Barcelona recently 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), which suggested there have been negotiations between representatives from both parties, with Silva’s contract with the French champions set to expire at the end of the current season.
Silva has been at PSG since 2012 and is regarded as one of the 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 in Paris, with his deal potentially running out at the end of the season.
The Brazilian’s agent, Paulo Tonietto, has made it known 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 has not made us an offer by then. We already have offers from three or four big teams.”
He also clarified Silva’s contract situation, insisting his deal would only expire with PSG should they somehow fail to qualify for next season's UEFA Champions League, per Lucas Sposito of Sport Witness.
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:
Even so, Silva would still stroll into most teams 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 capable on the ball and has emerged as a leader in the French capital.
Even for Barca, who have options such as Gerard Pique, Javier Mascherano and Samuel Umtiti at the back, Silva would be a massive asset.
Silva's season was initially disrupted by injury, although he’s settled in well since making his return to the starting XI in September.
Here’s how he compared in league matches last season to Barca’s Pique and Madrid skipper Sergio Ramos:
|Defender Comparison: Silva, Pique, Ramos|
|Apps (Sub)||29 (1)||30||23|
|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|
Although some PSG supporters may be panicking about losing Silva, the fact 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 of Ligue 1.
Even so, having already enjoyed four successful seasons with PSG, Silva may fancy a new challenge with an elite club as he enters the latter stages of his career. While his best days are behind him, he could do a wonderful job at Barcelona in the short term.