Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Guardiola Offers Update On This Barcelona Target: Should Xavi Launch A Move For Him?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent interview with Mundo Deportivo, Pep Guardiola has offered an update on Barcelona target Raheem Sterling who is currently unsettled at Manchester City. Guardiola declined to rule out a move for Sterling to the Nou Camp and said,

“Honestly I have no idea.

“I don’t know anything. Not that I would tell you anyway.

“If Barcelona are interested in any of our players, I am convinced that they can get them. Barca continues to be an attractive club, more than attractive. The city, the club, the history and this for the trainers, for the players always seduces a lot.

“If Barcelona interests one of our players, they will set up the machinery into operation, it is a liner.

“Barca can use their media to influence signings. That’s the thing about Barcelona; they can do what they want, good or bad.”

Sterling’s Limited Role At Manchester This Season

Sterling has experienced an up and down campaign at the Etihad Stadium but still managed to put in some impressive displays for Man City in the final third. The England international has registered two goals and two assists in 15 matches for the Mancunian giants this season in multiple competitions.

The 26-year-old has made most of his league appearances off the bench which explains why he is only averaging 1.4 shots, 0.7 key passes and 0.9 dribbles per game in the Premier League. However, Sterling has been careful when interchanging possession with others around him, as evidenced by his pass success rate of 82.3% in the English top-flight (stats via whoscored).

Barcelona (Raheem Sterling)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 03: Raheem Sterling of Manchester City warms up prior to the UEFA Champions League group A match between Manchester City and Club Brugge KV at Etihad Stadium on November 03, 2021 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
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Should Barcelona Boss Xavi Launch A Move For Sterling?

Sterling is a pacey and agile wide player who can get to the byline quite easily when he decides to drop his shoulders and run with the ball in the attacking end of the field. The England international knows how to find the back of the net consistently at the highest level when he is playing regularly and with confidence on the field.

At 26, Sterling is currently enjoying the peak years of his playing career, so Barca‘s new manager Xavi would do well to add him to his squad this winter or at the end of this season. His current contract with the Mancunian outfit is set to run out in the summer of 2023.

Thus, the Catalans will have to make a good offer if they are to stand a chance of winning the race for Sterling’s services. We can expect the Man City attacker to enhance the quality of Barca’s first team which is why Xavi should think about launching a move for him when the transfer window reopens at the start of next year.

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