5 Things about Bernardo Silva
Monaco playmaker Bernardo Silva is undergoing a medical at Manchester City as manager Pep Guardiola looks to get some transfer activity done early following a disappointing first season at the club.
Here are five things about the £50million-rated midfielder that you may not have known.
1 Similar name, similar type of player
The 22-year-old will not be the only Silva on the teamsheet when he arrives at the Citizens as he will link up with namesake David. The Spanish midfielder has been at the Etihad for seven seasons and he is a firm fans' favourite - and it will take a lot for the new signing to get on the same level as the World Cup winner. However, the Portuguese player has similar traits to David Silva, with a cultured left-foot, a low centre of gravity and a dribbling ability that will haunt opposition defences. Silva also has an eye for a pass with nine assists in Ligue 1 this season to support that notion and could be a natural successor to the ageing Silva in the 'number 10' position.
2 He was a European Under-21 Championship runner-up in 2015
Silva was one of the shining lights in Portugal's journey to the European Under-21 Championship final in Prague and opened the scoring during his side's 5-0 rout of Germany in the semi-finals of the competition, before they fell to a 4-3 penalty shoot-out defeat to Sweden in the final following a 0-0 draw. Three players in the starting line-up that day were Inter Milan midfielder Joao Mario, Sporting Lisbon midfielder William Carvalho and Borussia Dortmund defender Raphael Guerreiro and the trio all went on to taste European Championship success with the senior team one year later in France.
3 He won a significant award three years ago.
The attacking midfielder joined Benfica as an eight-year-old and eventually progressed through the youth system before he made his debut for Benfica B in the second tier of Portuguese football in 2013. Seven goals in 38 league appearances in his first season earned him Segunda Liga Breakthrough Player of the Season, impressive considering current Portugal internationals Goncalo Guedes and Andre Silva have won the award in the two following campaigns.
4 He has already made a big-money move
Silva had only made one substitute league appearance for Benfica's senior team before he headed off to Monaco for a season-long loan during 2014/15. It proved successful as he made 42 appearances in all competitions in his debut season, scoring nine goals and his standout performances saw the Principality club pay more than £13million for the then 20-year-old.
5 Jorge Mendes is his agent
Many believed the playmaker would join Manchester United when he left Monaco, due to the links with 'super-agent' Jorge Mendes - who has manager Jose Mourinho as one of his clients. The Portuguese agent also has current Red Devils goalkeeper David De Gea and defender Marcos Rojo on his books - but Guardiola won the battle for someone who impressed him during Monaco's 5-3 loss in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final clash.