Manchester City are yet to decide whether to allow either Raheem Sterling or Ferran Torres to join Barcelona in January after the Catalan giants made their interest in signing the pair known.
90min has already learned that Sterling would like the chance to move to Camp Nou when the transfer window opens, and the same goes for Torres – who only joined City from Valencia for £20m last year.
City boss Pep Guardiola has always insisted that he will not stand in the way of his players if they wish to leave, but has pointed to the example set by Bernardo Silva – who looked destined to leave City in the summer after falling out of favour before regaining his place – that suggests any player can win a spot in the side if they work hard enough in training.
Now, sources close to City have confirmed to 90min that Barcelona have approached the club over Sterling and Torres, but they are yet to decide whether or not they can afford to let either go.
The only thing that the City are sure of is that they will not allow both players to leave the Etihad Stadium in January, while a replacement – possibly in the form of Real Sociedad star Mikel Oyarzabal – may be sought in the event of one departing.
Barcelona’s interest in Sterling and Torres comes as they look to rebuild under the guidance of new head coach Xavi. The legendary Spaniard has returned to Camp Nou to try and revive the ailing fortunes of his former club, knowing he must add quality and experience to a youthful side that was decimated in the summer by a number of high-profile exits.
26-year-old Sterling, who starred for England at Euro 2020 last summer, would certainly fit the bill, but City have told the England star that they will only loan him out if he signs a new contract – something they would like him to do no matter what. He has 18 months left on his current deal.
As for Torres, he’s been sidelined for two months because of a foot injury, limiting him to just four starts this season. But even before picking up that knock, he’s been unable to command a regular place in City’s side – owing to fierce competition for places- and his representatives are pushing hard for a return to Spain.
If a move is sanctioned, Barcelona are financially incapable of paying for anything other than a loan, particularly as City’s asking price for each player is north of £60m. Even then, City may decide that they can’t afford to break up their current squad, with any decision likely to be made towards the end of the January window.