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Bernardo Silva’s rumoured move from Manchester City to Barcelona continues to rumble on, despite early reports suggesting that the midfielder would be far too expensive for the La Liga giants.
Many reports have indicated that the Portuguese international is keen on a move to Spain this summer, and would request to leave the Etihad Stadium if Barcelona proposed an offer to Manchester City’s liking.
His departure would certainly be a blow to Pep Guardiola’s side, as Bernardo Silva has cemented himself as one of the most important players in the squad.
Since signing for the club in the summer of 2017, the former AS Monaco man has tallied 48 goals and 51 assists in 251 appearances, but it has been his unrelenting motor and work ethic which has made him a fan favourite around the Etihad Stadium.
Many have doubted the validity of the move however, citing Barcelona’s very public financial problems, and Bernardo Silva’s importance to the Premier League winners.
Among the list of doubters is former Manchester City full-back and Argentine international Pablo Zabaleta, who gave his verdict to Spanish outlet SPORT ahead of his participation in the Legends Trophy tournament, taking place in Barcelona.
"I think Barcelona is going to have a very difficult time (trying to sign Bernardo Silva),” Pablo Zabaleta opened.
“Right now, Bernardo Silva is a key piece for Manchester City. Unless it's a personal matter, he wants to leave (Manchester) City, and he can find a team that can deal with his clause (then he will not leave)."
The former Manchester City star continued, “(Bernardo Silva) is not a cheap player. I don't know the situation of Barça, if financially he is going to be in a position to face a signing of this (magnitude)."
“He continues to be a key piece for Pep (Guardiola). We will see how this soap opera ends this summer. I wish he could stay at City."
Recent reports will signal good news for Pablo Zabaleta’s hopes of Bernardo Silva remaining in the Sky Blue shirt.
It has been said by a variety of sources that Manchester City could be setting a price tag in the range of €80 million - €100 million for the midfielder.
If true, that could price the Camp Nou club out of the deal given their financial situation.
However, if Bernardo Silva was truly set on leaving the Etihad Stadium in the coming weeks and months, he could potentially force a move through more sinister means, as many players across the game have done in the past.
Elsewhere, Manchester City remain active in the transfer market themselves.
Etihad Stadium officials, including sporting director Txiki Begiristain continue to seek reinforcements in both of the left-back and central midfield roles in the final few weeks before the brand new season begins.
Featured Image Credit: SOPA Images Limited / Alamy