Manchester United 'closing in' on first choice midfield target
Manchester United have stepped up their efforts to finalise a deal for Monaco midfielder Bernardo Silva, according to fresh reports in France.
Silva helped Monaco clinch the French league title in a season that also saw Leonardo Jardim’s side reach the Champions League semi-finals, with Europe’s biggest spending clubs now ready to swoop for some of their star names.
Teenager Kylian Mbappe has emerged as one of the most wanted men in European football after his stellar performances for Monaco this season, but it appears United manager Jose Mourinho has his eyes on his compatriot Silva as he embarks on what is certain to be a big summer of spending.
French TV station Canal+ claimed on Wednesday that United were already in advanced talks to sign Silva, who has won possession in the attacking third more times (38) than any other player in the French top flight this season.
Silva, 22, has a reported price tag of around £70m and it appears he is ready to make a move away from Monaco if the right club agrees a fee.
“I am finishing my third season in Monaco, who gave me the opportunity to play at a higher level,” he was quotes in the French media.
“But of course, every player dreams of playing for the best teams and in the best divisions one day. I’m no exception.”
However, Silva tempered his comments about a possible move away from Monaco by suggesting one of the brightest young teams in European football could flourish if they stayed together for another season.
“If everyone stays, we can do something special,” he added.
“Here, you play in the Champions League and to win trophies. It’s the very highest level. All the players are happy and want to continue. The team is young and wants to win trophies.
“We were in the Champions League quarter-final in the first season, in the semi-final this season.
“When you win, it’s easier to have a good atmosphere. But since the start, things have gone well on and off the pitch. It’s a pleasure to play at Monaco.”
Silva would appear to be the ideal fit for a Mourinho midfield, with his creativity and relentless work rate qualities that could enhance a United engine room that has lacked spark at times this season.
He would also appear to be a more suitable signing for United than Real Madrid play maker James Rodriguez, who has been heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford in recent weeks.