Barcelona did not give up on signing Bernardo Silva from Manchester City, even if the England champions imposed a heavy price on the Portuguese midfielder.
Barcelona have already lost €160m to players this summer, led by Robert Lewandowski, Ravenha and Jules Conde, while Andreas Christensen and Frank Kessie have been freely acquired.
But Barcelona coach Xavi is a big fan of Bernardo, and considers the midfielder to be the last piece in the jigsaw as he looks to build a team capable of winning the Champions League this season.
Can Pep convince Bernardo Silva to stay? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/kbVx9sBRz8
Football Transfers (Transfersdotcom) August 5, 2022
“You never lose hope, but it’s difficult,” said the Blaugrana coach after Barcelona’s 3-3 friendly draw with City. “It’s complicated. We only have a few days left. [from the end of the transfer window]. We should have players leaving as well.”
Barcelona were in debt over €1 billion when Lionel Messi lost to PSG last summer, but by activating “leverages” – selling a percentage of future revenue in exchange for now liquid capital – they have been able to be active in the transfer market.
They have also sold Philippe Coutinho, Francisco Trincao (on loan) and Oscar Mingusa for €26 million, and have €57 million to shop for. Obviously this will not be enough to sign Bernardo, but Barcelona are optimistic about canceling a number of other players before Thursday’s deadline.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is close to a €25m move to Chelsea, while Memphis Depay could make another €10m with a move to Manchester United. Sergino Dest, Martin Braithwaite, Miralem Pjanic and Eze Ebady are all set to sack, making Bernardo’s move financially feasible.
There is also the possibility that Frenkie de Jong will move to Manchester in a partial exchange. Barcelona have tried to keep the Dutchman off their books all summer, and Bernardo’s ball-bearing image makes him the perfect candidate to replace him tactically.