Silva agreed a year-long extension to his contract in the close season but said it was likely to be his last at the Etihad. He insisted that he would never join another Premier League side and he is attracted by the idea of becoming the franchise’s marquee signing for Miami’s inaugural season.
Beckham is a part owner of the club and is keen to bring in a Spanish-speaking superstar to maximise interest from south Florida’s large Hispanic community. The Englishman had an option to buy an MLS expansion side written into his contract when he joined Los Angeles Galaxy 12 years ago.
The former England captain understands from personal experience the value of signing a globally-recognised star in promoting the franchise both in America and the rest of the world.
The 33-year-old fits the bill. Silva has been one of the Premier League’s standout performers since his arrival from Valencia for £26million nine years ago. He has helped City win four titles, two FA Cups and four League Cups during his time in Manchester. Silva also won two European Championship medals with Spain, playing in the 2008 and 2012 finals, and was part of the World Cup-winning squad in 2010.
The MLS season starts in March and Silva will miss the first three months of the campaign. Miami are in the process of recruiting a squad and have been linked with a number of big names in Europe and South America. Beckham, Jorge Mas, his partner, and Paul McDonough, the sporting director, were rsaid to be in Barcelona this month, sparking feverish speculation that they were approaching Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.
Although Miami have the finances to make a credible attempt to prise either of the forwards away from the Nou Camp, Silva is a much more realistic target.
So far, Miami have just three players on their roster and the early signings underline that the emphasis is on appealing to the Hispanic market. Matias Pellegrini, a midifielder, and Julian Carranza, a forward, are both Argentinian and Christian Makoun, a defensive midfielder, is Venezuelan. The team will also be able to select up to five players from existing MLS clubs in the league’s expansion draft that takes place in December.
The side will be built to suit Silva, who will leave City on good terms. Pep Guardiola has plenty of time to plan for his departure and the Premier League champions have a number of options in his position.
The Spaniard has been one of the Etihad’s most consistent performers and one of the finest players of the Premier League era. It is remarkable that Silva has never won either the PFA or football writers’ player of the year awards.