The rumours linking Manchester City star Bernardo Silva with a move to Barcelona will simply not go away.
Despite playing a starring role in Pep Guardiola’s side last season as they won the Premier League title, the Portugal international has been regularly linked with a switch to Spain.
Even with Barcelona’s financial issues, they are clearly very keen on recruiting the former AS Monaco man, but the latest reports suggest that City have no plans to let him leave the Etihad.
According to The Athletic, City are expecting an approach from the Catalan club for Silva, but won’t budge on the €100m (£84m) valuation they placed on him at the start of the window.
They suggest that, while City appreciate that Silva is keen on a move to Barcelona, it seems unlikely that the club would sanction any sale, as replacing him with just two weeks to go of the transfer window could prove to be an impossible job.
Silva has established himself as a world-class player during his time at Manchester City, making 253 appearances in total, in which he has contributed 48 goals and 50 assists.
Last season saw the 28-year-old make 35 appearances in the Premier League for City, contributing eight goals and four assists, averaging a superb 7.27 rating from WhoScored for his performances.
This ranked him as the fifth-best performer in Guardiola’s side last season, so it is clear to see just how important he was to their success in the top flight as they took home the Premier League trophy ahead of Liverpool.
The Spanish manager is also a huge fan of the midfield maestro and sang his praises after a superb start to last season.
He said: “Now he is undroppable because of what he does on the pitch.
“Sometimes he didn’t play because he wasn’t undroppable; he was not at the level. The year we got 98 points and won the league, he was the best.
“It’s difficult to find a player like him in the world right now.”
That said, Silva has slightly relinquished that undroppable status, appearing from the bench during the opening two league fixtures, but he is still a phenomenal player for City.
With that in mind, Guardiola is perhaps waiting for this transfer saga to be over before restoring him to his starting XI. However, the manager should no doubt be delighted to hear that he won’t be allowed to join Barcelona easily. He is too important a player to let go of this summer.