Manchester City have begun what is predicted to be a record summer of spending across the Premier League by paying Monaco a reported 43 million pounds ($55 million) to sign versatile midfielder Bernardo Silva.
The 22-year-old Portuguese has been instrumental in Monaco’s title win this season — their first in 17 years — and was part of the side who beat City in the Champions League round of 16 and scored more goals than any other side in Europe’s top five leagues.
City manager Pep Guardiola is a long-term admirer, describing Silva as an “intelligent, physically strong” and a “fantastic player” equally at home anywhere in midfield before their meeting this season.
Silva’s signing represents Guardiola’s opening attempt to remodel the squad who disappointed in failing to win a trophy and finishing third in the Premier League this season.
They are expected to be one of the Premier League’s top spenders, and have been linked in the British media with moves for Arsenal’s attacking midfielder Alexis Sanchez and Tottenham Hotspur fullback Kyle Walker.
Analysts expect this will be the Premier League’s heaviest spend in a transfer window, eclipsing the 1.165 billion pounds ($1.49 billion) spent last summer with Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool also expected to feature heavily.