A potential loan move for Raheem Sterling to Barcelona is reportedly becoming ‘more likely’ as the club look to potentially replace Ousmane Dembele.

The Manchester City forward admitted on Thursday that he would consider leaving the club if he doesn’t get more game time this season.

Barcelona could soon be looking for a winger with Dembele’s contract set to expire at the end of the season, and the club could look to move him on in January to avoid losing their £135m signing on a free.

Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo have reported that Barcelona have been ‘put off’ in their plans to tie Dembele to a new deal, with a loan move for Sterling ‘growing more likely’.

The French winger is said to want to stay at Barcelona but his agent Moussa Sissoko is delaying negotiations until he recovers from the injury he sustained with France at Euro 2020.

Barcelona feel Dembele should take a pay cut if they were to sign him on a new deal after four injury plagued seasons in which he has not been able to demonstrate his quality on a regular basis.

With the Frenchman potentially heading out the door, this could trigger the LaLiga giants to make their move for Sterling.

Sterling has struggled for game time since the £100m signing of Jack Grealish from Aston Villa during the summer transfer window. The 26-year-old has started just two out of Manchester City’s seven games so far this season.

Previously an ever-present, Sterling was largely named on the bench towards the business end of City’s run to their first Champions League final last term.

Speaking at the Financial Times’ Business of Sport US summit, he admitted he was not averse to playing abroad at some point during his career.

He said: ‘If there was the option to go somewhere else for more game time I would be open to it. ‘As I said football is the most important thing to me. Challenges that I have set myself from a young age and dreams as well.

‘As an English player all I know is the Premier League and I’ve always thought you know maybe one day I’d love to play abroad, to see how I would come up against that challenge.’

Sterling though is contracted with Manchester City until the end of the 2022/23 season.

Dembele meanwhile has been plagued by injuries since his £135m move from Borussia Dortmund in 2017.

With his contract expiring next year, a number of clubs including Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea and Juventus are reportedly interested.


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