Bernardo bombshell: City star admits he could be at Benfica NEXT SEASON

Peter Staunton
  • 18 Mar 2024 13:22 GMT
  • 4 min read
Bernardo Silva

Manchester City treble winner Bernardo Silva has admitted he could be back with Benfica as soon as NEXT SEASON.

The 87-cap Portugal international is a Benfica homegrown talent but only made three appearances for the first team before moving to Monaco in 2014 on an initial one-year loan deal.

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A year later his spell in the Principality was made permanent for a fee of €15.75 million.

Over the next two years he became a Monaco legend, winning the French Ligue 1 title in 2017 and helping his side to a Champions League semi-final run in the same season.

Monaco put out Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City en-route to that last-four defeat by Juventus and the Abu Dhabi-backed outfit were persuaded to part with up to €70m for the playmaker that summer.

He’s been a hit with City ever since, winning five Premier League titles, two FA Cups, the Champions League and the Club World Cup among other honours.

Silva linked with Barcelona last summer

However, the 29-year-old was strongly linked with a move to Barcelona last summer and were it not for the Catalans’ financial struggles then he could have been playing for them already.

It didn’t work out with Silva later inking a new City contract, valid until 2026, with a reported €50m release clause.

This term he’s netted nine goals and provided five assists across 36 matches in all competitions.

Speculation on his future has refused to go away with further links to Paris Saint-Germain always bubbling away in the background and the midfielder added to the intrigue while speaking to Portuguese television at the weekend.

Silva is in his homeland ahead of Portugal’s friendlies against Sweden and Slovenia next week and gave an interview to SIC in which he confirmed his intentions to return soon to his boyhood club.

"Is there still a long way to go before returning?” he asked.

“I think people are already a bit tired of that question. There have been times when it felt closer..

“I'm certain I will return, I don't know when, it's difficult to put a timeline on it and say if it's in two years, in three years, or next year with Roger Schmidt.

“But I've said it several times and I think people even get tired of hearing it: without a doubt it's a career and life goal to return to Benfica."

Benfica manager Schmidt has been under intense scrutiny by Portuguese media this season, and Bernardo was reluctant to pour further fuel on the flames, suggesting he could be working under the German next season.

"You put me in a difficult position,” he said. “On one hand, you ask me to return to Benfica and on the other you ask me to speak badly of Benfica's coach. Imagine if I return next year and he's my coach? It can't be.”

Players like West Ham's Lucas Paqueta and Wolves' Pedro Neto have been mentioned as potential replacements for Silva in next summer's transfer window.

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