The England international has opened the door to a move amid a lack of regular minutes at Etihad Stadium
Raheem Sterling has admitted he’s “open” to a transfer away from Manchester City while also revealing that he’d “love to play abroad”.
Sterling has spent the last six years of his career on City’s books, having initially been snapped up from Liverpool for £50 million ($68m) back in the summer of 2015.
The talented winger has helped Pep Guardiola’s side win three Premier League titles among a whole host of other domestic trophies, but has gradually fallen down the squad pecking order this year, and is now pondering his future ahead of the January transfer window.
What’s been said?
Sterling said during an interview at the Financial Times Business of Sport US summit in New York: “If there was the option to go somewhere else for more game time I would be open to it. As I said football is the most important thing to me.
“Challenges that I have set myself from a young age and dreams as well. As an English player all I know is the Premier League and I’ve always thought, you know, maybe one day I’d love to play abroad. See how I would come up against that challenge.”
Asked how he has dealt with a lack of regular minutes at Etihad Stadium in recent months, the 26-year-old added: “I’m not a person that’s going to complain. I’ve not tried to make it a bigger deal than it actually is. I get on with my work. Do what I need to do. And I’m just raring to go. Playing football matches regularly. Scoring goals regularly.
“From a young child, football has been the most important thing in my life. When I play football that is where I get my happiness from. And, of course, with family as well but football for me has a special place in my heart.
“With everything that comes with football, money, being able to do nice things … at the end of the day, if football for me is not at a certain standard I’m not really at my happiest. If I want my happiness at a certain level I need to be playing football. I need to be scoring goals and enjoying myself.”
Sterling’s recent struggles at City
Sterling was once a fixture in Guardiola’s starting XI, but has only made his line-up in 16 of City’s last 33 matches across all competitions – a sequence that dates back to February.
Indeed, seven of the England international’s 10 appearances for the Premier League champions this season have come from the bench, and he has only managed to contribute one goal and one assist.
Who has been linked with Sterling?
Sterling is unlikely to be short on options if he does decide to move on when the transfer window reopens, with the former Liverpool starlet already a proven player on the elite stage at both club and international level.
Spanish giants Barcelona have been credited with an interest in Sterling recently, but will reportedly only be able to afford a loan deal due to their current financial problems, and Real Madrid has also been touted as a possible next destination for the City attacker.
Sterling could also be given another opportunity in the Premier League amid links with Arsenal and Newcastle – the latter of whom have just been given a major cash injection following a £300m ($410m) Saudi-backed takeover.