Man City: The first six fixtures of the 2021/22 Premier League
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Bernardo Silva is said to have been promised he can leave Manchester City this summer by manager Pep Guardiola. The agreement between the two figures is said to have been reached over a year ago, when Barcelona wanted to bring the Portuguese attacker to Camp Nou.
Yet a suitable offer did not arrive, meaning Guardiola was forced to dig his heels in and keep hold of Bernardo for another season.
Now the playmaker wants to try something new after winning three Premier League titles, four League Cups and the FA Cup while at the Etihad Stadium.
City are willing to let him leave as they look to raise funds for the signings of Jack Grealish and Harry Kane.
However, they would prefer a straight cash deal as Barcelona prepare a potential swap deal offer.
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According to Duncan Castles of Reach PLC’s Transfer Window Podcast, Guardiola’s private agreement is set to be used against City during negotiations with interested parties, namely Barcelona.
“In the case of Bernardo, there is an additional element of leverage from the player’s side,” Castles said.
“He asked to leave Manchester City last summer and was given to go ahead assuming an appropriate offer came in.
“Barcelona were interested in signing him that summer but the deal didn’t happen.
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“He then had a conversation with Pep Guardiola during that period I’m told in which Guardiola told him ‘if you give me another season, I will allow you to leave (in 2021).’
“Bernardo is not unhappy with Manchester City as a team even though his playing time declined last season.
“He has basically had enough of English football and the climate. He wants another league to play in.
“But he has the promise from Guardiola and his representatives are using that to secure him an exit.”
Atletico Madrid are said to have offered City Saul Niguez in exchange for the player but that proposal was declined.
In the background, Barcelona have continued to try and charm Bernardo’s entourage and he would like the move to Catalonia.
“Barcelona are interested again and have made an informal proposal to the player,” Castles added.
“They then have to get a transaction that works for Man City and satisfies their valuation.
“They value him highly and in their ideal world they would get a large cash offer from Barcelona or Atletico Madrid and they could take the money to try and sign Jack Grealish and a centre-forward.”
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