“Milan can say what they want, but no-one can do anything. We have this option to buy and at the end of the season, or even before, we’ll exercise it.” The certainty with which Sevilla Sporting Director Joaquín Caparrós spoke about André Silva in November reflected the Portugal striker’s early impact on Spanish football.
At that point, Silva had scored seven goals in his first 11 games in La Liga, leading Caparros to assert that “fans can rest assured, the player will be with us for many years”. Much has changed since then: Caparros is now first-team coach, with renowned director Monchi returning to the club to oversee operations, and Silva’s stock has fallen dramatically as the goals have dried up.
Silva missed Sevilla’s home defeat to Valencia at the weekend with a minor muscle injury, which could also keep him out of Thursday’s match with Alaves. The Andalusians have become used to being less reliant on the Portuguese, however, with Silva’s status in the side under Caparros declining with each week.
The 23-year-old has not scored since 26th January when he netted in Sevilla’s 5-0 win over Levante, since when Silva’s appearances have included eight starts. The Seleção forward is also without an assist all season, with the drop-off in his contribution leading to new questions over his future at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.
Reports during the early stages of last month suggested that Sevilla were still interested in making Silva’s move to Spain permanent, but were no longer willing to meet the €30m activation clause. More recently., Italian paper Corriere dello Sport claim that returning director Monchi is giving the striker the remaining ten matches of the season to earn a permanent move.
Jardim, Nuno the answer?
The paper states that Silva’s agent Jorge Mendes is keen to find a new club for his client regardless of Sevilla’s intentions, which suggests that the Portuguese deal-maker is not inclined to wait for answers. As a result, Silva has been linked with a host of clubs across Europe to revive his career once again next season.
Valencia has been touted as a possible destination, as have clubs coached by Portuguese managers. Monaco, led by Leonardo Jardim, have been reported to be frontrunners, while the intriguing prospect of Silva joining the Portuguese contingent at Wolverhampton Wanderers under Nuno Espírito Santo has gathered pace.
With nine goals in La Liga so far this season, Silva may yet comfortably break into double figures in Spain’s top flight, which would represent a reasonable return overall. It remains to be seen, however, whether the former Porto man will still be in Andalusia next term, with yet another move looking a distinct possibility in his quest to turn promise into reality.
By Sean Gillen