If reports are accurate, it would appear that Bernardo Silva is mulling over the offer of a new Manchester City contract, according to The Times. The Spaniard has continually been linked with a return to La Liga with champions Barcelona, but his chapter at the Etihad may not be over just yet.
Silva remains under contract with the treble winners until the end of the 2024-25 campaign, but the club are keen to tie him down to end transfer speculation over his future. City boss Pep Guardiola is keen for the player to stay on, and Silva himself is pondering over whether to extend his stay or not.
The 28-year-old has also been attracting interest from Paris Saint-Germain, who are keen to add stellar names to their squad given the departure of Lionel Messi, whilst Kylian Mbappe and Neymar are both desperately to leave the football club, ironically to go to Spain with Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively.
Early indications suggest Silva is edging towards signing the new deal, with the contract offer coming from the club earlier in the year. He played an integral role in helping the club win the Premier League, FA Cup and UEFA Champions League last season.
I feel this is a sensible decision from City to try and keep him at the club. My reasons why can be found below:
Bernardo Silva New Contract: A team player
In most of the major footballing teams you will get certain individuals that loves all the attention and kind of demands it as well. It is perhaps normally the out-and-out goalscorers that enjoys the accolades that come their way, whilst other are happy to go about their business, just performing their best. Silva will give his all for the team to ensure they win.
Above that, he regularly provides the kind of output that Guardiola wants exactly from him. At times he played in some unfamiliar positions last season, and Pep knows he can get Silva to do that job because of the type of character he is. He has filled in at left back on occasions, whilst also doing a good defensive job when playing on the right side and having to track back.
Bernardo Silva New Contract: Fits the style
If Silva didn't already play for Man City, then he is just the kind of player that Guardiola would be looking to sign. He just oozes class when on the ball, similar to that of what David Silva contributed over many years with the club. Bernardo is slightly different, but he ticks so many boxes that the Man City recruitment team would undoubtedly be looking for when aiming to add to this talented roster.
Being able to transition and be fluid in a system are key attributes required to be a success in a Pep squad, and Silva can do that with ease. He is not fixed to one position and will happily go in search of the ball in deep areas, or find space in and around the final third. The Spaniard has a habit of scoring big goals as well, including a brace against Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League last season.
Bernardo Silva New Contract: Proven
Similar to the point above, Silva knows how to play the way Pep wants his teams to perform, but another big positive for Silva is that he understands the league. Many new players can take time to settle into new surroundings, into a league which is played a high pace, sometimes coming as a shock to the system. The way Silva plays the game, he dictates proceedings at his own pace, a very unique quality to have.
Even to sign players not necessarily proven at the very top of the game can be an expensive business these days, so it would surely be in the best interests of City to retain his services. Trying to add a top attacking midfielder would set the club back in excess of £100million, especially if it is someone to come straight into the team. Financially the club has to be careful, especially given the investigation around them and the need to comply with FFP.
Bernardo Silva New Contract: Not easily replaced
A slight continue from the point above in that Silva offers such a specific role to Man City that there won't be many players out there that can be a similar job. It is similar to the case of Kyle Walker, with whom I think City are right to try and keep him at the Etihad. With Silva, he is just the type of player that someone like Pep knows he can get a lot out of, and get a top performance in return.
There are no obvious standout names across football where City would target to replace someone like Silva. As mentioned, he ticks a lot of boxes for the type of player they look for, and with him understanding how they play and being proven in this league, it makes more sense to keep him than try to replace him. That day will come one day of course, but at 28 Silva is certainly not on the downgrade.
To conclude, City want to keep him and Silva himself is now warming to the prospect of penning an extension. The lure of Barcelona can be tough for Spanish players especially to resist, but for now, he would be signing a new deal with the best team in world football, as things stand.