Barcelona are reportedly eyeing up an astonishing swap deal with Manchester City that would see Bernardo Silva make a move to the Camp Nou in exchange for Frenkie de Jong this summer.
The Blaugrana are looking to strengthen their side this summer, but are having to do so on a budget. They have already missed out on the chance to bring Lionel Messi back to Cataluyna because they could not make the numbers work, while they are also shopping in markets vastly different to that which they are used to, evidenced by their pursuit of ex-Southampton man Oriel Romeu.
They have held a longstanding interest in Bernardo Silva, who has been strongly linked with moves away from the Etihad across both of the last two summers and is thought to be keen on following former Cityzen Ferran Torres to the north of Spain should an offer come in.
Still a key part of Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City side (he made 55 appearances last season) and in the prime of his career, it is unlikely that Barcelona would be able to afford him as a straight-up purchase, and the Cityzens aren’t going to sanction a loan move.
According to the Mirror, one option could be a player exchange, which are notoriously difficult to pull off. Citing reports in Spain, they claim that ‘De Jong could be used as a way to fund the move for Silva as he could effectively be offered to City in return’, with the Dutchman having previously been valued at £75m.
There is, in an ironic twist of fate, an opening for De Jong at the Etihad too following Ilkay Gundogan’s move to Barcelona as a free agent when his contract in the northwest ended at the end of the season.
Having already rejected a move to Manchester when he was offered to Manchester United last season, he could have a change of heart working under Guardiola, but history has shown that it would take something special to get him to leave the Camp Nou.