Sterling agrees on Barca move after losing Man City leadership role

An operation to sign Sterling in the summer was 'close to being closed' - despite the well-publicised financial issues Barcelona face

Barça have made the loan signing of Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling a priority in the winter transfer window, according to reports.

He has fallen down the pecking order with the record signing of Jack Grealish. Gabriel Jesus has also made a mini-resurgence, making the right-wing position his own in the league.

The Blaugrana had been linked with a move for the ex-Liverpool winger in the summer as well, with technical director Mateu Alemany travelling down to England to hold talks. And a fresh report on Saturday establishes Barcelona’s continued position; that their interest is alive and they would like to reopen talks to sign Sterling in the January transfer window.

Sport state that Barcelona’s director of football Mateu Alemany travelled to England for negotiations over a deal for Sterling in the summer, and that they were initially looking to offer one of Antoine Griezmann, Ousmane Dembele or Sergi Roberto in exchange to secure a loan deal for the 26-year-old.

Barça have since offloaded Griezmann back to Atleti, and their financial position to put a deal together for Sterling is said to have improved slightly since then.

It is now reported that the Catalan giants are considering a loan bid for the England international. Sterling would be open to the challenge as he is keen on earning more minutes.

Sterling has only started one game for Man City this season so far – the opening day Premier League defeat to Tottenham – and has appeared as a substitute in the games since.

Sportsmail reported back in May that the Citizens were open to offers for Sterling, and that he headed a list of players they would be prepared to sell.

But the club also planned to discuss a new contract with the 26-year-old winger after the Euros, with City calm about the situation. As of yet, however, there has been no agreement, and Sterling’s current terms have less than two years before they run down.

The ball now rests in Pep Guardiola’s courts, the report states. If he decides to sanction a sale, it is claimed that Barcelona will be in a position to land Sterling, as there has been some room made for investments following the sales and salary reductions over the past month or so.

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