Why Man Utd, Liverpool and Real Madrid hope Bernardo doesn't join Barcelona

FT Desk
  • FT Desk
  • 29 Sep 2022 08:49 BST
  • 3 min read
FT Desk 29 Sep 2022 08:49 BST 3 min read
Bernardo Silva, Man City, 2022/23

Bernardo Silva stayed at Manchester City this summer despite interest from Barcelona, but the Portugal midfielder hasn't given up on a move back to the Iberian peninsula. That could be bad news for Manchester United, Liverpool and Real Madrid.

City slapped a €95 million price tag on Bernardo in the summer - something that proved to be outside of Barcelona's range after they had already spent more than €150m on Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha and Jules Kounde.

But Barca have now announced a profit forecast of €274m for 2022/23, and their new-found budget is matched by Bernardo's desire to play for them. "I want players to be happy," City coach Pep Guardiola said in August. "Of course I want Bernardo to be here, but I don't know what's going to happen."

One thing that's certainly going to happen if Bernardo moves is that City's transfer budget will swell, making the €93m Borussia Dortmund will reportedly accept - in one instalment - for Jude Belingham, well within their reach.

Haaland influence

Erling Haaland is good friends with Bellingham from their time together at Dortmund, and in between plundering 11 Premier League goals at a rate of one every 52 minutes, he has been sounding out his former teammate about joining him again at the Etihad.

This is, of course, bad news for other potential suitors like Manchester United, Liverpool and Real Madrid. United spent €80m on Real Madrid Casemiro this summer but the feeling remains that they want an injection of youth in their midfield having missed out on Barcelona's Frenkie de Jong.

Liverpool have struggled with injuries to midfielders Thiago Alcantara, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, meanwhile, with the loan deal for Juventus's Arthur Melo seen as further evidence that they had a more permanent deal for Bellingham lined up next summer.

Real might boast one of the most fearsome midfield's in world football, meanwhile, which was bolstered this summer by the €100m arrival of Aurelien Tchouameni from Monaco, bit Luka Modric and Toni Kroos are 37 and 32 respectively, and both out of contract in the summer.