Everyone was expecting Bernardo Silva to sign for Manchester United.
After all, it was an easy story: Portuguese, Jorge Mendes client, and a bit like Juan Mata.
However, on Friday morning, all hell broke loose when the British press started reporting the Monaco player had flown into Manchester on Thursday evening from Mallorca, where he was on holiday, and was expected to sign for Manchester City.
Clearly impressing Pep Guardiola when the Ligue 1 side despatched the Citizens in the Champions League, Silva is expected to pass a medical on Friday evening.
The news was so sudden that the French media, normally quite good, were completely all caught off guard, with the only confirmation, so far, coming from Mohamed Bouhafsi from RMC Sport, who reports the fee being around €70m (around £60m) and the player signing a five-year contract.
Confirmation des 🇬🇧 . Bernardo #Silva est arrivé à Manchester ce matin. Visite médicale avec City dans les prochaines minutes. 70M€. 5 ans.
— Mohamed Bouhafsi (@mohamedbouhafsi) 26 May 2017
That’s a lot of money, with some rumours in France the fee could even be €82m (£71.5m), but why are Manchester City paying so much for a player they, on paper, don’t exactly need.
Well, it’s worth pointing out that, as good as the Spanish playmaker is, David Silva is now 31 years old, and while he still has time left at the Etihad, he will need replacing at some point.
However, that doesn’t mean Bernardo Silva will play backup, mostly because he’s too good for that.
Someone from Manchester City’s line up will need to be dropped for him, and with Pep Guardiola clearly not wanting to change his style anytime soon, it’ll have to be one of either Raheem Sterling or Leroy Sané.
Our bet is on the former Liverpool starlet, whose form, after a great start to the season, fizzled out dramatically during the second half of the campaign.
Incredibly technically gifted, great ball control and an impressive ability to retain it tight spaces despite his size, Bernardo Silva ticks all the boxes for the kind of player Pep Guardiola loves, and that’s why he’s decided to throw the kitchen sink at Monaco to try and get him.