Raheem Sterling is about to enter the final 12 months of his contract with Manchester City, and the situation has raised the attentions of a number of clubs across Europe, as reported by Matt Law and James Ducker for The Telegraph.
Real Madrid and Barcelona are both interested in the 74-cap England international, while Bayern Munich consider him a worthy alternative in case they fail to reach an agreement with Liverpool over Sadio Mane. Chelsea have also joined the queue, as the only Premier League club to be holding a serious interest. There has been speculation about a potential return to Liverpool ever since Sterling revealed he would be open to that option last year, but the Merseysiders landing Darwin Nunez from Benfica, a deal which is reportedly close to being fully agreed, would certainly mean the end of that possibility if it ever existed.
Sterling’s time at the Etihad has been extremely successful when it comes to winning domestic trophies since he came from Liverpool in 2015. He’s won four Premier League titles with City, along with five League Cups, one FA Cup and two Community Shield. In all competitions, he’s so far made a total of 339 appearances in all competitions for the club, scoring 131 goals and contributing 95 assists.
Nonetheless, he hasn’t always been a nailed-on starter under Pep Guardiola, with the Catalan tactician preferring to keep his forwards on their toes through rotation. The strategy has obviously been producing extremely good results so far, but it seems Sterling isn’t all that thrilled about watching 14 Premier League matches begin from the bench in 2021/22.
The 27-year-old himself has practically admitted as much, and his approach to any talks about a potential new deal would certainly revolve around his desire for increased playing time.