Barcelona may currently be focused on signing free agents, but the club officials are open to making a big money signing as they look to reinvigorate the squad after a poor 2020-21 campaign.
The La Liga giants were in the running for the title in the final weeks, but could not keep up with eventual title winners Atletico Madrid and arch rivals Real Madrid. Barcelona eventually finished third, seven points behind the champions.
The Catalans have thus far completed the signings of Sergio Aguero and Eric Garcia on free transfers along with Emerson Royal on a buyback clause from Real Betis. But Ronald Koeman is also keen to bring in a proven forward with an eye on potentially replacing contract rebel Ousmane Dembele.
According to Spanish publication Sport, Barcelona has identified Manchester City star Raheem Sterling as a potential target. The club is confident of raising the required funds that will help them make a marquee signing during the ongoing summer transfer window.
Sterling has been a key component of Pep Guardiola's team since joining from Liverpool in 2015. Despite having a prolific record for City, the England international struggled for regular game time in the latter half of the recently concluded campaign.
The lack of football and faith shown by the manager has seen reports emerge about a potential summer move. City could accept offers for the speedy winger and Barcelona are ready to test their resolve.
The La Liga club is aware that it will take a heavy financial outlay to pry Sterling from City but believe that a player-plus-cash deal could reduce the overall cost of the operation. The Englishman is seen as a viable alternative to Dembele, who is delaying signing his new contract with the Catalan outfit.
The France international's current deal expires in 2022 and Barcelona is keen to extend his stay beyond next summer. Dembele, however, is dithering and the club has put him on the transfer block and begun identifying potential replacements.