How Man City could line-up under Pep Guardiola with Frenkie De Jong transfer but no Raheem Sterling amid Barcelona talk

MANCHESTER CITY are reportedly set to pursue Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong as they look to bolster their midfield.

Pep Guardiola likes to slowly evolve his squads over time and with Fernandinho coming towards the end of his career and Kevin de Bruyne reaching 30 years of age, the Spanish coach may feel he needs some fresh legs in the middle.

And De Jong has been identified as someone they are keen to go after, particularly given Barcelona's financial problems.

But if a cash sum does not get the wheels turning, Man City may look to offer Raheem Sterling as part of a transfer swap.

The England international has been out of favour at the Etihad so far this season and subsequently been linked with a move away from the Premier League champions.

Speaking about his future last month, Sterling said: “If there was the option to go somewhere else for more game time, I would be open to it.

“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.


“I’ve always thought maybe one day I’d love to play abroad — see how I would come up against that challenge.

"I actually should be learning a few different languages. I quite like the French accent and Spanish."

But how would a De Jong-Sterling swap deal impact Man City's starting XI?

Well, the Dutch international could line up alongside a deep-lying Rodri and more offensive De Bruyne.

Or instead Guardiola could opt to go with De Bruyne as the protector and De Jong and Bernardo Silva pushing on.


Meanwhile, Sterling's departure would not make Guardiola's selection problems much easier when it comes to the front three.

Phil Foden, Jack Grealish, Silva, Riyad Mahrez, Gabriel Jesus and youngster Cole Palmer will all be competing for the attacking spots in the team.

Man City have dominated domestically over the past few years, winning the Premier League title in three of the last four seasons and claiming every Carabao Cup since 2018.

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