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Bernardo Silva confirms desire to leave Manchester City

Bernardo Silva confirms desire to leave Man City
© Reuters
Bernardo Silva reveals that he is keen to begin a "new project" away from Manchester City, amid interest from the likes of Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and Benfica.

Manchester City playmaker Bernardo Silva has revealed that he is keen to begin a "new project" away from the Etihad Stadium.

The 28-year-old has been an important cog in Pep Guardiola's machine since joining the Citizens from Monaco in the summer of 2017.

Silva has scored 50 goals and registered 56 assists in 275 appearances for City across all competitions and has won a total of 11 trophies with the club, including four Premier League titles.

However, the playmaker's future at the Etihad has been questioned over the last 18 months and Barcelona boss Xavi is said to be an admirer of the Portugal international.

The Catalan giants failed in their pursuit to recruit Silva in last summer's transfer window, but they are allegedly still determined to acquire the services of City's No.20 in 2023.

Bernardo Silva in action for Manchester City on August 13, 2022© Reuters

Silva is under contract at the Etihad until June 2025, and although he remains focused on the current campaign with City, the playmaker is open to seeking pastures new in the near future.

Speaking to Portuguese news outlet Record, Silva said: "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.

"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."

Paris Saint-Germain were also credited with an interest in Silva over the summer, but the Lisbon-born attacker has aspirations of returning to boyhood club Benfica, where he began his career.

"Going into a new project at the age of 29, I'll only finish this contract probably at 34," Silva added. "If you ask me: what did you think 10 years ago? My goal was to return to Benfica at the age of 32 at the most. 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."

Manchester City's Bernardo Silva celebrates on July 23, 2022© Reuters

Silva joined Benfica's academy at the age of eight and spent 11 years in their youth system before making his professional debut as a 19-year-old in October 2013.

The playmaker only featured three times for the senior team before he was snapped up by Monaco in 2014 on an initial loan deal that became permanent a year later.

Silva, who has featured 24 times for City in all tournaments so far this season, remains an important player under Guardiola and he is hoping to help steer the club all the way to Champions League glory for the very first time later this year.

Should City decide to part ways with Silva next summer, the Citizens may consider stepping up their interest in Borussia Dortmund and England midfielder Jude Bellingham, who faces an uncertain future with the German club.

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