Barcelona have reportedly met with the agent of Paris Saint-Germain defender Thiago Silva about a possible future transfer.
That’s according to Mundo Deportivo (h/t Edo Dalmonte of CalcioMercato.com), who suggested there have been negotiations between representatives from both parties, with Silva’s contract with the French champions to expire at the end of the current season.
Dalmonte also noted that reports in Spain have linked the 32-year-old with a possible move to Real Madrid, while former club AC Milan and Juventus are also said to be interested.
Silva has been at PSG since 2012 and has established himself as one of the very best centre-backs in the world. Here’s a look at why he’s so important to the Ligue 1 club:
Despite how vital he is, there’s uncertainty about his long-term future, with his deal potentially running out at the end of the season.
The Brazilian’s agent, Paulo Tonietto, has made it clear in the past that there is significant interest in the player, too.
“It is very important for everyone—both for us and for PSG—that everything is clear by December,” he told Le Parisien (h/t Stefan Coerts of Goal). “We can imagine leaving PSG if the club have not made us an offer by then. We already have offers from three or four big teams.”
He’s also clarified Silva’s contract situation, insisting his deal will only expire with PSG should they somehow fail to qualify for the UEFA Champions League this season, per Lucas Sposito of Sport Witness.
Silva’s contract could expire this summer.
Such is his pedigree in the game, it’s no surprise to read that teams are already sniffing around the centre-back, who possesses all the attributes needed to thrive with any side.
However, Bleacher Report’s Andrew Gibney has noted something of a decline in recent seasons:
Thiago Silva beaten too easy at times tonight. Not the force he once was. #psg
— Andrew Gibney (@Gibney_A) September 28, 2016
Even so, Silva would still stroll into most sides in Europe. He’s a tower of strength at the back, able to dominate in the air, muscle attackers off the ball and isolate danger quickly. Crucially, the Brazil international is very capable on the ball and has also emerged as a capable leader in the French capital.
Even for a club like Barca, with options like Gerard Pique, Javier Mascherano and Samuel Umtiti, Silva would be a massive asset.
Barca have a lot of options in defence.
This term was initially disrupted by injury for Silva, although he’s settled in well since making his return to the XI last month.
Here’s how he compared in league matches last season to Barca’s Pique and Madrid skipper Sergio Ramos:
Defender Comparison: Silva, Pique, Ramos
Silva Pique Ramos Apps (Sub) 29 (1) 30 23 Goals 1 2 2 Tackles per game 2.2 1.3 1.5 Interceptions per game 3 1.6 3.3 Clearances per game 4.8 3.8 3.4 Blocks per game 0.7 0.6 0.9 Passing accuracy 94.6% 90.5% 90.3%
Although some PSG supporters may be panicking about potentially losing Silva, the fact that his contract will likely run beyond this season means there is a safety net to fall back on. While new manager Unai Emery hasn’t enjoyed the best of starts to life at the club, it’d take a spectacular underachievement for the French champions not to finish in the top three.
Even so, after four successful seasons with PSG, perhaps Silva would fancy a new challenge with an elite club as he enters the latter stages of his career. While his best days are behind him, at Barcelona, he could potentially do a wonderful job in the short-term.