Barcelona’s board will meet this week to discuss the “feasibility” of recruiting Raheem Sterling from Manchester City.
Sterling is now in his seventh season at the Etihad Stadium, although he has often been overlooked in their biggest matches in the last year.
Many expected him to have a comeback year in Man City after impressing with England at the European Championships 2020, and being named the team of the tournament. However, Sterling has only made three Premier League starts this season.
He has been strongly linked with a move to Barcelona in recent weeks, and Matteo Moretto from Sky Sport Italia reports that the signing of Sterling is still a “real goal” for the club.
The board will meet this week to examine the possibility of a bid for Sterling as they continue to fight serious financial problems. However, any signings are expected to pass the new head coach Xavi first.
The returning Barça legend played a key role in the acquisition of Dani Alves last week, while reports also suggest that the club will rekindle its interest in Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot.
Sterling said in October that he was “open” to leaving Etihad and moving abroad.
“If there was an opportunity to go elsewhere, I would be open to it at this moment,” he said.
“As an English player, I only know the Premier League. I always knew that maybe one day I would love to play abroad and see how I would meet that challenge.”
90min revealed last month that City will not stand in Sterling’s way if he is set to leave the Etihad, even though they are keen for him to stay and fight for his place.
Pep Guardiola is still a big fan of Sterling – who has come by leaps and bounds under the Catalan leadership – but the player is open to a move to Camp Nou and his representatives have been looking at a move in January.
Should Sterling leave, City can turn to Real Sociedad’s outfielder Mikel Oyarzabal, who has long been admired at the Etihad and has started the 2021/22 season in fine form.
La Real are at the top of La Liga – 11 points ahead of Barcelona in ninth place – with Oyarzabal contributing six goals and one assist so far.