FC Barcelona are set to renew their interest in Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling in January, according to the latest emerging reports.
The Spanish side, who recently suffered a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Bayern Munich in the Champions League, are looking to bolster their frontline in the coming transfer window.
Sterling excelled for England at the European Championships, but his international form has not translated to City this year. The dip in performances has resulted in the 26-year-old losing his place in the City squad, despite once being regarded as one of the first names on Pep Guardiola’s teamsheet.
With two years left on his current deal in the east side of Manchester, it has been reported previously that City have opened talks over a new contract for the winger. That has been compounded by the winger’s lessened role in the squad – leaving some question marks regarding Sterling’s future at the Etihad Stadium.
According to Spanish outlet Sport, relayed by Sports Witness, Barcelona are keen on a move for Sterling in January after failing to sign him in the summer.
It has further been stated that Sterling sees Barcelona as an ‘ideal destination’, and a likely step-up in playing time from his current role under Guardiola at City.
Moreover, it has been said that Barcelona executive Mateu Alemany travelled to Manchester this summer to negotiate the signing of the England winger, initially offering multiple players in a swap deal, including Antoine Griezmann and Sergi Roberto on loan.
It is said that Sterling was once regarded as ‘untouchable’ but due to his dip in form in recent seasons, Guardiola has not turned to Sterling in the biggest matches – and the winger could look for a way out.
However, Barcelona’s current financial situation could be a stumbling block as many players have already taken pay-cuts this season, and Sterling is one of City’s highest paid players.
Sterling has been heavily linked with an exit from City in recent months, and Barcelona could indeed emerge as a viable option if he fails to win his spot back in the starting XI in the coming months.