SILVA IN CITY’S BAG

Guardi­ola now af­ter Monaco’s Mendy as man­ager pre­pares to splurge on re­in­force­ments

New Straits Times - - Sport -

MANCH­ESTER City made a se­ri­ous state­ment of in­tent on Fri­day by land­ing Monaco midfielder Bernardo Silva for £43 mil­lion (RM236.5 mil­lion).

Silva, the highly rated 22-yearold, jet­ted into the North West to com­plete a med­i­cal and put pen to pa­per on a five-year con­tract with French and Por­tuguese sources claim­ing the fi­nal cost could rise to £60 mil­lion.

And it is learnt Pep Guardi­ola is now set to launch a bid for Monaco left-back Ben­jamin Mendy as City look to com­plete sig­nif­i­cant pieces of trans­fer busi­ness early this sum­mer.

Monaco — who en­joy a strong re­la­tion­ship with City — have set a price of around £39 mil­lion for Mendy.

Guardi­ola has long been an ad­mirer of Silva, but was par­tic­u­larly en­thused by the 12-cap Por­tu­gal in­ter­na­tional af­ter the first leg of Fe­bru­ary’s Cham­pi­ons League tie with Monaco.

The Cata­lan is pri­vately thought to have been ef­fu­sive about his per­for­mance at the Eti­had Sta­dium and in­sis­tent Silva should quickly head to City.

The nim­ble play­maker of­fers Guardi­ola even more op­tions go­ing for­ward and is likely to play from the right or even cen­trally where City al­ready boast Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva.

The 22-year-old, who in­tends to take the No 20 shirt next sea­son, told the club’s of­fi­cial web­site: “It feels great. To be hon­est I’m now at one of the best teams in the world. To be part of this club and to have this op­por­tu­nity is great.

“I’m very happy to be part of Manch­ester City’s team and I look for­ward to try­ing to do my best to help the team reach their goals.

“Of course when you have the op­por­tu­nity of be­ing trained by (Pep) Guardi­ola, you don’t say no. If not the best coach in the world, he is one of the best.

“As we all know, what he did in Barcelona and Bay­ern Mu­nich was amaz­ing and we ex­pect also here that he will win ti­tles. It’s great to be work­ing with him and to have this op­por­tu­nity.”

A deal for Tot­ten­ham right­back Kyle Walker re­mains in the off­ing, and the pair could link up to dev­as­tat­ing ef­fect in an area Guardi­ola was con­cerned with dur­ing his first sea­son in charge. Monaco’s Fabinho is an­other op­tion in that po­si­tion.

Mean­while, Yaya Toure is ex­pected to sign a fresh one-year con­tract, with both camps thought to be con­fi­dent of thrash­ing out a deal.

Toure was side­lined by Guardi­ola in the open­ing weeks of the sea­son but has been one of the club’s star per­form­ers since re­turn­ing to the fold.

The Ivo­rian claimed last week­end that he hopes to re­tire in Manch­ester — and looks set to stay for an­other cam­paign, with Fer­nando on his way out. Daily Mail

Bernardo Silva is set for a five-year con­tract with Manch­ester City.

Ben­jamin Mendy (left) and Yaya Toure.

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