Manchester City star Bernardo Silva still wants to leave the club this summer and would be allowed to go if his representatives can bring in a good offer for the 26-year-old.
News of Bernardo’s desire to leave City first surfaced earlier this summer, with a host of City players thought to have grown dissatisfied over their role in the squad.
City cruised to the Premier League title in 2020/21, largely thanks to squad depth that allowed them to keep players continually fresh in a way that others clubs couldn’t do. Only Ederson, Ruben Dias and Rodri started more than 30 Premier League games, but keeping players happy in such a setup is proving to be a difficult task that Pep Guardiola and club officials must now address.
Bernardo doesn’t seem to be the only one. It has been reported since the end of the club season that Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus, Aymeric Laporte, Riyad Mahrez, Joao Cancelo and even Rodri could seek to leave. Rodri was basically an automatic starter for much of the campaign but was benched for both the Champions League semi-final second leg and the final itself.
Bernardo was City’s player of the season during the 2018/19 title-winning campaign and has remained a very popular figure with fans. But he only started 23 of 34 Premier League appearances in 2019/20 and then started 24 of 26 Premier League appearances in 2020/21.
Barcelona were linked with a move last summer and The Athletic now writes that everything was actually in place for it to happen. The player is said to have had his heart set on a move to Camp Nou to the point where he was left ‘crestfallen’ when it fell apart late on.
After four years with City, he remains ‘keen on a change of scenery’ and it is not believed that the club will stand in his way. Their stance on the matter is said to be similar to how it was with other recently departed players like Leroy Sane, Nicolas Otamendi and Danilo, whose agents were informed that their client can go if they can find a club willing to make a good offer.
One option recently rumoured to be on the table regarding Bernardo is a swap deal with Atletico Madrid that would see central midfielder Saul Niguez head in the opposite direction.
Saul is known to be ready to leave Atletico and such a deal could negate the need for a buyer to come up with around £60m for Bernardo at a time when most clubs are struggling financially because of the effects of the pandemic.