BARCELONA

Manchester City rebuff Barcelona's bid for Sterling

According to Fabrizio Romano, City are not prepared to let Sterling join Barcelona on loan in the January transfer window - a huge blow for the Catalans.

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Manchester City rebuff Barcelona's bid for Sterling
James Gill - Danehouse Getty Images

Raheem Sterling is the player who Barcelona have their heart set on to strengthen their attack during the winter transfer window. Due to their delicate economic situation, the Catalan club's plan is to secure Sterling on loan in January with an option to by him outright at the end of the season. The City player seems to be open to the idea, as has been reported in England, as he is not vital  to Guardiola's plans.

However, according to Fabrizio Romano in his Here We Go podcast, Manchester City have been very clear with Barcelona about where they stands on the issue - Sterling can leave on a transfer - or not at all. City are not open to Barça's proposal of a loan, which complicates the chances of the England international ending up at Camp Nou. 

The matter of Raheem's future is a constant source of intrigue for the English media but becoming a chore for manager Pep Guardiola who asked reporters to stop asking him questions about the player. "Please donñt ask me about transfers, not now or after the transfer window. It's not my job and I am not going to answer any question regarding transfers. My priority is to prepare the players for our games, including Sterling, and I don't know what will happen in the future," he said. After speaking his mind, Pep included Sterling in his starting XI in the next game.

Sterling scores against Everton

Temporary measure or a reprieve?

Appearing in the starting line-up hasn't been a regular occurrence for the 26-year-old this season. He has started just one Champions League game and apart from the meeting with Everton in Week 12, he has only been involved in three Premier League games from the start. We will see whether his inclusion in the side against Everton was a conscious change by the coach or not. From what the player has said, it's clear he sees himself nearer to leaving than staying, but judging by what Romano has said, that will not be simple. At least not to a club like Barcelona who are only looking to take players on loan rather than signing them. Ziyech, Werner, Pulisic and Cavani have also been linked to Barça... time will tell...