Bernardo Silva drops Barcelona transfer hint as Man City hit with ban

Bernardo Silva has issued a thinly-veiled come-and-get-me plea to Barcelona in the aftermath of Man City's Champions League ban verdict.

The Portuguese midfielder has become one of the standout players in City's ranks, earning him a place among the nominees for last season's PFA Player of the Year award.

City would not have feared losing one of their major talents at that time, securing a domestic treble soon after with Silva's help.

But it seems UEFA's decision to suspend the club from the Champions League could force Silva to seek pastures new, with his eye particularly on Lionel Messi's Barcelona.

Silva told Goal : "I play with Cristiano [Ronaldo] in the national team and if I played with Messi, being able to say that I played with the best in history would be a pleasure, but it is a complicated matter."

There are fears City could face a mass exodus of players this summer, with Raheem Sterling also linked with a move to Spain.

The forward is wanted by Real Madrid , who have been encouraged in their £180million pursuit following UEFA's ruling.

City are set to appeal the ban, which could prove pivotal to whether the likes of Silva, Sterling and star man Kevin De Bruyne stay put.

Former City midfielder Steve McManaman believes wholesale changes are unlikely, but admits his old club may have to balance the books if their appeal is unsuccessful.

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