Analysis: Is Bernardo Silva a better fit for Barcelona or Real Madrid?

Barcelona and Real Madrid are two of the biggest rivals in world football, with El Clasico being one of the most fiercely contested fixtures across the globe. Both sides fight ferociously on the pitch, and off the pitch isn’t much different.

The European Super League has brought both clubs together in recent years, but there is still plenty of animosity between the two clubs in the board room. The two footballing giants are always on the lookout for the best possible players for their teams, and they often have to compete to sign targets.

Barcelona’s financial issues have meant that Real Madrid have had the edge in negotiations in recent years, which allowed Los Blancos to sign Brazilian wonderkid Endrick last year. Barca wanted the teenager, but couldn’t afford to match their rival’s offer.

However, they look set to compete against Real Madrid this summer for the signature of Manchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva. According to Sport, the Portuguese wants to move to Spain, and he has expressed his interest in joining both clubs. As such, the El Clasico rivals could be about to face off for the 28-year-old’s signature.

There’s no doubt that Silva is an exceptional footballer, and would likely improve both sides’ squads. However, out of Real Madrid and Barcelona, which team would be the best fit for the Portuguese international?

Both sides are looking for midfield reinforcements this summer. Real Madrid could set to lose both Toni Kroos and Luka Modric, which would free up two places in Carlo Ancelotti’s squad. Jude Bellingham is Los Blancos’ top target, but Silva could fill the other hole.

Silva can operate as an 8, but also has the ability to push further forward when required. He typically operates more offensively than defensively, but that is a position that could be valuable to Real Madrid. The majority of Ancelotti’s midfield options tend to be more defensive minded or box-to-box, so Silva would provide a more attack-minded pick that could effectively link up with the front three.

At times, Ancelotti has switched to a 4-2-3-1 system, and Silva has experience as a 10 in the past for Benfica and Portugal, so he would be an option there too.

For Barcelona, there is perhaps less of a need for a player of Silva’s ilk. With offensive minded midfielders in the team already such as Gavi and Pedri, Silva wouldn’t be a different option, especially when compared to the former. Gavi is very much Barcelona’s attack minded midfielder of Xavi’s 4-3-3 system. The teenager loves to get forward and support the front three, and he is generally effective at doing so.

Silva would undoubtedly improve Barcelona’s squad, but it’s hard to see him starting over either Gavi or Pedri in Xavi’s midfield. The Barca head coach loves his two young superstars, and Silva would likely just be a backup to them, despite the Portuguese’s obvious quality. Throw in Frenkie De Jong, and there is even less of a need for Silva.

Barcelona’s necessary signing in midfield should be a pivot, especially if Sergio Busquets departs in the summer. Another box-to-box or no.8 is less of a requirement, which would scupper a move for Silva.

It remains to be seen whether either club will move for Silva in the summer transfer window. Reports suggest that he wants out of Man City, but a move to Spain may not be likely when taking into account his necessity to either side of the El Clasico divide.

Real Madrid edge it in terms of needing a player of Silva’s playstyle, but with him being 28, and the Premier League giants likely to require a large fee, he would not fit club president Florentino Perez’s transfer policy.

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