Raheem Sterling is “open” to leaving Manchester City in order to play regularly.
The 26-year-old stood out for England at Euro 2020, scoring three goals and providing an assist en route to the final, which Italy won on penalties.
Despite Sterling’s outstanding performances for his nation, Pep Guardiola has used him sparingly this season, giving him only 274 minutes of Premier League football — the 12th-lowest among City players – with only two stars out of a potential seven.
Sterling has now shown a readiness to investigate his alternatives, with his contract expiring at the end of next season, and looks especially interested in a transfer overseas if his playing time at City does not improve.
“If there was a possibility to move someplace else for more game time,” Sterling told the Financial Times. “Football, as I have stated, is the most important thing to me.
“Challenges that I have set for myself at a young age, as well as dreams. As an English player, all I’ve ever known is the Premier League, and I’ve always believed that one day I’d like to play abroad. See how I would fare in such a situation.”
Sterling appeared in 31 league games last season, the same as he did in 2019-20. (33). His goal return of 10 was the lowest since the 2016-17 season (seven), with the attacker scoring every 253.7 minutes.
His total of 39 opportunities created was also the lowest since Guardiola’s arrival in 2016.
On the other hand, Sterling is determined to stay professional and has stated that he will continue to work hard to reclaim his spot on the team.
“I’m not the type of person who complains,” Sterling added. “I haven’t attempted to make it into a more significant issue than it is. I get back to work. Do what I’m supposed to do. And I’m simply itching to get started. I was playing football regularly, consistently scoring goals.
“Everything that comes with football, money, and the ability to do pleasant things. At the end of the day, if football isn’t up to a certain quality, I’m not really happy. I need to be playing football if I want to be happy at a particular level. I need to be scoring goals and having fun.”
Ferran Torres’ latest injury, which is expected to keep the Spaniard out for six weeks, might open the way for Sterling. Still, it would entail the former Liverpool forward playing out of his usual position on the left.
Sterling’s recent difficulties at City
Sterling was once a regular in Guardiola’s starting XI, but he has only appeared in 16 of City’s last 33 matches across all competitions, dating back to February.
Indeed, seven of the England international’s ten Premier League games for the champions this season have come off the bench, and he has only contributed one goal and one assist.
Sterling has been linking with several clubs.
Suppose Sterling decides to go when the transfer market reopens. In that case, he will not be short of choices since the former Liverpool youngster is already an established performer on the highest stage at both club and international level.
Barcelona has lately been linked with Sterling but will allegedly only afford a loan deal due to their present financial difficulties. At the same time, Real Madrid has also been mentioned as a possible next destination for the City attacker.
Sterling may be given another chance in the Premier League, with ties to Arsenal and Newcastle, the latter of which has recently received a significant cash infusion following a £300 million ($410 million) Saudi-backed purchase.