Monaco playmaker Bernardo Silva has agreed to terms with Manchester City ahead of a £43million move to the Etihad Stadium. Silva, who will pen a five-year-contract, is set to undergo a medical ahead of his imminent move after the midfielder flew into Manchester Airport on Thursday night.
The Portugal international has attracted the interest of top European clubs, including City’s rivals Manchester United, after a stellar season in the French principality. The 22-year-old, who will join City on 1 July, said: I’m now at one of the best teams in the world. Silva has made 58 appearances for Monaco this season – including two against City in the Champions League – scoring 11 goals and 12 assists.
He said the chance to work with Pep Guardiola influenced his decision. ‘Of course, when you have the opportunity of being trained by Guardiola, you don’t say no,’ added the playmaker, who has played 12 times for Portugal, scoring once. ‘If not the best coach in the world, he is one of the best.’ Guardiola’s City finished third in the Premier League this season, securing Champions League football next year.
He began his career at Benfica, where he impressed for their B side in the Segunda Division, and in the summer of 2013, he went to the Under 19 European Championships where he was named in the top 10 talents by UEFA reporters after helping Portugal to the semi-finals of the competition.
He moved to Monaco in 2014 on a season-long loan move having made three appearances for Benfica’s first team – but so impressive were his displays in France, the deal was made permanent six months into the agreement. Silva’s guile helped them finish third in Ligue 1 and reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League, where they beat Arsenal in the last 16 after a brilliant first-leg victory at the Emirates put them in a commanding position.
On the other hand, now it looks as though the midfielder is set to bring his attacking threats to the Premier League next season with Guardiola looking to get the deal over the line early. The City boss is also interested in bringing in fellow Monaco players Fabinho and Benjamin Mendy to bolster their defense next term. Guardiola began his summer clear-out on Thursday by announcing that Bacary Sagna, Willy Caballero, Jesus Navas and Gael Clichy will all leave the club.