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Barcelona Identify Premier League Alternatives Following Man City Stance on Primary Transfer Target

Barcelona are looking at alternative options as a January move for Manchester City star Raheem Sterling is looking increasingly complicated.

Sterling is now in his seventh season as a Manchester City player following his move from Premier League rivals Liverpool in the summer of 2015, scoring a total of 117 goals in 308 appearances.

The winger has also now scored in both of his last three appearances at the Etihad Stadium for Pep Guardiola's side - ending a 12-game goal drought that stretched back as far as August. 

But long before those goals against Club Brugge, Everton and PSG, Sterling has been the subject of intense speculation linking him with a move to Barcelona, who are on the lookout for a new forward to boost new manager Xavi's top-four push.

Unfortunately for the Catalan club, their chances of signing Sterling in January have never looked good thanks to their financial problems and Manchester City's unwillingness to sell a key player mid-season without a proper replacement.

Now, a report from ESPN indicates that Barcelona have all but given up on landing Sterling in the upcoming window.

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Though they looked into a move for the player in the summer and are still interested, the deal is "complicated" thanks to the price tag Manchester City have placed on their man - thought to be in the region of £45 million to £50 million. 

While Manchester City are not opposed to letting Sterling leave on loan, they are reportedly insistent on including an obligation to buy the player in the deal, which makes things difficult for cash-strapped Barcelona. 

The report claims that Xavi's side are therefore considering alternative options who could more feasibly be signed on a short-term loan without any mandatory purchase at the end, namely Chelsea's Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner.

This news is sure to divide Manchester City fans; many of whom feel that Sterling's time at the club is coming to an end and were expecting the England star to depart the Etihad at the next opportunity.

But Sterling still has plenty of fans in the blue half of Manchester too, and his crucial goal against Everton and French giants PSG is a sure step towards getting back in the good books of many supporters. 


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