Raheem Sterling has not changed his plans over a potential transfer away from Manchester City – and neither have his prime suitors – according to a report.
Sterling’s future came into question towards the end of 2021 when he indicated an interest in playing abroad. It led to the heightening of links with Barcelona. And with his gametime at City not favourable, a move was tipped for January.
As things stand, it seems unlikely to happen this month. Sterling has rediscovered a role of prominence recently in Manchester. Besides, Barcelona’s financial difficulties remain an obstacle to a winter transfer.
However, El Nacional have now revealed that the idea of Sterling joining Barcelona is still under consideration.
The Catalan source claims Sterling is still open to joining the La Liga giants. What’s more, he would be willing to lower his salary “considerably” so he could sign for them.
A lack of starts in big games is cited as a factor for Sterling considering his future. In contrast, he would be a “guaranteed” starter at Camp Nou.
Barcelona are therefore still keeping Sterling on their radar. City are not against his sale, but have set a price tag of €80m. For now, that is out of reach for Barca.
It has long been thought that the solution may be a swap deal. Frenkie De Jong is the player City could take in return. Such an idea is reiterated by El Nacional.
Barca are willing to sacrifice him, so the final say will be City’s. Pep Guardiola is believed to be an admirer of De Jong, but it remains to be seen if he would sacrifice Sterling to get him.
After all, City have already lost one forward to Barcelona this month. Ferran Torres made the switch back to La Liga and City do not plan to sign a replacement.
Therefore, if they were to lose Sterling as well – and were to take a midfielder in return instead – they could leave themselves light up front.
Sterling joined on Barcelona shortlist by Man City teammate
There have been plenty of links between Barcelona and City in the transfer window in recent months. Eric Garcia and Sergio Aguero (who has since retired) traded Manchester for Catalonia as free agents in the summer.
Then, after Torres, Barca have reportedly been looking at Sterling and another City star.
According to The Sun, Xavi’s side have put Aymeric Laporte on their shortlist.
27-year-old Laporte has been in fine form at City. His sturdy performances have seen the club keep four clean sheets in their last five league wins. He is forming a solid partnership with Ruben Dias at the back, after losing his place to John Stones last term.
A bank loan gave Barcelona the opportunity to sign Torres and they will get another in the summer. That will give them adequate funds to sign Laporte, who will cost upwards of £58m.
Xavi wants the defender to play alongside former City teammate Garcia.