Soriano says Silva has never been close to Barca move

By Sports Desk August 24, 2022

Ferran Soriano has once again dismissed talk of Barcelona signing Manchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva.

Silva has long since been linked with a move to Camp Nou, but Pep Guardiola has made it clear he wants to keep the Portugal midfielder.

The 30-year-old playmaker scored one goal and set up another in the Premier League champions' 3-3 draw at Newcastle United on Sunday.

Silva is set to face Barca in a friendly on Wednesday and City chief executive Soriano does not expect him to be playing for the Catalan giants this season.

He told Cadena Ser's Que t'hi Jugues: "This story has taken many turns, but deep down it has never moved from the starting point."

Soriano added just over a week before the transfer window closes: "It's a bit late to talk about comings and goings."

Silva made 50 appearances for City in all competitions last season, a tally only bettered by Joao Cancelo (52), with the 28-year-old scoring 13 goals and providing seven assists.

Only Kevin de Bruyne (129) and Jack Grealish (78) created more chances for City than Silva's 76 last term.

 

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    Barca dominated Sunday's contest at Camp Nou before eventually finding the breakthrough via full-back Jordi Alba in the 58th minute.

    Gavi added a second 12 minutes later and Raphinha, who assisted that goal, added his name to the scoresheet as Barca made it 10 wins in a row this year.

    Sevilla focused almost entirely on defending, managing only three shots in total to Barca's 16, and Xavi is delighted his side were able to break down the visitors.

    "This was a day to dare," he told DAZN. "We talked about it at half-time. It's always difficult to attack when the opponent has 11 players behind the ball.

    "But we did it very well and I'm very satisfied with this result."

    Barca took full advantage of Real Madrid's surprise 1-0 loss at Real Mallorca earlier in the day to extend their lead at the summit as they close in on a first title in four seasons.

    "We've gone many games unbeaten and it's important we win like we did today," Xavi said. "Against a low block, we created many chances – that is a big positive.

    "Things are working out for us. We're eight points ahead of Madrid, but there is still a lot of the season left."

    With a goal and an assist against Sevilla, Raphinha has been involved in more goals (eight – four goals and four assists) than any other LaLiga player in all competitions in 2023.

    Xavi hailed the Brazil international's performance and also reserved special praise for Alba, who himself scored and assisted in a single LaLiga game for the fourth time.

    "I was already satisfied with Raphinha's performances," Xavi said. "He is good in high-pressure scenarios and has been giving us decisive assists. He's an extraordinary player.

    "As for Jordi, he gives us a lot in attack and showed that again today. We knew there would be an opportunity to take advantage of some space that was left."

    Alba was recalled to the starting line-up having been made to settle for substitute appearances of late and took full advantage of his opportunity to impress.

    "I take advantage of the minutes when I play; when I don't, I dedicate myself to encouraging the youngsters so they know what it means to play for this club," Alba said.

    "We are having a very good season, playing well, pressing well and getting our rivals to give us chances. 

    "There are eight points on Madrid and, although there is a lot of the league season left, it is a very good distance to have."

    Barca's 53 points after 20 LaLiga matches has only been matched or bettered on five previous occasions, including themselves four times.

    The only blemish for Xavi's side was captain Sergio Busquets limping off early following a challenge with Youssef En-Nesyri.

    Busquets is reported to have sprained his right ankle and is facing two-to-three weeks out, potentially ruling him out of Barca's Europa League tie with Manchester United.

    "Hopefully it's nothing serious," Xavi said. "First we'll do tests and then we'll know more."

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    "I think we've only seen 60 per cent of Erling Haaland. You think of the goal he got versus West Ham when there was space in behind and he gets in behind," Carragher told Sky Sports.

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    After toiling for the best part of an hour, Jordi Alba deservedly opened the scoring for Xavi's side and they did not look back.

    Gavi doubled the hosts' lead 12 minutes later after being assisted by Raphinha, who added the third himself to edge Barca ever closer to a first league title in four seasons.

    Barca were forced to make a change inside the opening eight minutes after Sergio Busquets injured his ankle and they struggled to find their full flow in the first half.

    Yassine Bounou produced a fine stop with his leg to deny Robert Lewandowski and pulled off an even better save soon after to tip the striker's long-range drive around the post.

    Sevilla brought on Bryan Gil and Erik Lamela at half-time, but Barca continued to dominate the contest as Raphinha became the latest to test Bounou, this time from a header.

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    A simple finish for Gavi in the 70th minute after being picked out by Raphinha gave Barca breathing space and the Brazil winger contributed to the scoring before full-time.

    Alba played the ball into the middle and Raphinha was there to poke it past Bounou and cap a fine individual and team display.

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