On the one hand, Bernardo Silva’s latest transfer admission may send alarm bells ringing around the Etihad Stadium.
After asking to leave Manchester City last summer, Bernardo indicated that he is open to a ‘new project’ elsewhere before he gets too old, adding that he still dreams of returning to Benfica, preferably before he turns 32.
But Bernardo has two more years on his City contract, and by his own admission would command too high a fee for Benfica – or many other potential buyers – to afford. “It depends on what happens next summer,” he summarised.
Those comments, where Bernardo goes into detail about being 29 in the summer and preferring to start a new chapter of his career before his City deal expires, won’t come as much of a surprise.
He said: “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.
“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, or 20 years old, but I still want to fulfil it. It’s something I think about.”
Bernardo has asked to leave City before, but no suitable offers have come in, and therefore he’s said he’s been happy to honour his contract and give everything for the Blues. His situation appears to be one of mutual respect, and should someone approach City with a fair offer, then Bernardo will be allowed to leave – as Leroy Sane was, and Ferran Torres, and so were Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus and Aleks Zinchenko.