Sunday, January 29, 2023

´My goal is probably a new project´ – Silva hints at Man City exit before next season

SoccerNews in La Liga 2 Jan 2023

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Bernardo Silva will likely seek a “new project” in the next few years, but he will wait until the end of the season before discussing his Manchester City future.

Since signing for City from Monaco in 2017, Silva has won four Premier League titles as well as five domestic cups, playing a vital role in Pep Guardiola’s team.

Barcelona were reportedly interested in luring the Portugal international to Camp Nou in the last transfer window, though City’s reluctance to sell ensured a move never materialised.

While Silva is focused on winning more silverware with City before the end of the season, he has refused to rule out a move prior to next campaign.

“I’m very focused on this season and it doesn’t make sense to talk about leaving because we’re in the middle of the season,” Silva told Record.

“I’ve been at Manchester City for almost six years, I have a lot of respect for the club, news keeps coming out and people know that there have been talks between me and the club and, at the end of the season, we’ll talk again to see what’s best for the two sides.

“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.”

While Barcelona appears the most likely destination for Silva, the midfielder did not hide his desire to one day return to his home country with Benfica – where he failed to become a first-team regular at the start of his career.

“My goal was to return to Benfica at the age of 32 at the most,” he said. “What do I think today? It depends on what happens next summer.

“I’m not going to lie, it’s not something I don’t think about. I think about it every year. It has always been a goal. I couldn’t fulfil my dream of playing for Benfica when I was 19, 20 years old, but I still want to fulfil it.

“Being very realistic, for me to leave Manchester City for Benfica, or to leave another great European club for Benfica… I cannot leave with two or three years on my contract, because Benfica do not have the money to pay these clubs.

“I have to go free. I’m in a difficult situation that I have to manage, but we’ll see what happens.”

Silva’s current side lost more ground in the title race on Saturday, drawing 1-1 against Everton as Arsenal extended their lead at the summit to seven points by beating Brighton and Hove Albion.

Silva is hopeful City can claw back that deficit, while a first Champions League title is also a key target after they lost the 2021 final against Chelsea.

“I’m focused on winning more titles for City,” Silva explained. “We want to win the league again.

“We have a competition that we have never won and that is a great objective, which is the Champions League, so we want to try again.”

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