Manchester City are confident that Bernardo Silva will sign a new contract with the club before the end of the month, with Barcelona now switching their focus elsewhere, 90min understands.
Silva has been a long-term transfer target for Barcelona and has been hoping to leave City on an off since becoming unsettled during the UK’s first Covid-19 lockdown in 2020.
As 90min explained earlier this month, Barcelona have been working hard to make a transfer for Silva happen. Paris Saint-Germain have also held interest in the creative Portugal midfielder
Silva told City and Pep Guardiola that he wanted to leave the club last summer, at which point he was asked to stay for another season amid the possibility of being allowed to leave this year if a club was willing to meet City’s valuation – around £75m to £80m.
The player, signed from Monaco for £43m in 2017, asked to leave again as Barcelona interest returned. But City have changed their stance on the matter, having seen Riyad Mahrez and Ilkay Gundogan already leave. They told Silva that they do not want to sell him, which goes against their usual policy, of selling players who want to be sold – like Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus and Leroy Sane in recent years, due to the belief that he would be too hard to replace.
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Instead, City made it clear to Silva their intention is to hammer out a new contract as one of the club’s highest paid players alongside Kevin De Bruyne and Erling Haaland.
90min understands that City are now confident that proposed new deal will be signed before the end of the month. Talks with Silva’s representatives have been going well and his reward for accepting that the club are not prepared to sell is to become one of the top paid players in the Premier League.
In turn, Barcelona have finally accepted that a transfer is unattainable. Instead, their attention has now turned to Joao Felix, who spent time on loan at Chelsea last season.
The Portugal forward has been keen on joining Barcelona all summer and Atletico Madrid are ready to sanction a loan for a fee under €10m (£8.5m).
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