Man City boss Guardiola ready to sanction Sterling departure on one condition

Date published: Saturday 27th November 2021 9:40 - Matthew Briggs

Man City forward Raheem Sterling being consoled by Pep Guardiola 2021

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola will sanction the departure of Raheem Sterling, as long as he can get his hands on one of Barca’s young stars, claims a report.

Guardiola remains keen on adding a striker to his squad after failing to land Harry Kane in the summer. Guardiola saw Sergio Aguero leave for Barcelona and was looking at Spurs’ Kane as a replacement, but Daniel Levy dug his heels in and blocked the sale of the England skipper.

That has left City depleted in attack, however they have still navigated themselves into the Champions League knockout stage. And Guardiola’s men sit just three points off the pace set by Chelsea in the Premier League.

Despite City’s lack of attacking options Sterling has struggled for game time. He has returned to form recently with three goals this month, including the equaliser in the midweek win over Paris Saint-Germain.

Guardiola welcomed the England man’s return to form, but claimed it was still the “first-step”.

Guardiola told a press conference: “I’m so glad for him, he’s helped us for sure. He will fight to be better and better.

“It is important for strikers and wingers to score and make assists. He was decisive in what we’ve done in recent years.

‘First-step’ for Sterling

“Scoring goals can give confidence for these type of guys. But he has to do better, be aggressive, go one against one, arrive in the final third. This is the first step for him to come back.”

Sterling’s lack of action has seen Barcelona linked with his services. And Radio Barcelona have claimed that top Barca official Mateu Alemany has flown to Manchester to test the water over a deal for Sterling.

Cited by Mundo Deportivo, the broadcaster say Alemany has been briefed to “see what the chances are” of Barca getting a loan deal done for Sterling in January.


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The report acknowledges that a deal is “complicated” due to the LaLiga club’s financial situation. Also, Guardiola will not sanction a move unless City land a replacement. And that is where 18-year-old wonderkid Pedri fits in.

 

According to El Nacional, City would be open to Sterling’s departure if Barca threw Pedri into the deal.

Benzema option for City?

After starring for Spain at Euro 2020, he has just been crowned 2021 Golden Boy. He is also admired by Guardiola.

“Guardiola is another admirer of the former UD Las Palmas player, and would give the OK to the departure of Sterling, if in return he lands the young Canarian,” claims the report.

However, El Nacional also claim that City are interested in bringing Karim Benzema to the Premier League.

After ditching the idea of signing Kane, City are now “focused on Madrid’s number 9, who is to their complete liking”.

The veteran Real Madrid man is understood to be open to a deal too.

READ MORE: Man Utd, Man City given hope as Villa starlet ‘rejects’ new deal

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