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Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling has started just three Premier League matches this season and has fallen down the pecking order at the Etihad Stadium. But, unwilling to sit and suffer, the Englishman has reportedly made it known that he is unhappy with his lack of minutes and is pushing for a move.
Sterling signed for City from Liverpool in 2015 for £44million, which may have risen to £49m, and has been a revelation at the club since.
The winger has scored 79 goals in 204 appearances for the club, winning three Premier League titles along the way.
However, at 26, Sterling is coming into his prime as a forward and must consider whether he wants to battle it out with the likes of Jack Grealish, Riyad Mahrez, Ferran Torres, Gabriel Jesus and Phil Foden for a spot in the starting eleven or simply leave.
If he forward has chosen the latter option, as he reportedly has, then plenty of clubs will be eying up a move for the City star in the January transfer window and beyond.
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Although Sterling has been linked with a move abroad in recent weeks, notably Barcelona, the forward apparently wants to remain in England.
According to El Nacional, Sterling would ‘prefer’ a return to Liverpool if an offer was to be on the table.
However, a move back to Anfield appears unlikely as City are only willing to negotiate with clubs abroad and will definitely not enter talks with a club that they see as a direct rival.
The report then goes on to say that relations between City and Barca are good and therefore a move could be on the table.
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Speaking at the Financial Times Business of Sport Summit last month, Sterling said: “If there was an opportunity to go somewhere else then I’d be open to it at this moment in time. Football is the most important thing to me.
“Challenges and dreams I have set myself from a young age have been to play abroad.
“As an English player all I know is the Premier League and I have always had in my mind that maybe one day I would like to play abroad and maybe come up against that challenge.
“I should be learning different languages. I quite like the French language and accent, and the Spanish.”
Barcelona are now under the management of club legend Xavi, who took over from former Everton boss Ronaldo Koeman.
The Spaniard is looking to cause a major shakeup at the Camp Nou in order to develop the team into the winning machine that they were when he was a player.
A move to Barca could be very attractive to Sterling considering he would link up with former teammates Sergio Aguero (medical advice-dependant), Eric Garcia and Philippe Coutinho.
It remains to be seen whether Barcelona can persuade City to part ways with the England international, may that be permanently or as part of a loan-to-buy deal in January.
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