Man City star reveals Saudi temptation and makes huge transfer admission – ‘I want to return to…’

Jason Soutar
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola hugs Bernardo Silva after a win.
Pep Guardiola hugs Bernardo Silva after a win.

Bernardo Silva has revealed which club he would like to join when he leaves Manchester City and admitted he thought about moving to Saudi Arabia in the summer.

The Portuguese midfielder has been a crucial player for the Cityzens since joining from Benfica for £45million in 2017.

He has scored 58 goals and made 62 assists in 319 appearances for the Premier League giants, claiming five league titles, one Champions League, two FA Cups and four League Cups along the way.

Despite his importance to Pep Guardiola, Silva has been the subject of transfer talk over the last two years.

Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain have been the most interested in the 29-year-old and a move to the former probably would have come to fruition if they weren’t struggling financially.

And he was unsurprisingly linked with a move to Saudi Arabia in the summer transfer window.

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Silva admits that he was enticed by the big-money offers from the Middle East but says playing in a huge Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid got rid of any temptation.

“I’d lie if I said I didn’t think about the Saudi offers,” Silva told RTP, as per Fabrizio Romano.

“But what interested me was heat of a UCL semi-final, stadium going wild after scoring against Madrid or when we won the final. I didn’t want to give up on that.”

Silva has also been discussing where he would like to play when his Manchester City career comes to an end, and it is not Barcelona.

“I want to return to Benfica,” he told CNN. “If the club wants me at the time, obviously things will happen.

“I was incapable of playing for FC Porto or Sporting. It’s not going to happen.”

A current Benfica player who is being linked with a move to the Premier League is Joao Gomes.

He is reportedly a top target for Manchester United, but Silva has said he will try to convince him to join City.

Silva said: “Joao Neves in the Premier League? I think that players with quality can play in any championship.

“I see him very focused on his club, which is the most important thing at the moment, a very young player but with a very promising future ahead of him.

“For City instead of United? If I can, I will pull strings to Joao Neves to go to Man City. I’d like to see João joining City instead of Man United, of course.”

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