According to Diario Sport, Barcelona director Mateu Alemany was a big reason why the Catalans opted for Ferran over Sterling.
The report reckons Alemany even met with Sterling face-to-face and the impression he had was that the England international was not what Barcelona needed.
Alemany was not worried about Sterling’s “indisputable talent” but had concerns over his commitment and whether he would be able to adapt to life at the Camp Nou.
He reported back to Xavi and recommended that Barcelona not go ahead with signing Sterling and actually proposed that Ferran be brought in instead.
Alemany had already spoken to the Spain international and knew he was “crazy” about joining Barcelona.
The report adds that Xavi “did not think about it for a moment” and the signing was then completed “relatively easily” once Barca had managed to agree a price with City.