Botched Barcelona plan pushes ‘raging’ £60m attacker toward Man Utd transfer steal

Date published: Wednesday 17th November 2021 12:07 - Steve Pearson

Bayern Munich winger Leroy Sane battling with RB Leipzig playmaker Dani Olmo 2021

Barcelona have shot themselves in the foot by pursuing Raheem Sterling in a move that could see Xavi’s preferred target, Dani Olmo, join Manchester United instead, per a report.

Barcelona’s interest in Manchester City forward Sterling has been documented. The England winger has fallen out of favour at the Etihad. His public declaration that he’d be wiling to move on to attain regular gametime predictably did not go down well with Pep Guardiola.

A January loan deal with a view to signing him in a future window when their finances are more stable has been touted.

However, according to Spanish outlet El Nacional, their pursuit of Sterling may have inadvertently botched a second deal new boss Xavi preferred instead.

They claim that until Barcelona’s interest in Sterling was verified, the transfer of RB Leipzig attacker Dani Olmo to the Camp Nou was ‘on track’.

The 23-year-old spent eight years in Barcelona’s academy between 2007-14. After spending time in Croatia and Germany, Barcelona sought to bring him back home. The player was also noted to be receptive to the idea. Leipzig were believed to be open to Olmo’s sale, providing it was delayed until the summer of 2022.

However, the club’s interest in Sterling has upset Olmo and his camp. In the article’s words, they have ‘gone into a rage’ with Olmo fearing he will become second fiddle.

That has opened the door for Manchester United who were linked with the £60m-rated attacker in October.

It’s acknowledged Olmo’s preference still remains signing with Barcelona. The fact his family reportedly lives in the city aids that notion.

However, Olmo is suggested to be having second thoughts and will ‘activate’ his United option if Barcelona continue to target a second attacker.

Xavi is stated to prefer the signing of Olmo over Sterling if only one can be achieved. However, Barcelona are playing a dangerous game and retain ambitions of acquiring both.

Ultimately, that strategy could backfire and push Olmo towards Old Trafford. The scenario of United signing Olmo and Manchester City losing Sterling would be a win-win for the Red Devils.

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Ferdinand explains Ten Hag is perfect Man Utd fit

Meanwhile, Rio Ferdinand has claimed that Ajax’s Erik ten Hag would be the ideal successor as manager if Ole Gunnar Solskjaer got the sack.

Solskjaer still retains the faith of the United board, but the pressure on his tenure is not going away. Links with Zinedine Zidane remain strong, even if he reportedly has no interest in moving to United right now. Instead, the forme Real Madrid boss has eyes on the France job.

However, Ajax’s Ten Hag has also had recent links with a move to Old Trafford. He has performed wonders in Amsterdam, namely two Eredivisie titles and a run to the Champions League semi-finals.

According to Ferdinand, the Dutchman would be the perfect successor for Solskjaer if he were to go. He added that his experience at a “massive” club such as Ajax would serve him well.

“You’ve got to be able to go in there and command a whole dressing room full of egos, full of big personalities, big characters. That’s the job of anyone coming in,” the pundit said on his FIVE YouTube channel.

“Now I don’t know Ten Hag personally but he’s doing a fantastic job at Ajax. Let’s remember that Ajax isn’t a small club. They’re a massive club – the biggest club in Holland.

“Yes, it’s different and the landscape is different. But it’s still a huge club that he’s got to work with and the expectation levels there every day are to win.

That’s something that will be there and very similar at Man Utd if he was to come to Man Utd.”

READ MORE: Paper Talk: Lampard has Solskjaer Man Utd sack theory which he hopes can spring Prem return

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