Joan Laporta makes statement on Barcelona pursuit of Bernardo Silva

Barcelona president Joan Laporta has ruled out spending a large transfer fee to sign unsettled Manchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva.

Silva has been one of City’s most important players during a concentrated period of success since a £43.5m move from Monaco in 2017.

During that time, the Portuguese has won four Premier League titles and five domestic cups in five and a half seasons. He was also named City’s player of the year for 2018/19 and has twice been in the PFA Premier League team of the year – most recently last season.

But Silva, now 28, has been reconsidering his City future since 2020. The former Benfica talent first became unsettled during the first UK Covid-19 lockdown, admitting he felt ‘alone’. Despite success on the pitch, it seems he has never quite managed to shake his uneasiness off it.

“I’m 28 years old, I’ll be 29 in the summer, and I have two more years on my Manchester City contract. My contract would end at 31. I won’t hide that my goal in the coming years, if something good happens elsewhere, will probably be to move to a new project,” he told Portuguese publication Record in a telling recent interview.

Barcelona are the club that have been most consistently linked with Silva throughout the last few years and he has been close to leaving City in the past.

90min understands that the Catalans remain interested in pursuing Silva in 2023 and have made him a top target once more. However, any approach would depend on it being financially possible.

Fast forward to now, Laporta has stressed the importance of the finances at play, declaring that Barça will not part with bucketloads of cash to sign the player, who signed a six-year contract in 2019.

“We will not spend €80m to sign Bernardo Silva from Man City, that’s for sure,” he told Cadena SER, before also fielding a question on star striker Erling Haaland: “He’s playing for Man City now – we have Lewandowski in that position, Robert is doing great.”

Barça coach Xavi has previously said of Silva: “I love him as a player. He understands everything and has an amazing ability to make decisions. He’s a very important player for Pep [Guardiola] and he makes a difference on the pitch.”