Barcelona's big money transfer plan for the summer is in jeopardy with Raheem Sterling ready to commit his long-term future to Manchester City.
The Catalan club had identified the England international as a potential candidate to reinforce their forward line. Sterling struggled for game time in the latter half of the Premier League campaign under Pep Guardiola, and was tipped for a move this summer.
Moreover, Barcelona are struggling to reach an agreement with winger Ousmane Dembele over a new deal, which has translated to them seeking alternatives. Sterling was seen as an ideal replacement despite the financial outlay it would require from the La Liga club.
According to Manchester Evening News, Barcelona will now have to turn their attention elsewhere after Sterling decided that he will be a City player next season. He is keen to sort out his future with the club and remain with the Premier League champions in the long term.
The Englishman has been stellar since moving from Liverpool in 2015 scoring 114 goals and assisting 82 in 292 games for City. Sterling's 14 goals in all competitions last season was his lowest in a campaign under Guardiola.
Sterling's omission from the starting XI also saw him linked with moves to Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur. He was expected to be used as a makeweight in the deal to try and sign compatriot Harry Kane from Spurs.
Sterling remains focused on the task at hand, which is starring for the Three Lions at the ongoing European Championship. But upon his return, he is expected to sit down with the club and sort out his contract situation and put an end to the speculation surrounding his future in Manchester.
Coming back to Dembele, Barcelona still have a problem on their hands with Marca reporting a lack of progress with regards to talks over a new contract. The club is said to have begun proceedings with the player's representatives on Tuesday but failed to reach an understanding.
The France international's contract expires in 2022 and the Catalan giants have no intention of letting him walk away on a free transfer next summer. They are ready to put him on the market if contract talks drag on until the final weeks of the transfer window.
Barcelona signed Dembele for €105 million (£90.1m) plus €40 million in variables and they have no intention of letting him walk away without recouping a fee. They are said to be even willing to sit him in the stands for the entirety of next season if he continues to renegade on signing a new deal.
The 24-year-old is likely to have enough suitors with Juventus already being linked with a move, but the Serie A club prefer to wait until next summer and land him on a free. Dembele, meanwhile, remains focused on France's campaign at the European Championships, which they began with a win over Germany on Tuesday night.