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Villarreal midfielder Alex Baena has been the centre of focus for both Barcelona as well as Aston Villa and we think the Catalans choose him over Bernardo Silva.

Baena has been in top form for Villarreal this season, scoring two and assisting as many as 13 goals in 33 La Liga games and even though his contract expires in 2028, a report in Marca has revealed that his deal has a €60 million release clause.

Last month the attacking midfielder revealed his desire to play for Barcelona so trying to bring him on board will be very easy for Laporta.

Baena told Cadena SER: “My clause? I think that we have to talk to Fernando Roig about this, but that we will have to pay the €60m if they want me to leave.

“Who wouldn’t like to go to Barca? It would be one of the biggest dreams as a footballer, it is the best team in the world, but I am in the club of my life and I hope to be there for many years,”

Bernardo Silva has been on Barca’s radar for more than a year and the Manchester City midfielder has a similar release clause to that of Alex Baena.

Silva has obviously been outstanding for Manchester City ever since he joined them from Monaco in 2017 but the Portugal international is already 29 years old. For a club like Barcelona who have very limited financial resources, it will make much more sense to €60-odd million on a 22-year-old Baena instead of someone who has probably two or three good seasons left in him.

Talent-wise, Bernardo Silva is the clear winner but the Villarreal midfielder now has had two good seasons. Last campaign, he scored 12 goals along with 6 assists and he’s backed that up with 5 goals and 17 assists. This season, he has taken 72 shots and has an xG of 7.22 in the La Liga.

Apart from the age factor, another major reason that Barcelona should choose Alex Baena over Bernardo Silva is that the Spanish international can play in multiple positions. He’s primarily a No 10 but the 22-year-old can also as a left-sided midfielder, a right-sided midfielder, a left-winger and also a right-winger.

Aston Villa will be playing in the Champions League next season so they will put up a stern fight but if Barcelona make serious moves, Unai Emery’s side won’t even come close to signing the Villarreal midfielder. With Bernardo Silva, Barcelona will bring in someone who can an immediate impact but it will be wiser to go for Alex Baena because if he can come good then the Catalans will have a world-class No 10 for the next 6 to 8 years.