Barcelona have installed a Manchester City attacker as their ‘priority’ January transfer target and are willing to include a ‘mandatory’ purchase option that would see the player leave England for good, claims a report.
Cash-strapped Barcelona have had to make do with mainly free agent signings of late. The likes of Memphis Depay, Sergio Aguero and Eric Garcia all arrived at the Camp Nou for nothing last summer.
Their January plans will likely involve similar types of deals, though loan switches with a view to permanent moves down the line are also an option.
The 26-year-old Englishman shone at Euro 2020 but has found regular game-time hard to come by at club level since.
Sterling went on record with the Guardian to state he would be “open” to moving elsewhere if his career continues to stall.
That sparked a stern response from Guardiola. The Spanish boss claimed Sterling should “make a phonecall” and seek a move away if he is unhappy with how Guardiola manages his playing personnel.
Links with Barcelona swiftly emerged, and per SPORT, they are eyeing a January swoop.
They claim Sterling is Barcelona’s ‘priority’ target for the winter window and plans are already being ‘finalised.’
Their financial predicament necessitates an initial loan move. However, Ronald Koeman’s side are deemed ‘ready to include a mandatory purchase option in the contract’.
That would see Sterling sign permanently for the La Liga powerhouse at a later date when their finances are in better shape.
It’s acknowledged City’s stance on whether they would sever ties with Sterling is as yet unknown. Despite falling behind Jack Grealish in the pecking order down the left, Sterling could yet have a big role to play this season.
With City battling on four fronts, their depth pieces will be required with increased regularity.
Nonetheless, if the report is accurate, it certainly seems like Barcelona are prepared to test City’s resolve over Sterling.
Newcastle told of perfect Man City transfer
Meanwhile, Newcastle United should look to Manchester City sensation Cole Palmer as a loan option as one of their first acts in the transfer market, claims a report.
Palmer has played just 202 minutes of first-team football this season, with 74 of those coming in the Community Shield. However, he impressed in the Champions League recently, scoring against Club Brugge.
It is clear City have high expectations for the youngster, or he would not have featured in Europe so soon. Indeed, Guardiola has described the 19-year-old as “an incredibly exceptional player” according to TalkSPORT.
But with opportunities understandably limited in City’s first team, Newcastle have been touted as a superb landing spot for Palmer on loan, per The Boot Room.
The Magpies ‘need a better midfield’, per the article, and Palmer could fit the bill. His versatility across the entire midfield would surely come in handy.
A loan deal would also make sense for Newcastle. It would allow them to allocate funds to high priority signings, while still signing a great prospect.