? My goal was to return to Benfica at 32 at most. What do I think today? It depends on next summer.
“I don’t know how long I’ll be fine. I’m 28, 29 in the summer, and two more years on my City contract. My contract would end at 31. I won’t hide that my goal in recent years, if something good happens elsewhere, will probably be to move to a new project.
“Being very realistic: to leave City for Benfica, or another great European club for Benfica, I can't leave with two/three years contract, Benfica don't have the money; I have to go free. A difficult situation, but we’ll see.
"When I was about to leave City two years ago, that'd go right, [returning to Benfica] at 32. Now it won’t. If I leave, and I don’t know, a club that pays what City want won’t give me a three-year contract, they will give me five. And it’s 34 years old..."
It all rather depends on whether or not a Spanish team or even Bernardo’s beloved Benfica want to put the money up to acquire his services.
Barca might finally sell Frenkie de Jong to United and use the fee to buy Bernardo – who knows?
Rumour has it that Benfica’s young Argentine World Cup winner, Enzo Fernández will be moving for a huge fee in 2023. Is there a deal to be done with City involving both players?
If the Argentine midfielder moves elsewhere, then Benfica can hardly plead poverty if they say they can’t afford Silva’s return to Lisbon.
By David Walker
Dedicated to a true blue City warrior, Dave Hughes – diagnosed with Stage 4 terminal cancer in 2015 but very much still here – raising thousands of pounds to help fellow cancer sufferers in Manchester.
Dave (56) set himself two targets in December – to walk 100km and raise £3,000 for Maggie’s Cancer Centre at The Christie – despite having regular chemotherapy treatment for 20 inoperable spinal tumours.
Despite the arctic like weather conditions, this incredible man covered 152km and more than doubled his fundraising target, hitting £6,602 thanks to donations from family, friends, colleagues and a fair share of fellow Blues.
I am privileged and honoured to be able to call him my friend as well as inspired by his indomitable spirit.
Twitter: @ReadButNeverRed @djwskyblu