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Real Madrid 'leading five-club race for key Manchester City midfielder'

Real Madrid 'leading five-club race for key Man City midfielder'
© Reuters
Real Madrid reportedly lead the likes of Arsenal and Barcelona in the race to sign Manchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva this summer.

Real Madrid are reportedly at the head of the queue to sign an integral Manchester City midfielder who played a key role in Los Blancos' progression to the Champions League semi-finals.

After a 1-1 quarter-final second-leg draw at the Etihad saw the two continental behemoths level at 4-4 on aggregate, the dreaded spot kicks would be required to decide both sides' European destinies last week.

Bernardo Silva was the second to step up for Man City after Luka Modric's effort was saved, but the Portugal international failed to deceive Andriy Lunin with a weak attempt down the middle, as the Ukrainian stood his ground and caught the ball with ease.

Carlo Ancelotti's side ultimately progressed 4-3 from the spot as Mateo Kovacic also fluffed his lines, but Silva atoned for his midweek error in Saturday's FA Cup semi-final with Chelsea at Wembley.

After the Blues had wasted a glut of chances to take the lead, Kevin De Bruyne's ball across the box deflected off Djordje Petrovic's boot and found Silva, who crashed in at the back stick to send the holders through to the showpiece match.

Manchester City's Bernardo Silva celebrates scoring their first goal on April 20, 2024© Reuters

Real leading five-team chase for Silva

The former Monaco man's strike was his 66th from 348 appearances for Man City since 2017, during which time he has also registered 61 assists and established a reputation as one of Europe's most gifted midfielders.

However, Silva's desire to leave Man City has been known for some time, and even though he extended his contract until 2026 last year, his deal apparently includes a £50m release clause.

According to the Daily Star, as many as five revered teams are keeping a close eye on Silva's situation this summer, but Real Madrid are currently leading the race to prise him away from the Etihad.

Despite interest from Arsenal, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich, the 29-year-old is supposedly pining for a move to Spain, leaving Real Madrid and Barcelona as the only two candidates for his signature.

Barca's long-running financial problems means that the reigning Spanish champions cannot afford to trigger his buyout clause, though, so Real Madrid are the most well-positioned to sign him ahead of the summer window.

Luka Modric to leave to make room for Silva?

Real Madrid's Luka Modric pictured on December 17, 2023© Reuters

Los Blancos' reported pursuit of Silva will naturally add fuel to the fire surrounding the future of Modric, out of contract this summer and now playing a bit-part role at the Bernabeu.

The 38-year-old has started just 13 games in La Liga and three in the Champions League during the current campaign, where Toni Kroos, Federico Valverde, Aurelien Tchouameni and Eduardo Camavinga have been preferred in midfield.

With Kroos believed to be on the verge of signing a new deal, and Dani Ceballos extending his stay until the summer of 2027 last year, the signs are pointing towards a parting of the ways between Modric and Real this summer.

Ancelotti suggested that Modric's time in the Spanish capital could be coming to an end ahead of this weekend's El Clasico with Barcelona, admitting that the Ballon d'Or winner would not accept being a bench player for the rest of his career.

Silva's arrival at the Bernabeu would only limit Modric's opportunities further, and Dinamo Zagreb recently used an unorthodox method to try to lure the Croatian back to his homeland.

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