Despite a stunning European Championships, Raheem Sterling has found himself out of the Manchester City lineup, with speculation regarding his future mounting
Despite a stunning Euro 2020 for the Three Lions, Sterling has fallen out of favour for his club side, starting on just two occasions in the league all season.
That has led to speculation that Pep Guardiola could be open to selling the 26-year-old, particularly after the £100million acquisition of Jack Grealish only served to push him further down the pecking order.
The crisis club don’t have cash to burn, having been forced to dramatically slash their wage bill to appease LaLiga chiefs.
That saw Lionel Messi leave the club ahead of the new season, with disastrous results leading to what looks like the inevitable departure of manager Ronald Koeman.
But that hasn’t stopped the Blaugrana plotting an audacious move for Sterling and they hope to sign him on loan for the second half of the campaign.
Sterling has just two years remaining on his current contract, with no side appearing desperate to extend the arrangement beyond 2023.
However, The Sun now report that City chiefs are ready to sit down with Sterling’s representatives in order to fend off the gathering interest in their player.
They add that Pep Guardiola has no intention of letting the former Liverpool star leave the Etihad at the midpoint of the season, knowing how difficult it will be to compete on all fronts.
Speaking last month, the City boss reaffirmed his belief in a player that has scored 115 times since signing in 2015.
“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 incredibly 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.”
Guardiola hinted this could a long-term role, adding: “Raheem played really good as a striker last game against PSG. He created incredible spaces for all of us.
“He created one special clear chance that [Gianluigi] Donnarumma was exceptional in saving and another down the left with the movements he had, that we needed in that specific game, the space, the quality, the movements and speed from zero to 100 he did it exceptionally well.”