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Manchester City are keen on doing a deal with Barcelona which would see Raheem Sterling and Ousmane Dembélé head in opposite directions.
Despite an incredibly successful six years in Manchester, which has seen Sterling win three Premier League titles, four League Cups and an FA Cup, the 26 year old is very much on the fringes of Pep Guardiola's current crop and was only a substitute in Sunday's draw with his former club, Liverpool.
This lack of game time has prompted many to suggest that the England star is on his way out of the Premier League champions sooner rather than later, with The Daily Star claiming Arsenal intend to bring Sterling back to London next summer.
Whilst City have plenty of options in the final third, including Jack Grealish, Phil Foden and Riyad Mahrez, one would expect Guardiola to directly replace Sterling should he head to either the Camp Nou or The Emirates, with Ousmane Dembélé a very decent option for the City boss to consider.
Since moving to Catalonia in 2017, Dembélé has shown glimpses of the scintillating form he exhibited at Borussia Dortmund, with the club's former president Josep Maria Bartomeu claiming the Frenchman is 'better' than Neymar. These performances have translated into silverware too, with the 24 year old lifting two La Liga titles and two Copa del Reys in just four years.
That said, Dembélé has an injury record that very few managers, especially Guardiola, would be willing to gamble on. The World Cup winner has missed a high number of matches due to recurring hamstring and muscular injuries, with his employers reportedly ambivalent about extending the attacker's contract, which expires next June.
This fragility looks to be the main obstacle in the way of this transfer. However, should Sterling stage a miraculous return to form, like he did for England during Euro 2020, Manchester City may want to keep the former Golden Boy, never mind sign Dembélé.
What do you think? Does this deal make sense? Which club gets the better end of the transfer? And could Dembélé crack it in the Premier League?
Let us know in the comments.
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