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March 14, 2017
AS Monaco star and reported Chelsea transfer target Bernardo Silva is said to have come close to signing for Barcelona last summer. Elsewhere, former Fulham striker Leroy Rosenior has advised Celtic starlet Moussa Dembele to spurn the Blues in favour of Arsenal.
According to Catalan outlet Mundo Deportivo (h/t Calciomercato.com’s Edo Dalmonte), Barcelona would have signed Silva during the summer of 2016 had Arda Turan been sold, freeing up the cash needed to bring the Portugal international to Catalonia.
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Marca (h/t Dalmonte) recently linked Real Madrid, Manchester United and the Blues with Silva, who has positioned himself for a big move to a top club this summer with a sensational season in Ligue 1.
The 22-year-old has been the driving force behind Monaco’s record-setting attack, and sports writer Mohammed Ali thinks he’s a shoo-in for Ligue 1’s Player of the Year award:
Mohammed Ali @mohammedali_93
Monaco already 3-0 up at the break. Bernardo Silva might as well pick up the Ligue 1 player of the year trophy. Mbappe YPOTY
3/5/2017, 8:57:47 PM
Silva has long been regarded as a top talent. He rose to prominence in 2013, when he guided Portugal’s under-19 team to the semi-finals of the European Championship and made a huge impression on scouts.
A move to a major club was expected, but Silva shocked everyone by leaving Benfica for Monaco in 2014―first on loan―rather than a Premier League or La Liga giants.
It’s safe to say that decision has paid off―Silva will have his selection of top clubs in the summer and will likely cash in.
Here’s a look at some of his highlights:
Silva’s versatility―he’s a natural fit in the centre of the park but plays many of his minutes out wide―would make him an intriguing target for Chelsea manager Antonio Conte, who loves using his attackers in a variety of roles.
Elsewhere, former Fulham star Rosenior has told bwin (h/t Daily Star‘s Alex Harris) Dembele should target a move to Arsenal over Chelsea for the next step in his development:
To me, Arsenal are the perfect club for his next step.
He needs Premier League competition to really showcase what he can do.
He’s quick, strong and a lethal finisher and has all the attributes to play in the best league in the world.
He knows London but to be honest, if I was him, I would avoid Spurs, Chelsea and West Ham and go to Arsenal – a club that develops players.
Dembele played for Fulham last season before making the switch to Celtic, where he hit the ground running and quickly established himself as one of the top young forwards on the British Isles.
Here’s a look at what he’s been up to in Scotland:
His great form has already led to plenty of transfer rumours, and for the sake of the 20-year-old’s development, he may be better off moving to a league with more competition.
Dembele is not expected to leave Celtic after just a single season, however, no matter how badly the likes of Chelsea and Arsenal want to add him.