Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has effectively opened the door to Bernardo Silva to leave the club and join FC Barcelona.
The Portuguese is Barca’s remaining top transfer target after the Catalans managed to land the likes of Raphinha, Robert Lewandowski and Jules Kounde in the current window.
Through his agent Jorge Mendes, it is believed that Silva has already agreed personal terms with the Catalans who could land him for a fee between €80-100mn ($82-102mn).
And when asked on the 27-year-old’s potential departure in a press conference on Friday, the former Barca legend seemed resigned to losing his midfielder.
“What happens will happen, and if he stays it is perfect and in the end if he has to leave it is because football is like this; the player has a desire,” Guardiola began.
“I will not be a person to stop a desire for the people. When you are a football player it is so short, you don’t realise and it is nearly over. The player will have to talk to the club and I have never ever been involved in that.
“Sometimes for the club, sometimes for the players, sometimes for the agent, sometimes you have to divide our path,” Guardiola went on.
“Especially the desire of the player is the most important thing. Of course I would love Bernardo to continue here, he is a special player for us. But I don’t know what is going to happen.”
“We still have lots of days until the end of the month,” the Catalan pointed out on the window in general, which closes on September 1.
“We will see. There are a lot of players all around the world and a lot of them can fit in perfectly the way we are as a team, but at the same time transfers are always difficult.”
Before that important date, on August 24, City and Barcelona will meet in a fundraising friendly at Camp Nou as a tribute to ex-goalkeeper and coach Juan Carlos Unzue, who suffers from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
Whether Silva will be dressed in sky blue or Blaugrana, however, remains to be seen.