Though there’s still a couple of months until the winter transfer window opens for business, Barcelona have been heavily linked with Manchester City wide man, Raheem Sterling.
The 26-year-old was in remarkable form for England in the Euro 2020 championship, but has fallen completely out of favour under Pep Guardiola.
Perhaps he was always going to be the fall guy at Man City once Jack Grealish arrived.
If there’s one thing that the former Aston Villa stalwart has over his contemporary, it’s an end product.
When Grealish is in possession, there’s anticipation that something will happen and, invariably, it does.
For all of the goals that Sterling scored for England in the summer, there were a handful of occasions where he went down blind alleys with the ball, despite having team-mates in close proximity.
Then he’d double back and try and beat his man again, all the while colleagues in space would be screaming at him to release the ball.
He’s stopped tracking back too which is another area where Grealish excels, so it really is little wonder Pep has Sterling bench warming at present.
In fact, we could almost be describing Ousmane Dembele when speaking about Sterling.
Both prefer to motor into the danger areas with the ball at their feet, have a penchant to keep hold of the ball for just that little bit too long, don’t like doing the dirty work if they lose the ball and often find their best efforts come to nothing.
Why would Barcelona, in all seriousness, want to spend any of their hard-earned on a Dembele MK II?
Unless the club are thinking of getting rid of the Frenchman, a move for Sterling doesn’t make financial or footballing sense.
The club are no longer in the position to go out and buy players ‘because they can,’ so any purchases need to be well thought through and considered ones.
Eyeing a move for the England international speaks of a technical team that doesn’t seem to have done too much due diligence.
Even if Sterling were to be made available on loan rather than straight purchase, he offers nothing different to what Ronald Koeman already has in his squad.
It would be a waste of time and effort trying to court and, potentially, sign him, and would also be another waste of money in the longer term.
It’s time Barcelona stopped making these mistakes.