Bernardo Silva: Transfer speculation won’t distract me from Man City trophy hunt

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Bernardo Silva says that he won’t let transfer speculation distract him from trying to help Manchester City achieve a treble this season.

The Portuguese midfielder has constantly been linked with a move away from the Etihad.

While Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain are known admirers, City will not sell the 28-year-old cheaply and boss Pep Guardiola is reluctant to lose a player he has called “unique in the world.”

And Bernardo, whose side are second in the Premier League and host Burnley on Saturday in the FA Cup quarter-finals with a last-eight Champions League tie against Bayern Munich to come, told Arab News exclusively: “It’s not the moment to talk about this. There’s three months left of the season and I’m very focused on Man City.”

“Honestly it (the speculation) doesn’t affect me, it doesn’t. I try to do my best and then what happens happens,” he said. “There’s three months to go and so many big things we can fight for — the Champions League, which we have always wanted to win. Still if we win this Premier League that’s five in six seasons, which is a big big achievement, and the FA Cup which we have won only once since I’ve been here.”

“We have been losing in the FA Cup semifinals, which is very frustrating for us because it’s a very important competition. So there are big things to fight for and we are going to be there.”

Since beating Watford 6-0 to win the 2019 FA Cup, City have lost at the semifinal stage for the past three seasons to Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool.

They face Burnley, currently 13 points clear at the top of the Championship and set for a return to the Premier League.

The Clarets are also managed by Vincent Kompany, who captained City to four top-flight titles and two FA Cup triumphs during an 11-year career that ended in 2019.

Guardiola said it is “written in the stars” for Kompany to manage the Blues one day and added: “He is one of the biggest legends I have had.”

Bernardo said the former Belgian defender, who has a statue outside the Etihad, was “THE captain.”

“It’s going to be kind of weird to see Vinny on the other side because he’s such a big legend,” he said. “He was such a big character for us and still a friend so it’s going to be weird.”

“He’s THE captain, he’s that guy. It’s just the example that he sets. It’s a guy that you respect, but at the same time he knows when he’s got to shout at you, he knows when he’s got to be kind to you in a way, and be supportive.”

Bernardo says that Kompany set a great example for youngsters and old heads alike.

“No disrespect to the other guys I’ve had, not just at Manchester City or Monaco, whatever, he’s ‘THE captain’.”

Kompany himself admitted it will be a daunting task to beat City at the Etihad and added: “It’s undeniable, it’s a club with a special place in our hearts but on the day, we can move past it. I will appreciate what it means to coach there and bring a team there that can hopefully do the fans proud. Hopefully, we will show our best side.”