Tactical Insights

FC Barcelona Gives Up Chase On Transfer Target

FC Barcelona has given up chase on one of its main transfer targets since 2022 according to MARCA and SPORT, who cited anonymous sources.

Bernardo Silva is President Joan Laporta’s white whale.

In the summer transfer window of the mentioned year, he tried to land the Portuguese but the move was ultimately scuppered because of Frenkie de Jong’s refused to leave.

Barca had spent up on the likes of Raphinha, Robert Lewandowski and Jules Kounde after Laporta pulled his famous ‘economic levers’.

The Catalans’ chief accepted an offer of $91 million from Manchester United for De Jong according to The Athletic, but the Dutchman turned down the opportunity to be reunited with his former Ajax boss Erik ten Hag at Old Trafford while a desire to play Champions League football unavailable there at the time, and succeed under Xavi Hernandez, were cited as reasons for this.

Barca was linked to Silva on either side of windows that followed, and it has been no exception in 2024.

A release clause of $63 million said to be in Silva’s contract would have been pocket change for the Blaugrana in its pre-pandemic, pre-economic crisis days.

But the reality is that it still too much money to raise for an outfit that is labouring to try and return to the 1:1 rule under Financial Fair Play limits and needs to rely on player sales to do so.

June 30 is a key date in more ways than one. It’s not only the end of the financial year for Barca, but also when Silva’s clause expires.

When that happens, Manchester City is under no obligation to negotiate a sale with anyone for a player whose contract was renewed last year and expires in mid-2026.

That doesn’t mean City and Barca won’t have business to discuss elsewhere however.

Ahead of next term, which Xavi’s successor Hansi Flick will oversee from the dugout, Barca wants to make the loan deal of City right back Joao Cancelo permanent.

This should cost something between $27 million to $32 million for a player who famously fell out with City tactician and Barca legend Pep Guardiola.

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