Manchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva is pushing for a move to FC Barcelona’s bitter rivals Real Madrid despite remaining the Catalans’ main transfer target this summer, according to a report.
The Blaugrana splashed out €158mn ($167mn) on new signings ahead of this season but fell short of landing Silva.
Whether they could come in for the Portuguese international or not was said to depend on Frenkie de Jong leaving for City’s crosstown rivals Manchester United.
Though Barca reportedly accepted an €80mn ($84.8mn) offer for the Dutchman in mid-July, De Jong refused to move citing United’s lack of Champions League football and a desire to succeed under head coach Xavi as his main motives for staying put.
Barca therefore failed to raise the €80-100mn ($84.8-106mn) it was believed City required to let go one of their star players, who has continued at the Etihad on a mission to win his fifth Premier
SPORT reports on Tuesday that Silva remains Barca’s top target ahead of 2023/2024 despite La Liga president Javier Tebas warning them they must shed €200mn ($212mn) from the wage bill.
Meanwhile at El Nacional, however, it said that Silva is now gearing towards a move to Real Madrid and has asked his agent Jorge Mendes to start negotiating with their president Florentino Perez and arrange a potential switch.
While it is still unknown whether Madrid are interested in Silva, they are in need of another winger and more experience in midfield where the likes of Toni Kroos and Luka Modric could soon be stepping down.
Recent injuries and suspensions suffered by Pedri and Gavi respectively have shown how Barca can be found wanting in the center of the park, and how they could have done with Silva in their recent exit to Manchester United in the Europa League.
If this can be done by offloading unwanted players, Barca would do well to try and get their house in order and then prioritize a move for Silva, who is clearly looking for a way out of northwestern England.