‘We Won’t Pay €80M’ – Barcelona Chief Responds To Transfer Talk

Laporta Xavi

Getty Xavi with Barcelona president Joan Laporta.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta has offered an update on the club’s transfer plans amid continued speculation the Catalan giants are interested in signing Bernardo Silva from Manchester City.

The club chief spoke to SER Catalunya program Què T’hi Jugues, via Marca, about interest in Bernardo Silva and played down talk of a move for the Portugal international, saying “We won’t pay 80 million for Bernardo Silva.”

The Man City midfielder’s father has confirmed talks took place over the summer but says a move did not happen because “the time was no longer right for all parties involved,” as reported by Mundo Deportivo.

Bernardo has since sparked more speculation about his future by telling Record he could by tempted by a transfer away from the Premier League champions in search of a new challenge.

“I’m 28 years old, I’ll be 29 in the summer, and I have two more years on my Manchester City contract,” he explained. “My contract would end at 31. 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.”

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Xavi Wanted Bernardo

Barcelona coach Xavi was interested in signing Bernardo in the summer transfer window but a move failed to materialize as the club brought in Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha, and Jules Kounde instead.

There was speculation Barca were willing to sell Frenkie de Jong to finance a deal for Bernardo but the Dutchman made it clear he was not interested in a move and wanted to stay.

Xavi spoke about Bernardo during the transfer window and said he knew the only way the Portugal international could arrive would be if there were high-profile exits.

“You never lose hope, but honestly it is going to be difficult,” he told a press conference back in August 2022. “It’s not an easy situation, there has to be exits on our part. It’s really difficult, really difficult.”

Barcelona To Move For Neves Instead?

Barcelona now look unlikely to sign Bernardo but could move for Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves intead. The Portugal international has already made it clear he would be happy to play for the Catalans.

Laporta talked up Neves but stopped short of revealing whether the club would be making a move for the midfielder who is valued at around €40 million.

“[Ruben] Neves is a great player, but this is part of private conversations,” he said. “Busquets will not last forever and there are internal discussions to find him a guaranteed replacement. Frenkie de Jong can play in this position, but it won’t be enough with just one player. This will be decided by Xavi.”

Finding a replacement for Busquets, who has won every major title available during his stellar career, will certainly not be an easy task. Barcelona will also find it harder due to the financial contraints the club are currently working under.

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