Barcelona are reportedly set to battle Arsenal for the signing of Raheem Sterling from Manchester City in January despite their ongoing financial crisis.
The Spanish club have debts in excess of £1billion and are currently being limited to a wage bill of £90million by La Liga, which is around the same size as Watford.
Despite this, thought, Mundo Deportivo report that Sterling is a key target for the club for the mid-season transfer window, along with RB Leipzig playmaker Dani Olmo.
However, Barca are set to face competition from Arsenal, after Daily Star Sport exclusively revealed that the Gunners have an interest in the 26-year-old.
The Spanish outlet reports that despite their financial issues, Ronaldo Koeman is set to have a budget of £13.7million in January, which he will use to pay loan fees for Sterling and Olmo.
Sport also report that Sterling has given his approval on a move to Spain, having struggled for consistent game time so far this season.
He has featured in 10 out of City's 11 matches in all competitions but has only made four starts to date, scoring once and providing one assist.
Despite this, Pep Guardiola is adamant that Sterling remains a key player for him, explaining that: “Do you know how many incredible successes we had in the last seasons, yeah? Impossible without Raheem. He's such an important player.
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“But I am here to tell them. He reached an incredible high standard and I have to tell him this is the standard we need, for you, for all of us.
“And I'm pretty sure he will get it. If he's able to do it, he will do it. And I'm so optimistic that he will do a great season.”
Barcelona are not the only club monitoring Sterling ahead of the January window, with the Daily Star revealing on Saturday that Mikel Arteta's Arsenal are also in the hunt.
Arteta worked with Sterling during his time as Guardiola's assistant at the Etihad Stadium and they are believed to have a good relationship.
Both Arsenal and Barca's pursuits of the England winger are boosted by the fact that his current contract expires in the summer of 2023.
Although he and the club are understood to be in negotiations over a new deal, it is believed that they are moving 'slowly' as Sterling assesses his options for the future.
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