England international's contract due to expire in 2023
Raheem Sterling could leave Manchester City this summer as the club faces the threat of losing the England star for nothing unless he is sold or signs a new contract. Several top European clubs have been alerted to his possible availability.
The club will be compelled to make a decision by the summer at the latest and it is likely that Sterling will either agree on a contract extension or be sold for a reduced fee of around £50 million. City must act as the winger would become a free agent in 2023 which means he would be able to leave the club on a free transfer.
Manchester City, who have been in imperious form this season, are firm favourites to win the league in the latest football betting odds, priced at 1/10. It looks all but certain that Sterling will claim his fourth Premier League title with the Cityzens. But if City do decide to cash in on Sterling, there would be no shortage of interested clubs. Barcelona, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain are all keen on signing the England international.
The 27-year-old winger scored seven goals in his first 19 Premier League games this season, two more than he scored in his first 19 league games during the previous campaign. While he has rediscovered his form over recent months, he has struggled to maintain consistency. He became unsettled towards the end of last season as a drop in form saw him feature sporadically.
He continued to find himself out of favour with Pep Guardiola at the start of this season, but while there was speculation that he wanted to leave the club, his improved performances of late mean there is still a chance he could extend his stay at the Etihad.
Last year, Sterling spoke of his desire to play overseas: “I’ve always known that maybe one day, I would love to play abroad and see how I would come up against that challenge.” Arsenal are also an option if he decides to remain in the Premier League.
City are keen to talk to Sterling about a new contract, although the England international is seeking assurances that he will be part of Guardiola’s long-term plans before committing himself to the club. A contract extension would be likely to tie Sterling to Manchester City until his early 30s, so he must carefully weigh up the pros and cons of staying at the club or moving abroad.
Sterling can also take heart from the transformation of Bernardo Silva. The Portuguese attacking midfielder expressed a desire to leave the club last summer, but he has cemented his place in the first XI, and has earned plaudits for his impressive performances this season. Silva has established himself as an integral part of Guardiola’s plans and is a leading contender for the PFA Player of the Year award.
There could still be a future for Sterling at Man City if he can maintain his best form. The situation is likely to remain unresolved until the summer when City must decide whether to stick or twist in order to avoid losing Sterling for nothing.