At this point, it is no secret that Barcelona are huge admirers of Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling and are keen on signing him.
The Catalans’ director, Mateu Alemany, had negotiated with the Premier League champions over a possible move back in the summer, but nothing materialised.
However, that is set to change in January as Sterling himself is intent on securing an exit from the Etihad.
Indeed, the 26-year-old has seen his standing within Pep Guardiola’s side diminish in recent months.
The England international, who once used to be an undisputed starter in attack for the Citizens, has fallen down the pecking order behind the likes of Phil Foden, Jack Grealish, Gabriel Jesus, Ferran Torres and Riyad Mahrez.
Sterling recently admitted that he would be open to leaving the English champions should an opportunity present itself and Barcelona are ready to offer him an escape route.
The Blaugrana have had their fair share of problems in attack this season, with Ousmane Dembele and Ansu Fati having had to battle injury issues along with Sergio Aguero.
It has left Memphis Depay with a lot of responsibility to shoulder by himself in the final third, with the Dutchman seemingly struggling under the pressure.
So, it becomes imperative that Barca add more quality to their attack and Sterling would provide just that.
Arsenal challenge Barcelona for Sterling, Guardiola intervenes
Barcelona are not the only club interested in signing the England international.
Premier League club Arsenal, too, are looking at Sterling to bolster their frontline.
Manager Mikel Arteta knows him well from his time as Pep’s understudy at City and is keen on a reunion.
Arsenal’s interest could have been a roadblock for Barca in their pursuit of the former Liverpool star.
However, it seems like former manager Guardiola has come to the Catalans’ aid as he has told City to block Sterling’s potential switch to Arsenal.
The Citizens’ boss does not want to strengthen a domestic rival by offering up a player of the 26-year-old’s quality.
This has installed the Blaugrana as the favourites to clinch the signing of Sterling.
The Englishman has a contract until 2023 with the English giants and is valued at €90million according to Transfermarkt, meaning it will take big bucks for Barca to sign him up.
Given their iffy financial situation, it would become difficult for the Catalans to pull off a deal.
However, they are set to explore the possibility of landing Sterling on a loan.
The report claims that the good relations between the clubs could make negotiations easy.
It, however, remains to be seen if this does lead to anything substantial in the coming months.