Barcelona have dropped their interest in Manchester City playmaker Bernardo Silva, according to reports in Spain.
The Catalan club were very keen on signing the Portuguese international, but could not afford to meet City’s asking price.
The Premier League champions were reportedly looking to receive a fee in the region of €80million, however, Barcelona being Barcelona, tried to get him on the cheap.
It was never going to happen given Silva’s contributions to Pep Guardiola’s side over the last five-and-a-half years.
City have never stood in the way of first-team players with a desire to leave. Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko all departed last summer.
While Guardiola and the club’s hierarchy would not kick up a fuss over an unsettled player, they also know that a valuation has to be met if they are to leave.
And this was no different for Silva, who has been integral to the Citizens’ success since joining from AS Monaco for £45m in 2017.
It was no surprise to see Barcelona register an interest and ultimately try to sign Silva last summer.
However, they will not try again in 2023, according to Spanish outlet Sport.
The report starts off by saying Barcelona have ‘forgotten about Bernardo Silva’ and is no longer being considered by the Blaugrana.
After being ‘one of the great targets in recent seasons’, the La Liga club are ‘considering new market objectives’ due to ‘the high price demanded by Manchester City’.
Silva had been open to a move, though was not actively pushing to leave the Premier League champions.
Guardiola was always ‘reluctant’ to let the midfielder leave, and City were never willing to reduce their asking price.
Another reason Barca could be against signing atheir previous top target is the re-emergence of Frenkie de Jong as an important player under Xavi.
The report does mention that Pedri and Gavi have been brilliant this year, while De Jong has improved.
Silva is ‘no longer a Barca goal’ and the club’s director Jordi Cruyff recently told Manchester United that the opportunity to sign De Jong has “passed” and that the midfielder is no longer for sale.
United tried to sign the Dutch playmaker last summer, pursuing a deal for months before changing their focus to Casemiro, who did decide to join the club.
Despite Cruyff’s reluctance to sell, De Jong’s extreme reluctance to leave – especially for United – and the player’s form under Xavi in 2022-23, there are still rumours of a transfer to Old Trafford.
A report last weekend claimed that Red Devils manager – and De Jong’s former boss at Ajax – Erik ten Hag is eager to revisit the situation when the winter transfer window opens.
Furthermore, 90min claim that Ten Hag remains interested and United could lodge another bid in January.
The Red Devils are ‘prepared to go again’ for the Netherlands international and Ten Hag is willing to be patient as he thinks the Barca man can ‘have a transformative impact on his team’, the report states.
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