Manchester City have moved quickly in the transfer market to secure the services of Bernardo Silva. The highly-rated young Monaco playmaker, who had also been linked with cross-city rivals United, set tongues wagging after flying into Manchester on Thursday night (25 May) and it quickly emerged that he was set to become the first new signing of Pep Guardiola's summer recruitment drive.
City have now provided confirmation of the deal following a medical, announcing via their official website that Silva, who played in Monaco's thrilling last-16 Champions League two-legged away-goals victory over the Citizens earlier this year, would officially join on 1 July.
The club did not disclose any specific financial details, although it has been widely reported that the fee is around the £43m ($55m) mark. That would put him behind Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and John Stones as City's fourth most expensive signing of all time, just ahead of Leroy Sane.
Speaking after the deal was completed, Silva made it plainly clear that Guardiola's presence was a huge factor behind his decision to join.
"It feels great," he said. "To be honest I'm now at one of the best teams in the world. To be part of this club and to have this opportunity is great. I'm very happy to be part of Manchester City's team and I look forward to trying to do my best to help the team reach their goals.
"If not the best coach in the world, he is one of the best. Of course when you have the opportunity of being trained by Guardiola, you don't say no. As we all know, what he did in Barcelona and Bayern Munich was amazing and we expect also here that he will win titles. It's great to be working with him and to have this opportunity."
12-cap Portugal international Silva joined Monaco from Benfica in January 2015 after a successful loan stint and played a crucial role this term as a wonderfully talented and commendably attack-minded young team sealed a first Ligue 1 title for 17 years and also reached the last four of European football's elite club competition. It was always going to be an uphill battle for Les Rouges et Blancs to keep together such a talented group of players and Leonardo Jardim has already moved to cover any shortfall by acquiring Belgian midfielder Youri Tielemans from Anderlecht.
Jose Mourinho poured cold water on the prospect of Europa League winners Manchester United taking Silva to Old Trafford earlier this week, saying: "Will Bernardo Silva be with us next season? I don't think so, honestly. But you never know, good players are always welcome here."
Silva's arrival is the latest step in Guardiola's planned summer overhaul of an inconsistent City squad that only secured third place in the top-flight and Champions League football courtesy of a final-day thrashing of Watford.
The imminent exits of out-of-contract quartet Jesus Navas, Gael Clichy, Willy Caballero and Bacary Sagna were all confirmed yesterday. Pablo Zabaleta has left to join West Ham United and could be followed swiftly by Kelechi Iheanacho. Yaya Toure's current deal is also due to expire next month and it remains to be seen if he will stay or move on.
Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez, former City goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel and disgruntled Tottenham Hotspur right-back Kyle Walker are just some of the many players to be linked with City over recent weeks. Two of Silva's Monaco teammates, Benjamin Mendy and Fabinho, are also said to be on Guardiola's radar.