Pep Guardiola responds to Raheem Sterling Man City to Barcelona transfer reports

Pep Guardiola has left the door open for any Manchester City player to join Barcelona — including Raheem Sterling — in response to a question about their apparent interest in the England international.

Guardiola is in Spain at the start of this international break, and was speaking at a charity golf event with some members of the media in attendance.

Sterling has been linked with Barcelona in recent days, potentially in a player-plus-cash deal with Frenkie De Jong, and a number of Blues players have been reported to be of interest to Barca this year.

However, Barcelona have well-publicised financial restraints and may struggle to pay any transfer fees that would convince City to sell one of their star players. Sterling, though, raised the possibility of leaving City last month when he spoke about his lack of playing time and the appeal of playing abroad.

Given Sterling’s underlying concerns and the transfer rumours, Guardiola was naturally asked whether there was any truth in the suggestion.

Quoted by Mundo Deportivo, he didn’t specifically address Sterling’s situation, but refused to rule out the England international’s sale, or any other of his players, to Barcelona.

“Honestly I have no idea. I don’t know anything. Not that I would tell you anyway,” he told reporters.

“If Barcelona are interested in any of our players, I am convinced that they can get them. Barca continues to be an attractive club, more than attractive. The city, the club, the history and this for the trainers, for the players always seduces a lot.

“If Barcelona interests one of our players, they will set up the machinery into operation, it is a liner.

“Barca can use their media to influence signings. That’s the thing about Barcelona; they can do what they want, good or bad.”

Sterling has a contract at City until 2023, but has not yet extended his stay. Last month, he told the Financial Times that he would be open to leaving City in order to play regular games.

“If there was the opportunity to go somewhere else for more game time I would be open to it at this moment in time,” he said.

“As I said, football is the most important thing to me — challenges that I have set myself from a young age and dreams as well.

“As an English player all I know is the Premier League and I’ve always thought you know maybe one day I’d love to play abroad to see how I would come up against that challenge.”

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