Mateu Alemany is on a work trip in Manchester. Barcelona's sporting director spent Friday at Manchester City's offices discussing the January transfer window. Various names are on the table. The first is Raheem Sterling, who has been linked with Barcelona for weeks. But negotiations between the two clubs also threw up other possible names.
Sterling's case was dealt with last summer. Pep Guardiola's side were open to letting the winger go, and the situation was translated to Alemany. Barça suggest the player ruled out a move at the last minute, while Sterling's camp say the proposal arrived to late for the England international to contemplate a change.
Now things are different. The big problem is that City won't contemplate a loan without an obligation to make the deal permanent on Barça's end. Sources at the club have confirmed to SPORT that City would only let Sterling leave if a transfer is guaranteed in the future. That could be now or a loan with an obligatory buy option. And that makes things complicated for Barça.
Alemany is working to see if there's any room for maneuver. However, Sterling's recent performances have been good. He has scored twice in the last two games and Guardiola has praised him publicly.
Ferran Torres & Bernardo Silva
It's not Alemany's first trip to Manchester. He spent several days at City's base in the summer, speaking about various players. Ferran Torres was another player Barça liked, but his possible signing is even more unviable.
The former Valencia forward has a contract until 2025 and his value has grown since he joined City. His evolution under Guardiola, as well as with Spain, mean City would demand much more than the 24 million euros they paid for him.
The third name is Bernardo Silva. The Portugal international has been differential for Guardiola's side this season but was close to leaving in January. He expressed a desire to leave but didn't because no European side decided to bet on him.
Silva would prefer to move to the Spanish league, with Barça one of the favourites. In terms of style, he would fit perfectly at Camp Nou, but City would require a fee that Barça cannot take on.
All of these cases are being discussed by Alemany, who has work to do in Manchester. Not just to find the best solutions for Barça, but to make sure they fit within Barça's financial possibilities.