Man City in 2021: Domestic dominance and European heartache
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Barcelona appear ready to raid Manchester City after agreeing a deal to sign Ferran Torres in January. The forward is set to move to the Nou Camp after the La Liga club secured a bank loan to get the deal over the line.
Barca have been in dismal form this season and failed to qualify for the Champions League knockout stages after scoring just twice during their six group games.
The Catalans won only two of their matches and finished third in Group E.
They haven’t fared much better in La Liga either and are 15 points behind leaders Real Madrid.
Ronald Koeman, who began the campaign as Barca boss, was given his marching orders in October, with legendary midfielder Xavi taking over days later.
Xavi has had a mixed start to his new role at the club but will be hoping he is the man to resurrect the team and bring back the Barca of old.
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According to Eurosport, Barcelona want to recapture their old playing identity and have looked at the situations of Raheem Sterling, Bernardo Silva and Joao Cancelo.
The Spanish giants are in an egregious financial position but have somehow managed to persuade lenders to stump up £46.7 million for Torres.
The forward, who has scored 16 goals in 43 games for the Citizens, had been linked with a move back to his homeland throughout the autumn.
Sterling has fallen down the pecking order at the Etihad Stadium this year and is thought to be growing frustrated at his situation in the north west.
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The England forward started just six of his side’s first 17 matches of the season, with two of those coming in the Carabao Cup.
He has featured more regularly in recent weeks but is no longer regarded as a key figure at City and could push for a move away in January.
Silva and Cancelo, meanwhile, have been in sensational form this campaign and boss Pep Guardiola is unlikely to be willing to allow either to depart Manchester.
After missing out against Tottenham on the opening day of the season, Silva has since started every Premier League game for his side and has found the back of the net seven times.
He also appeared from the off in City’s first five Champions League games before being rested in the final group encounter after the side had already booked their place in the knockout stages.
Cancelo, meanwhile, has barely missed a minute of action for the Citizens this season as Guardiola has rotated less frequently than in previous seasons.
The Portugal international is one of the best full-backs in the league and could be keen to stay put for now.
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