Bernardo Silva’s father has revealed his son received an offer to leave Manchester City during the summer transfer window.
The Portuguese playmaker has been heavily linked with Barcelona for several months.
The Catalan club spent around £137million in the transfer window despite their colossal amount of debt.
They managed to bring in Chelsea targets Jules Kounde and Raphinha from Sevilla and Leeds United respectively.
Barcelona also signed Robert Lewandowski from Bayern Munich for £40m as well as Marcos Alonso and Andreas Christensen from Chelsea, Hector Bellerin from Arsenal and Franck Kessie from AC Milan, all on free transfers.
Bernardo Silva did seem like the one who got away; the final piece of Joan Laporta and Xavi’s puzzle, if you will.
Manchester City do not tend to stand in the way of players who want to leave. For example, Ferran Torres, who joined Barcelona in January.
It was a summer full of similar sales for the Premier League champions, with Oleksandr Zinchenko and Gabriel Jesus joining Arsenal and Raheem Sterling signing for Chelsea.
Having said that, City do like to hold out for their initial asking price when embroiled in negotiations with another club.
Speaking last month, Bernardo told ESPN: “It’s a big club, and they don’t want players who are not happy at the club. They always say to all of us that if you’re not happy, you can go.
“Of course, they are in business and they want the right amount of money for letting us go, but personally it’s a relationship with the club that is very respectful.
“They have always been honest with me and I have always been honest with them.”
It is believed that City wanted €100m (£86.68m) to sell Bernardo to Barca.
Gerard Romero reported on deadline day that the La Liga giants had made one last attempt to sign a ‘secret player’, who was later revealed to be Silva.
And the player’s father has discussed the summer his son has just endured.
“There were a lot of talks, but no concrete offer was made at the times we thought were right,” Paulo Silva reportedly told Stats Perform (via Barca Universal).
“When it arrived, we realized that it was no longer the right time for all parties involved.
“Things have to happen rationally and it was not the ideal scenario for Bernardo.
“He is a mature player, he is 28 years old. Things should be done rationally, not emotionally “
It would be very surprising if Silva’s father was speaking about an offer from a club other than Barca, considering the lack of rumours linking the player with a move elsewhere.
Furthermore, this all but confirms that Barca did make an attempt to lure Bernardo to the Nou Camp on the last day of the transfer window.
Romero was claiming that ‘things were hot’ and ‘stuff was happening’ as club president Laporta was tipped to pull a rabbit out of his hat.
It did not quite work out that way. Amusing.
Barca won’t go away, however, as they plan a fresh assault in 2023.
This is according to Spanish newspaper Sport, who say the Catalan club will try to sign Silva next summer.