By G9ija

Barcelona’s interest in signing Raheem Sterling has not been ended by the highly-unlikely prospect of a deal any time soon.

After a disastrous few years that culminated with club legend Lionel Messi leaving the club against his will on a free transfer in summer, Barcelona are looking to rebuild under Joan Laporta’s presidency and have identified the Manchester City forward as a target; Laporta has improved relations with the Blues and has an excellent relationship with Pep Guardiola, who he met earlier this week around the public announcement of Xavi as the new head coach at the Nou Camp.

The City boss sidestepped media questions during his visit about a Barcelona move for Sterling amid hope in the Catalan capital that the player can be tempted as soon as January either on a permanent or temporary deal.

Guardiola keeps a small squad at the Etihad and relies on fierce competition from those who are not regular starters to drive up standards. Sterling has proven himself enough times for the club that there are still many who think his form can return, while England manager Gareth Southgate remains happy to select him for the national team.

Despite the player coming up to the final 18 months of his contract in Manchester and going on record to say he would consider a move elsewhere if he cannot get more game time, he is still focused on winning his place back in the City team and signing a new deal to further enhance his status at the club.