Raheem Sterling has been linked with a move to Barcelona for the last few weeks, and the reason behind the rumours seems to be a lack of playing time.
The England international has fallen down the list of choices for Pep Guardiola, who has opted to feature Phil Foden, Riyad Mahrez and Jack Grealish instead of the number 7.
Sterling has spent most of the initial part of the new season on the bench, and is willing to move abroad if it means he gets to have more playing time. The 2022 World Cup also plays a part in this decision, since he wants to make Gareth Southgate’s squad for the competition when it comes around.
“If there was an opportunity to go somewhere else [for more game time], I would be open to it at this moment in time,” Sterling said at the FT Business of Sport US summit.”As I said, football is the most important thing to me – challenges that I have set myself from a young age and dreams as well, to play abroad.
“As an English player all I know is the Premier League and I have always had something down (in me) that maybe one day I would love to play abroad to see how I would come up against that challenge.”
Sterling previously had an untouchable status at Manchester City, but that is no longer the case. Barcelona are trying to arrange a loan move for him in January with the option to buy later, and have the option to add Dani Olmo to their team as well, due to an availability of funds without violating the Financial Fair Play rule.