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Transfer news: Manchester City line-up outrageous swap deal for Barcelona's Frenkie De Jong

Frenkie De Jong
(Image credit: Getty)

Manchester City are set to raid Barcelona for Frenkie De Jong - and may offer a swap deal with Raheem Sterling heading in the opposite direction.

City have been admirers of De Jong for a long time and were heavily linked with the midfielder when he originally made his move from Ajax to Catalonia. The Eastlands outfit were in the market for a replacement for Fernandinho back then as their pivot but eventually held off, waiting to sign Rodri from Atletico Madrid.

De Jong has struggled at the Camp Nou since joining for upwards of £60m, however. It was expected that he would replace Sergio Busquets at the base of the side's midfield but he's often found himself sharing minutes with the now-Barca captain.

Former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola is now reportedly set to offer him an escape from Catalonia and a chance in the Premier League - and he could well sacrifice one of his most reliable performers of recent seasons.

Raheem Sterling is heavily linked with an exit from the Etihad and might be used as a makeweight in the transfer to get De Jong to Manchester.

Sterling himself has talked about the idea of moving abroad and in the past year or so, he's found himself down in the pecking order at City, as Phil Foden has taken his left-wing spot in the side. With fellow England star Jack Grealish also ahead of him in Guardiola's thinking, Sterling may leave City altogether.

Barcelona have financial issues to contend with and would no doubt welcome the chance to sign a world-class outlet such as Sterling - especially if they can simultaneously shift a high earner such as De Jong, who may not be in the plans of new manager Xavi. Xavi played with Sergio Busquets and may favour his ex-teammate in Barca's midfield.

With talk of other players leaving at Man City, it remains to be seen what will happen to the likes of Aymeric Laporte, Bernardo Silva and Riyad Mahrez, who were all linked with the exit door over the summer.

Laporte has regained his spot in defence from John Stones this season, while Bernardo Silva has been in sparkling form for the Citizens in midfield, scoring against Manchester United in the derby at the weekend. City still lack a striker but may want to reinforce their midfield with captain Fernandinho nearing the end of his contract.