Manchester City may be one of the richest clubs in world football, but they might be sweating over the future of their star player Raheem Sterling in the coming months.
The former Liverpool winger signed a new deal with City just last November but reports from The Athletic now suggest that his head could be turned by a potential move to Spain, with Florentino Perez interested in taking him to Madrid.
The same report also claims that City are willing to offer Sterling a new deal to fend off any such interest but should Sterling keep the door open?
Sterling And His Numbers
Arguably one of the best wingers in Europe now, Sterling has been in terrific form for Pep Guardiola’s men, registering 36 goals and 21 assists in his last two seasons at Etihad.
In this time, he has lifted two league titles, two League Cup trophies and an FA Cup and has cemented a place in the England national side.
At just 24, Sterling already has 231 Premier League appearances, 43 Champions League appearances and 53 international appearances and could probably walk into any side in Europe.
Quick, smart and gifted, the former QPR star has certainly benefited from Guardiola’s system at Manchester City but his quality is undeniable.
He has six goals in six starts this season as well and will look to continue his form and help his side to yet another league title.
As effective as he is on the field, Sterling is equally influential off the field as well. His campaign against racism has helped him grow as a brand in Europe, which makes him a decent fit for Los Blancos at the Spanish capital.
Should Sterling Make A Move?
As an English player, earning insane wages at one of the best clubs in world football now, Sterling has very little reason to quit Manchester City any time soon.
Pep Guardiola has made City a real footballing powerhouse and with the likes of Sergio Aguero and David Silva reaching their final few years at the club, Sterling could well be the player around whom the squad is built in the future.
However, Guardiola, who is already wanted in Italy, has just a couple of years left on his current deal. If the Spaniard decides to quit next summer, the door to Sterling’s exit will be wide open.
Proving himself in Spain and playing for the most successful club in the history of the sport could be too hard to ignore even for a settled Raheem Sterling.
His wages will probably improve as well, so there is a real chance that the 24-year-old is happy to jump ship in the near future.
The story from The Athletic claims that Real Madrid’s representatives have met the winger earlier this year so it will not be a surprise if this rumour is the biggest of the transfer window next summer.
But from the player’s point of view, pushing for such a move will not make sense given the comfort levels and the connect with fans here in Manchester.
The fact that Real Madrid are also not at the pinnacle of European football anymore and are clearly in a massive transitional phase will act as somewhat of a deterrent to any possible move in the next year or two.