As rumours of a departure for Raheem Sterling continue to circulate owing to a desire to experience more game-time elsewhere, it stands to reason that the club will consider acquiring a like-for-like replacement.
The England international is no longer the sure-fire starter that he once was in Pep Guardiola’s side and having started just three Premier League matches this term, it could be presumed that the City manager no longer feels he can rely on the forward.
In recent weeks, Sterling has been reported to be a target for several clubs such as Barcelona, Liverpool, and Paris Saint-Germain, and perhaps owing to this, City have been linked with a potential replacement.
According to Sport Witness who have translated and relayed a report by French outlet Foot Mercato, Ousmane Dembele ‘appeals’ to Manchester City, and the Premier League champions are believed to be keeping tabs on the player’s situation at Barcelona.
Since joining Barcelona in 2017, Dembele has made 118 appearances, scoring 30 goals for the Catalan side.
However, a slew of injuries has severely hindered the World Cup winner’s time at the Camp Nou.
Consequently, Barcelona are perhaps reluctant to renew the Frenchman’s €15 million-a-year salary and hope to negotiate to a reduced figure of around €10 million-a-year.
Although, it is claimed that Ousmane Dembele is unwilling to accept significant a pay cut and is therefore considering his options.
The report has stated that Dembele’s situation is causing ‘headaches’ at the Catalan club as his current deal is set to expire in the summer of 2022, and owing to this, an opportunity may arise for a club to acquire the player for free in just eight months.
Since Dembele joined the Blaugrana from Borussia Dortmund in 2017 for an initial fee of £96.8 million, the winger has largely failed to meet expectations.
However, as the French international is just 24-years-old, it is plausible that he may be able to revive his career should he opt for a change of scenery, and is claimed to be seeking a salary of €15 million-a-year along with a €15 million signing on bonus.
Owing to his age along with his immense talent, the opportunity to sign a player who was once regarded as one of Europe’s hottest prospects may be a risk that City are willing to take.
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