The biggest bid in the summer will be for Kylian Mbappe and should Tiemoue Bakayoko or Benjamin Mendy leave Monaco, he would come at an exorbitant fee, close to the £45m Tianjin Quanjian offered for Radamel Falcao back in January. Dmitry Rybolovlev, does not necessarily need to sell players to keep the club running.
But if there is a player Monaco will not be willing to let go of, and who would add more value to any club he chooses to move to, it is none other than Bernardo Silva. The 22-year old midfielder is an integral part of the Monaco team. When he mans the game, then Monaco can be menacing just as Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur have discovered this season.
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has been a huge fan of the Portuguese for a long while now and he currently tops Mouinho’s wish list this summer. City, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus have also indicates interest in securing the services of Silva, whose asking price would be set around £60m at the least.
What caught Mourinho’s attention is the fact that Silva, apart from his vision and his precise technique in small spaces, is also a very hard worker. This is why Mourinho prefers to have Silva play the wide area at Old Trafford next season, knowing he would be able to measure up to players like Henrikh Mkhitaryan and also chip in more defensive work.
His exceptional work-rate which sets him apart from all other number 10s in most of big European clubs has produced good result this season.
His appearance in the 2013-14 season became inconsistent at Benfica, the club where he first emerged, and in August 2014, just days before his 20th birthday, he was loaned out to Monaco on a one-year deal.
Leonardo Jardim had just moved to Monaco that summer because of his blemish free record with the young Portuguese players at Sporting CP, and he was more drawn to Silva because of his style of play. Silva broke into the first team in his debut season but Monaco were working on keeping him permanently, a feat they later achieved for €20million in January 2015. In his second and third year in the principality, Silva became indispensable, taking over from his compatriot Joao Moutinho in terms of creativity.
This season, Jardim has played a powerful 4-4-2 form with Silva backing up from the right, finding spaces, decision making, disrupting defenses with his left foot. With two pacey full-backs including Mbappe playing behind him, there is lots of action in front of Silva. He has notched nine goals and 12 assists this season and is more likely to win the UNFP’s player of the season award, ahead of the other nominees Marco Verratti, Alexandre Lacazette and Edinson Cavani.
There are not many Midfielders who can command the level of creativity Silva commands, at just 22 years old and with three years’ experience in a top club in the Champions League. He is a player most top clubs would want in their side, which is why he will not come off cheap. But with the club getting more closer to the Ligue 1 and Champions League trophy this season, his time at Monaco is far from over.