Xavi wants to take Raheem Sterling to Barcelona if he becomes their manager… but it will cost over £150m to lure the England star from Man City
- Xavi views Raheem Sterling as the perfect signing to elevate Barcelona further
- The Nou Camp legend is tipped as a future coach of the La Liga champions
- Ernesto Valverde is under increasing pressure after sluggish start to the season
- Man City would not countenance selling Sterling a year after signing new deal
Barcelona legend Xavi views Raheem Sterling as the perfect signing to elevate the Catalan giants should he eventually take over as manager.
The Nou Camp great, currently managing Al-Sadd in Qatar, is tipped as a future coach of the La Liga champions, with Ernesto Valverde under increasing pressure after a sluggish start to the season.
Sterling is of interest to Barca, who have – as yet – not been as aggressive in their desire to lure him away from Manchester City as rivals Real Madrid.
Barcelona legend Xavi views Raheem Sterling as the perfect signing to elevate the club
Real managing director Jose Angel Sanchez invited Sterling’s representatives to Spain for discussions over the summer.
The England international – who has netted 39 goals for club and country over the last year – would become the most expensive British player of all time and likely cost upwards of £150million.
City would not countenance selling after securing last year’s new contract, revealed by Sportsmail, worth up to £300,000 a week until 2023.
Sterling, who has relished the occasional chance to operate as a central striker, is happy at the Etihad Stadium and would be open to talks over fresh terms.
The Nou Camp legend, currently in Qatar, is tipped as a future coach of the La Liga champions
That will not stop Europe’s heavyweights vying for Sterling’s signature, however, and the 24-year-old has always maintained he wants to play abroad at some point during his career.
Sources claim that Xavi hopes to coach Sterling in the future and Barcelona’s interest would accelerate should he take up a role at his former club. Whether that comes immediately after Valverde’s reign remains to be seen.
Xavi recently revealed that Sterling can become the best player in world football once the dominance of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo ends.
The 39-year-old also talked up Sterling’s promise and aptitude to Barcelona’s style of play while he was still at Liverpool.
Ernesto Valverde is under increasing pressure after a sluggish start to the Spanish season
La Masia product Ansu Fati, 16, is seen as Barca’s attacking future and has scored twice in five La Liga games already this season. Fati started last week’s goalless Champions League draw away at Dortmund.
Barca options going forward are crowded, with Lionel Messi, Antoine Griezmann, Ousmane Dembele and the emerging 21-year-old, Carles Perez.
Club officials are on the hunt for a long-term replacement for Luis Suarez through the middle.