Manchester City have identified Inter Milan midfielder Nicolo Barella as a potential replacement for Bernardo Silva, according to TuttoMercatoWeb.
Speculation has been mounting on Silva’s future this summer, with the Portuguese international subject to heavy transfer interest from Paris Saint-Germain.
Barcelona are also dreaming of signing Silva, who was influential in City’s first-ever Champions League triumph last season.
However, the Catalan club’s well-documented financial crisis renders the deal impractical.
PSG are in pole position to acquire the services of the former Monaco star, although Saudi giants Al-Hilal have approached him with a lucrative contract.
Silva’s agent Jorge Mendes is also at work to broker a deal, with PSG’s footballing director Luis Campos – who unearthed Silva at Monaco – keen on a reunion.
However, Man City will not entertain anything less than €80 million as Silva is contracted at the Etihad Stadium until 2026.
The treble winners are preparing for a future without Silva, choosing Barella as his top replacement.
The Italian international has grown in stature as one of the best central midfielders in Europe, and his stellar campaign in the Champions League last season further solidified his status.
Pep Guardiola is a huge admirer of Barella, who he watched in close quarters during the UCL final between Man City and Inter.
City are willing to launch an exorbitant offer worth €120m – the same as Arsenal’s fee for Declan Rice. Inter would be unable to refuse.
The Nerazzurri have no plans to sell their star midfielder, but a lucrative bid could change their stance – as was the case with Sandro Tonali at AC Milan.
Man City are looking to wrap up the deal for RB Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol, who has undergone the first part of his medical tests with the Premier League champions.