Manchester City’s star-studded squad continues to shine on in the Premier League – but such a talented squad can limit game time even for the world’s best player. And with attacking positions in such high demand at the Etihad Stadium there could be an exit in order for Bernardo Silva.
Bernardo, 27, joined City in 2017 for an initial fee of £43.5million from Monaco after reportedly impressing Spanish manager Pep Guardiola in a memorable Champions League game.
Since joining City, Silva has gone from strength to strength – winning the majority of his 61 Portugal caps whilst under Guardiola’s wing and totalling three Premier League titles, an FA Cup and four Carabao Cups.
But with Riyad Mahrez, Raheem Sterling, Phil Foden and Jack Grealish all vying for positions on the wings – and Ferran Torres and Gabriel Jesus also capable of playing out wide – it may be time for Bernardo to move on.
Arsenal have been credited with an interest in the past, with boss Mikel Arteta receiving praise from the player in the past after his stint as City’s assistant.
Bernardo tweeted that Arteta is “a great manager and person” following the Spaniard’s move in December 2019 as he sounded his appreciation for Arteta’s efforts in Manchester.
But with new comments from Guardiola, a link to Arsenal has cropped up again after it was revealed that Silva may want to leave the reigning Premier League champions.
Guardiola understands that player morale is paramount to success – and with Silva reportedly unhappy with his playing time, Guardiola admitted he could leave as a result.
“All I want is for Bernardo to be happy, here or anywhere,” Pep said to the press.
“All I want is his happiness because he’s a guy that deserves the best.
“Against Norwich he played exceptional, against Arsenal he played exceptional, Southampton played at the level of the team – that was not good.
“But how well he played against Chelsea is no surprise. How many times have we seen it? He was an incredible signing for us because he’s an exceptional person.”
Silva was instrumental in City’s title battle with Liverpool in 2018-19 – and Pep lauded praise on the Portugal international for just how well he did to win them the league.
“I never forget the second Premier League we won, with 98 points, he was the best player in England,” Guardiola continued.
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“He was nominated [for an award] but he was the best. After that season, later he dropped a little bit, he was not in the position he prefers but now he’s back and hopefully he can help us.
“If, at the end, he wants to leave and decides [to go] the only thing I can say is that the guy or the club that gets Bernardo is going to take one of the best players in the world.
“Is he happier? You cannot play in this way if you are not happy, it’s impossible.”
But if Bernardo does indeed want to move on, Arsenal may hope that they can tempt him to north London given the player clearly enjoyed working with the former City coach at the Etihad.