Barcelona eyeing January move for Raheem Sterling

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 15: Pep Guardiola manager of Manchester City speaks to Raheem Sterling during the UEFA Champions League group A match between Manchester City and RB Leipzig at Etihad Stadium on September 15, 2021 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

After only a little over a month into the season, Barcelona is already planning on making moves come the open of the winter transfer window.

According to Sport, Barcelona is reportedly interested in Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling and are planning a loan move for the forward. Mateu Alemany, the club’s director of football, traveled to Manchester during the summer and a move for Sterling was said to be close.

At the time, the discussions centered around a possible trade with Ousmane Dembélé, Sergi Roberto and Antoine Griezmann in the mix. In the end, a deal was unable to be reached.

Barcelona hoping to take advantage at his lack of minutes at Manchester City

Sterling had a poor season by his standards last season. Despite being an integral part of Gareth Southgate’s England at Euro 2020, he’s found himself on the bench in the team’s last four games.

Given his lack of playing time under Pep Guardiola, Barcelona is going to try to use that to their advantage to convince both the player and the club to join the Catalan side.

With Riyad Mahrez, Phil Foden, Ferran Torres and the addition of Jack Grealish, playing time for Sterling is going to be scarce. But Guardiola still appears to be a big fan of the player with the Man City manager hoping he finds his level once again.

“Do you know how many incredible successes we had in the last seasons yeah? Impossible without Raheem,” Guardiola said. “He’s such an important player.

“But I am here to tell them. He reached an incredible high standard and I have to tell him this is the standard we need, for you, for all of us.

“And I’m pretty sure he will get it. If he’s able to do it, he will do it. And I’m so optimistic that he will do a great season.”

Source: Manchester Evening News

Publicly, the Catalan manager seems to back Sterling but his future will likely depend on how much playing time he sees and how much he can contribute.

As for Barcelona, his potential addition is not without its headaches. While they’ve had their share of injuries with their forwards, Ansu Fati and Dembélé are expected to be back soon. If they add Sterling, someone is going to see their playing time decline.

On the pitch, Sterling would provide the club someone who can play on the wing who has pace. It’s something they’ve lacked for a while now and it was more than evident in their loss to Bayern Munich.

January is still a couple of months away and Barcelona do have a bit of money to spend. The interest is real and Alemany is likely to head back to Manchester to try to reach an agreement for the 26-year-old.