Reports: Arsenal revive interest in £49 million Manchester City star
Wenger will try to acquire the winger as part of a swap deal for Alexis Sanchez
What's the story?
Arsenal's squad has begun to feel like a ticking time bomb of late, as key players Mesut Ozil, Santi Cazorla, Jack Wilshere and Alexis Sanchez near the ends of their contracts. The coming transfer window may represent Arsenal's last chance to cash in on these high-profile departures and Arsene Wenger has lined up potential swap moves for the wantaway stars.
In spite of accusing Raheem Sterling of diving in Arsenal's recent loss to Manchester City, Wenger appears to still be interested in signing the English winger. According to the Daily Mail, Arsenal will attempt to bring Sterling to the Emirates as part of a swap deal, with Alexis Sanchez going to the Etihad.
In case you didn't know...
Raheem Sterling signed for Liverpool in 2010 and spent two years with Liverpool's academy before making his debut for the Reds in 2012. Sterling made an impression on Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers and was a first-team regular during Liverpool's 2013-14 Premier League campaign.
Liverpool's attacking trio of Sterling, Suarez and Sturridge lit up the Premier League scoring 61 goals between them, but the season ended on a sour note, with the club finishing in second place behind Manchester City.
Sterling spent another season at Liverpool, before making the controversial switch to City for £44m. The winger has since made 109 appearances for Manchester City in all competitions, scoring 31 goals in the process.
The heart of the matter
Manchester City have begun the season in impressive form and are currently eight points clear at the top of the Premier League. The Citizens are unbeaten across three different competitions and have scored 38 goals in 11 league matches. Sterling has contributed significantly to Manchester City's attack this season, scoring 10 goals in 15 matches.
Alexis Sanchez seems extremely unlikely to sign a new contract and City may view this as an opportunity to pick up the Chilean for free in a few months. To add to Wenger's misery, City executives seem keen on tying Sterling down to a longer contract and have offered him a significant pay-raise.
Sterling has publicly expressed his disdain at the prospect of joining the Gunners and may himself turn down a move. Arsenal was close to signing Sterling in the summer on a swap deal but the move fell through after it was blocked by Pep Guardiola.
This deal has always seemed unlikely and Arsenal do not have any more leverage now than they did three months ago. In fact, if it's possible, they have even less of a leg to stand on with Alexis Sanchez failing to reproduce the quality that his performances from a year ago showed. Sanchez may leave for the Etihad soon but for now, it looks like Sterling will stay put.