Man City facing Barcelona raid as Xavi eyes playmaker to replace Man Utd-bound De Jong
Pep Guardiola Confident For Man City Title Run-in
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Manchester City could face a raid from Barcelona this summer as the Catalans’ boss Xavi is eyeing Bernardo Silva to replace Frenkie de Jong. De Jong could be set to quit the Nou Camp in the coming months to reunite with his former Ajax manager Erik ten Hag at Manchester United.
Barcelona endured a dismal start to the season as they dropped down the La Liga table and exited the Champions League at the group stages. Previous boss Ronald Koeman was given his marching orders at the end of October, with Xavi coming in to replace him.
And the 42-year-old has done a stellar job during his six months at the helm. Under Xavi, Barcelona have turned their season around and have climbed to second in the Spanish top-flight courtesy of 11 wins from their last 12 matches.
Despite being dumped out of the Europa League last month, Barca chiefs will be optimistic ahead of next season. But they could be forced to delve into the transfer market if they lose De Jong.
According to Deportivo Mundo, Silva is the player Xavi wants to get his hands on if De Jong opts to pursue a fresh challenge. Portugal international Silva asked to depart the Etihad Stadium last summer to be closer to his family – and he could make the same request at the end of this season. The 27-year-old’s agent Jorge Mendes has a very good relationship with Barca president Joan Laporta – and the player is motivated by the prospect of playing for the La Liga giants.
Silva joined City from Monaco in 2017 and has appeared 249 times for last season’s Premier League champions. He has bagged 48 goals and 51 assists during his time in the north west and has been a key part of his side’s success this campaign.
The star has been a regular in the Premier League and laid on an assist on Wednesday night as his side thrashed Wolves 5-1 to take one step closer to retaining their title. And he missed just one Champions League game as City reached the semi-finals before succumbing to Real Madrid.
Meanwhile, Xavi is also said to like City’s Kevin de Bruyne, who has been one of the Premier League’s best players for the last seven years. De Bruyne found the back of the net four times against Wolves as he produced one of his finest performances in a City shirt. And Guardiola will be reluctant to let either of his midfield stars turn their backs on the club this summer.
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