Manchester City have been linked with Leeds United winger Raphinha recently and if he were to arrive at the Etihad this summer, it would be bad news for Raheem Sterling in terms of future under Pep Guardiola.
According to Italian football journalist Gianluigi Loncari, City have joined the race to sign the Brazilian this summer, with Manchester United and Liverpool also keen on prising him away from Marcelo Bielsa’s side.
The former Stade Rennais man has enjoyed a superb debut campaign with the Elland Road outfit, contributing six goals and six assists in 26 Premier League appearances, averaging an excellent 7.17 rating for his performances.
Whilst he has only got better throughout the season, the same cannot be said of Sterling, who after a bright start has quickly fallen down the pecking order.
So much so, that the Spanish manager is reportedly willing to sell the England international this summer in order to raise funds, and if Raphinha were to arrive then he may well be forced out at the Etihad.
After a magnificent run of form in January and February, where he hit five goals and two assists in just seven games, his form has fallen off a cliff, with no goals and just one assist in 11 City appearances since then.
Considering the 26-year-old is one of City’s biggest earners, reportedly taking home £300k per week, and he is arguably behind the likes of Phil Foden, Bernardo Silva, Riyad Mahrez and Ferran Torres in the pecking order at City at the moment, perhaps Guardiola should be looking to move him on.
Certainly, with the number of wingers already available to the Spanish manager, if Raphinha were to arrive at City this summer it would surely mean that one departs, and Sterling is looking like the most likely candidate at present.
Raphinha has been one of the shining lights in an impressive season for Leeds this season and looks destined for a career at the top, with Noel Whelan dubbing him “sensational” earlier in the season after a first Premier League goal against Everton.
Therefore, City sporting director Txiki Begiristain should definitely look at bringing Raphina to the Etihad, even if it means bringing an end to Sterling’s City career.