David Silva
Spain's David Silva (R) is challenged by Venezuela's Quijada during their international friendly soccer match at La Rosaleda stadium in Malaga February 29, 2012

Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho has reportedly identified Manchester City's Spanish star midfielder David Silva as a priority summer target. It is believed Mourinho is keen to add creativity to his midfield line up, ahead of Madrid's title defense next season. there is also, of course, the little matter of a tenth Champions League crown that the Santiago Bernabeu has been expecting for quite some time now and the Special One is keen to leave no stone unturned in that chase.

A report in The Sun suggests Silva is a £30mn target for the Spanish champions, who were credited with interest in the player even before he signed for City in a £24mn deal from Valencia two years ago. Back then, though, Mourinho did not seem too convinced about Silva's quality, since, according to Goal.com Madrid only made a tentative inquiry and did not follow it up after Mourinho indicated other priorities.

Since his transfer to the Etihad, Silva has impressed with consistently fine displays and a near-permanent spot in the Spanish national first team - a difficult task given the plethora of midfield talent available to coach Vicente del Bosque. The player's excellent form resulted in renewed and this time more concrete interest from Madrid, talk of which began towards the end of 2011, according to a report in The Sun, dated 28 October. However, Silva was then quoted as saying he was not interested in leaving City, regardless of being pursued by both Madrid and Barcelona.

"City believed in me and I'm very well here. Real Madrid and Barcelona are definitely two great clubs but I hope to stay in Manchester for many years," the 26 year old playmaker said then. Undaunted, it seems Madrid are continuing to monitor Silva and reports in the Daily Mail confirm their interest in a summer move.

Unfortunately for Mourinho and Madrid, Silva continues to be happy at City and was even voted the club's Player of the Year, by his team mates. The player's contract runs till 2014 and it seems certain he will stay with Roberto Mancini until then, at least.

"David has signed a long deal with Manchester City and is very happy at the club. Football is always unpredictable but he wants to stay in England. Real Madrid is a big club as well and they were interested when he was at Valencia (the club he left to join City) but the deal was not possible. We are ignoring the plans of Real Madrid because he is very integrated at City and winning the Premier League has only increased his commitment to the club," Silva's agent, Julio Llorente was quoted as saying in the Daily Mail report.

The big question City officials will now have to ask themselves is - can they hold on to Silva. Madrid have a history of forcing big-money transfers through and there are few sporting organisations better at that than the Spanish club. in addition, the financial backing, not to mention the charm offensive, provided by club president Florentino Perez and Mourinho himself (when he chooses to be) means City could have a fight on their hands. In addition, the English champions have already been dealt one transfer blow, with Belgian playmaker Eden Hazard snubbing City for European champions Chelsea and can ill-afford, at least in terms of retaining top-club status, to lose Silva to Madrid.