Frenkie de Jong transfer swap deal emerges after Xavi’s public transfer admission

Barcelona want to sign Bernardo Silva from Manchester City this summer and it has been suggested that Frenkie de Jong may be on his way to the Etihad in a swap move

Barcelona have reactivated their interest in signing Bernardo Silva – with speculative suggestions that Frenkie de Jong may be offered to Pep Guardiola’s side to help facilitate the deal.

Portugal international Silva has been on Barca’s wanted list for over a year with boss Xavi Hernandez confirming they wanted a deal last summer, which did not come to fruition. Silva has since become a key transfer target for PSG, who are looking for a player of that profile to replace Lionel Messi.

City boss Guardiola has repeatedly refused to sanction Silva’s exit despite the player’s keenness for pastures new. The playmaker played a pivotal role in the club’s successes last campaign but he has made no secret internally that he was open to a move away from the Etihad.

The Premier League champions will not want to allow Silva to leave but they have sanctioned the exits of Leroy Sane, Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko, among others, when they have made clear their intention was for a transfer.

In a recent interview with Mundo Deportivo, Barca boss Xavi once again name-checked Silva in a list of players he admired and would be keen to sign. The context of his quotes suggest that the former Monaco star was not being singled out – and should not be taken as definitive – but it is a clear sign of the admiration.

“I look at De Bruyne, I look at Bernardo Silva, (Marco) Verratti…,” said Xavi when asked about which players in particular he admired in midfield. “I follow these players who are top in the position that was mine. They ask Busi (Sergio Busquets) who he thinks were the best now in his position and he named Rodri and (Martin) Zubimendi. From there, there is nothing more to talk about.”

A fresh report in Mundo Deportivo outlines how Barca transfer chiefs met with agent Jorge Mendes, with his client Silva one of the names on the table. Yet any transfer fee would be highly prohibitive for the Catalan club – who do not have the financial firepower to strengthen this summer.

Indeed, that has led to reports highlighted by Football Espana 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. Even if this was the case, such a deal would be fraught with complications.

Just a year ago, Barcelona agreed a deal to sell De Jong to Manchester United but the player rejected the move because he had no interest in leaving the Catalan capital – where he is reportedly the highest earning star, hence Barca’s openness to cashing in on his talents.

That would be a deal that theoretically may suit both clubs as Barcelona could attain the player Xavi is demanding while City will be aware of his eagerness to leave while securing a top talent in return – but it should be taken with a pinch of salt right now.

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