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Bernardo Silva reaffirms Manchester City exit plan amid £50 million release clause activation



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Manchester City star Bernardo Silva has reiterated plans to leave the Etihad Stadium ahead of the midfielder’s release clause becoming active this summer.

The 29-year-old signed a new one-year contract extension with Manchester City in September, cooling transfer interest from both Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain as well as a number of clubs from the Saudi Pro League.

Silva, who moved to the Etihad Stadium from AS Monaco in 2017, has become an integral member of Pep Guardiola’s squad, but could be set for a summer departure from the club, as a £50 million release clause becomes active.

The Portugal international is currently enjoying his seventh season in the Premier League, and has won 15 trophies with Manchester City to date, including five Premier League titles and the UEFA Champions League.

The midfielder scored twice against Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-final second-leg at the Etihad Stadium last season, and also assisted Rodri’s winning goal against Inter Milan in Istanbul.

Silva also scored twice against Newcastle United in the Emirates FA Cup quarter-finals on Saturday evening, as his two first-half deflected efforts set-up a semi-final tie with Chelsea at Wembley Stadium next month.

The 29-year-old is set to play a major role in the Blues’ bid to retain last season’s treble upon returning from the international break, and the final weeks of the campaign could be Silva’s last with Manchester City.

The midfielder looks set to be subject to renewed transfer speculation, and in an interview with Portuguese outlet SIC, Silva has affirmed his plans to return to boyhood club Benfica.

“Is it a long time before I return? I think people are a little tired of that question. There’s already more time left. I’m sure I’ll be back, I don’t know when,” Silva told SIC as relayed by The Mirror.

“It’s difficult to time it and say if it’s in two, three, if it’s for the year with Roger Schmidt (laughs). But I’ve said it several times and I think people get tired of hearing it – without a doubt it’s a career and life goal to return to Benfica.

“Get me into something difficult position. On the one hand, he asks me to return to Benfica and on the other he asks me to say bad things about Benfica’s coach. Imagine that I come back next year and he is my coach? It can’t be (laughs).”

Silva has made 342 appearances for Manchester City since moving from Ligue 1, with the versatile midfielder scoring 65 goals, including three so far this season.

The 29-year-old is currently away on international duty, where Portugal have two international friendlies against Sweden and Slovenia.