Barcelona have been handed a blow in pursuit of Raheem Sterling, who is reportedly considering moving to Arsenal instead of Camp Nou.
According to a report by Transfer Market Web, Arsenal have been handed a major boost in their pursuit of Raheem Sterling. The Manchester City forward is leaning towards making the switch to the Emirates instead of going to Camp Nou to join Barcelona.
Raheem Sterling joined Manchester City from Liverpool in the summer of 2015 and has since blossomed into one of the finest attacking players in the Premier League. A regular feature for club and country in the last six years, the English international has suffered a dip in fortunes at the Etihad in the past year or so.
With Bernardo Silva on a resurgent run and Phil Foden quickly becoming a pivotal figure, Sterling has struggled to embark on a run of starts this season. Thus far, the 26-year-old has started just six of the 18 games that Manchester City have played this season, raking in two goals and as many assists along the way. However, that has not deterred prospective suitors, with Barcelona and Arsenal tailing him.
Barcelona hold a long-standing interest in Sterling, which transcends various managers. Xavi, too, is touted to be keen on landing the English international, with the Blaugrana looking to land him on a loan deal in January. The eagerness to sign the player makes sense amid the uncertainty surrounding Ousmane Dembele.
However, Barcelona have been handed a major blow in pursuit of the 26-year-old, who is inclined to join Arsenal instead. The interest from Arsenal is understandable, considering Alexandre Lacazette is running down his contract.
In addition, there have been suggestions that Arsenal are weighing up the possibility of cashing in on Nicolas Pepe, whose poor performances have prompted the Gunners to take a big call on his future. And Sterling would be a major upgrade on Pepe if he can rediscover his best form.
According to Transfer Market Web, Sterling is leaning towards joining Arsenal because he believes he can be a leading figure for the Gunners. So, even though it was recently reported that Barcelona were closing in on landing the 26-year-old, that might not be the case after all.
However, with Manchester City demanding around £45 million for the Englishman, it remains to be seen if Arsenal shell out the required sum to beat Barcelona and secure his services.