Following Barcelona right now is a strange conflict. The club name still holds a significant pull for players all around the world, and on-field success has remained with the team winning La Liga last year, yet the financial restrictions prevent Barca from acting like the powerhouse it really is. Take the Bernardo Silva situation for an example.
The link with Silva goes back over 12 months. Barca is apparently obsessed with bringing the Manchester City man to Spain and by all accounts, Silva wants Barca just as badly.
Yet the financial restrictions that have been imposed with the club over €1 billion in debt means they’re unable to throw money around and make splash signings with the carefree attitude of most Premier League clubs.
Every single move needs to be calculated and accounted for on the balance sheets. Which is the only reason that Bernardo Silva is still a City player.
Pep Guardiola was asked about Silva today and his comments actually clarify the situation for everyone involved:
"“I don’t want any players who don’t want to be here. But we need to get a proper offer, we didn’t get a proper offer. If they want him, they will get on a plane and come to meet our sporting director”"
Pep’s statement offers a lot of context
Considering it’s actually a very short statement, it actually offers a lot to unravel.
His comment on not wanting players who don’t want to be there indicates that Silva wants to join Barcelona. Not just that he’s open to the idea, or slightly interested, he is actively pushing. He’s made it clear he doesn’t want to be at City, and as such Pep is not going to beg or plead for him to stay.
In many ways, this is the attitude we’ve taken toward Ousmane Dembele. When a player decides that he wants to be somewhere else, the best thing you can do is let him go. When you’re competing for the highest honours in world football, you need everyone to be bought in.
He then confirms that Manchester City have not received a ‘proper’ offer from Barcelona, in other words, an offer they feel is fair compensation for the transfer.
We’ve heard some rumours that Barca was interested in taking Silva on loan with an obligation to buy next summer, giving them 12 months to find the financial flexibility to get him registered as a permanent transfer. However, it’s believed Manchester City want this deal wrapped up this summer.
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A proper offer is likely one that is between €60-€80 million, a sum that Barca just can’t reach at the moment. Maybe with some more outgoings, they’d be able to get there, but signing Silva is going to be extremely difficult if City are demanding a fee closer to the €80 million mark.
His last comment about meeting the sporting director clearly indicates that there is a willingness to negotiate and facilitate a transfer, as long as financially it makes sense.