Pep Guardiola has confessed that joining Barcelona would appeal to any player, as he opens the door to an exit for Man City winger Raheem Sterling.
As revealed by 90min last month, Sterling’s representatives have been exploring a possible January loan move to Barcelona, and although City would prefer him to stay and fight for his spot in the team, Guardiola will not stand in Sterling’s way if he wants to go.
Following the arrival of Xavi in the Camp Nou dugout, transfer rumours are swirling like mad in Catalonia and Sterling’s name is right at the forefront of that. On Monday, when Guardiola was at a charity event at Sant Cugat del Valles golf club, reporters took the opportunity to ask him about the speculation.
Initially, Mundo Deportivo state that Guardiola went ‘off on a tangent’, with the boss suggesting that City’s lack of options at striker could see Sterling stay, but when pressed for a response, he admitted Barcelona have a real shot at landing their man.
“We have too much work to do it but if Barcelona is interested in any of our players, I’m convinced they can get them,” he said. “Barcelona continues to be an attractive club, more than attractive.
“The city, the club, the history and this for the coaches, for the players always seduces a lot. If Barcelona is interested in one of our players, they will start the machinery, It is an ocean liner. Barcelona, in good and bad, can do what they want.”
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Sterling is one of several City players who have been linked with moves to Barcelona in recent months. Rumours involving midfielder Bernardo Silva have perhaps been strongest, but defenders Aymeric Laporte and Joao Cancelo have both been tipped to head to Camp Nou as well.
When he was asked about which players could leave City for Barcelona, Guardiola said: “I have no idea, not that I know. And obviously I wouldn’t tell you this either.”
Sterling has made nine appearances in the Premier League so far this season, but just three of those have come as a starter.
He has also started just once of City’s four Champions League games to date and is understood to be open to a move away in search of more regular minutes.