Having already announced two signings, Barcelona are now linked with a move for one of Manchester City’s key forwards.
Barcelona have had a busy start to the summer and have managed to officially announce both, Eric Garcia and Sergio Aguero. Both of the club’s newest additions arrived as free agents from Manchester City. With Aymeric Laporte already on their radar, the Catalans have added Raheem Sterling to their list of probable signings too, Sport claims.
Sterling has dropped behind Phil Foden in Pep Guardiola’s long pecking order at Manchester City and has been unable to perform on a consistent basis either. Although he was left out of the last few matches of the 2020/21 season, the Englishman started the Champions League final. However, the forward failed to make any good use of his chance.
As such, it is thought that the 26-year-old will consider leaving Manchester City in the event of an offer from a club where he can play regularly and find his feet once again. Sterling’s contract at the Etihad Stadium ends in 2023, which means this summer could present the Citizens with their last chance to sell him for a fee which they consider fruitful.
Next year, Sterling’s price will fall significantly and the year after that, he will be a free agent, if he does not renew his contract. Barcelona must sell a few players before they can sign a player of the former Liverpool superstar’s calibre and remain optimistic about doing so. In Catalonia, the City winger is seen as an ideal replacement for Ousmane Dembele.
Dembele’s contract is in its final year and his lack of urgency in renewing it has put Barca in an uncomfortable position. The World Cup winner is one of their most expensive signings and due to that, Barcelona would not want to be resigned into losing him for free next year. Paris Saint-Germain are interested in testing the waters for Dembele’s signing.
Raheem Sterling’s value to Barcelona is a point of discussion, but firstly, whether the Blaugrana require a winger remains to be seen even though Dembele could depart. Antoine Griezmann has done a commendable job from the left flank, whereas Ansu Fati is also expected to return to full fitness ahead of next season after a long-term injury.
Philippe Coutinho is another option for Barca, being mindful that he started the season well under Ronald Koeman before suffering the same fate as Fati. Griezmann is specifically likely to be handed a regular role on the left wing with Aguero’s arrival. Sterling, although a great goal-scorer, may not find La Liga the best place for himself to function.
He has struggled to play against defensive teams in the Premier League even under Guardiola’s free-roaming system, due to his lack of physique and strength to hold off players. In La Liga, majority of the teams defend very deep and play on the counter-attack. While Sterling has not done well against defensive sides, his work-rate defensively is poor too.
In hindsight, there are more reasons to think why Barcelona must pass up on signing Sterling than why they should sign him. Nonetheless, the club has more important agendas on its to-do list such as selling off its deadweight and also signing a defensive midfielder, who is long overdue. What transfers do you think Barca will facilitate in the transfer window?