Barcelona are keeping a close eye on AS Monaco playmaker Bernardo Silva, and a summer move could be in the offing

Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo have reported that Barcelona are closely monitoring the progress of AS Monaco midfielder Bernardo Silva, with the Blaugrana having the Portugal international scouted in recent Ligue 1 games.

Bernardo Silva is a midfielder whose stock has continually been on the rise in recent years. The 22-year-old is currently one of the most highly rated young midfielders in Europe, and his career has progressed to the next level ever since his permanent move to AS Monaco in 2015.

The Portuguese is now a well established member in the AS Monaco first team squad, and in 123 appearances for the Ligue 1 club in all competitions, Silva has bagged 25 goals and 14 assists. And this season, he has taken his performance a notch up, scoring 8 goals and providing 7 assists in 34 matches.

In the current campaign, Silva has been at the centre of his side’s attacking forays, with superb technical skills and vision guiding Monaco to the top of the Ligue 1 table. What is even more impressive is that Silva has shown that he is equally adept at playing as a winger on either flanks as he is in his usual attacking midfield role.

Making a mark. (Photo courtesy - Valery Hache/AFP/Getty Images)

Making a mark. (Photo courtesy – Valery Hache/AFP/Getty Images)

Needless to say, his exploits have garnered attention from clubs across Europe, with Real Madrid and Manchester United the two most heavily linked sides with the Portugal international. In fact, Manchester United were looking set to make their interest concrete as they were reported to be plotting a summer move for Silva.

With Jose Mourinho eyeing the second phase of his squad overhaul at Old Trafford, Silva was identified as one of the key targets for attacking midfield, and Jose Mourinho’s ties with Jorge Mendes, who is also Silva’s agent, was seen a crucial factor to help clinch a deal.

However, the Red Devils could now have competition in their pursuit of Silva, with Barcelona scouting the 22-year-old in two of Monaco’s biggest Ligue 1 outings this month. Silva was first observed by a scout in the 1-1 draw against reigning French champions PSG, where he scored the all-important equaliser in the dying stages of the match.

The report also states that Barcelona’s technical director Robert Fernandez was subsequently present during Monaco’s emphatic 3-0 win over Nice on Saturday, with Silva the star attraction in the Ligue 1 encounter.

Barcelona first laid eyes on him when it looked like Arda Turan would be moving to the Chinese Super League, but with the Portuguese midfielder impressing in subsequent games, he is a player who is still on the radar for the Catalan club.

Silva’s qualities make him a perfect fit into several positions in Luis Enrique’s system, and while displacing any of the established front three might be difficult, he can seamlessly slot into the three-man midfield, an area where the Barcelona boss has been seeking reinforcements.

So, Barcelona are the latest team to enter the picture in the chase for Bernardo Silva, and it now remains to be seen if Manchester United can challenge the Spanish giants for the Portugal international’s signature in the summer.

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