Manchester City are giving out mixed messages amid FC Barcelona's pursuit of Bernardo Silva. Pep Guardiola made it clear that he will not stand in the Portuguese midfielder's way if he wants to leave this summer, but City CEO Ferran Soriano has shut down talks of any move.

Xavi Hernandez remains a big admirer of Silva and has identified him as a perfect candidate to replace Frenkie de Jong. The Catalan club has made the Dutch midfielder available for transfer, with Manchester United and Chelsea in keen pursuit.

De Jong has thus far rejected the English clubs' advances, preferring to remain at the Camp Nou. The Premier League big guns are refusing to throw in the towel, which has kept Barcelona on alert as they will need to bring in a replacement if the Netherlands international leaves in the final days of the transfer window.

Silva was a major point of discussion as City took on Barcelona in a charity game on Wednesday at the Camp Nou. Guardiola and Xavi were asked about a potential transfer involving the Portugal international and both managers heaped praise on the 27-year-old.

Pep Guardiola
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola POOL / PETER POWELL

Guardiola opened the door for Silva to join Barcelona if the two clubs reach an agreement before transfer deadline day. The Spaniard wants to keep the former AS Monaco midfielder at the Etihad Stadium, but made it clear that he will not stand in the way of any player seeking a new challenge elsewhere.

"We want Bernardo Silva with us but I don't want anyone to be unhappy here. The first thing would be for the two clubs to come to an agreement - then of course, I want him in my team," Guardiola said, as per Fabrizio Romano. "It's true that Bernardo Silva really likes FC Barcelona."

Xavi, meanwhile, was in equal awe of Silva, but refused to divulge too many details about Barcelona's interest in the player, stating: "I like him, because there are very few like him... but that depends on Manchester City."

While both managers openly discussed Silva's potential move, City's CEO Ferran Soriano reiterated that the Portuguese midfielder is not for sale. He suggested that the Premier League champions' transfer window has come to a close with no further incomings or outgoings expected.

"There are no discussions or talks for Bernardo Silva. There's no Bernardo case," Soriano told TV3. "Manchester City market can be considered closed, it's over."

Bernardo Silva
Manchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva celebrates scoring at Everton Michael Regan/POOL