Raheem Sterling has been linked with a transfer exit from Manchester City this summer and four of Europe’s biggest clubs have been linked with the former Liverpool man
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Raheem Sterling’s future at Manchester City remains uncertain with only one year remaining on the England international’s contract at the Etihad Stadium.
The four-time Premier League winner has been linked with a move away on multiple occasions already this month. He was in and out of Pep Guardiola’s starting XI throughout the 2021/22 campaign, so questions remain over whether or not he will be at the forefront of the City boss’ plan next season, especially given the arrival of forwards Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez this summer.
A fresh report claims that four of Europe’s biggest clubs are keeping close tabs on the situation with a view to a potential bid for Sterling, 27, this summer. Here is a look at what the Jamaican-born star’s options are in the coming months.
Back to Chelsea
The Telegraph reports that Chelsea are the latest club interested in Sterling, who will enter the final 12 months of his contract at City next month.
Chelsea need goals and experience in attack, and with a versatile member of the Premier League’s 100-club potentially being available for a cut-price fee, the opportunity may seem too good to pass up for new Blues owner Todd Boehly.
The Blues already have the likes of Mason Mount, Timo Werner, Christian Pulisic, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Hakim Ziyech vying against each other for a place as one of the two narrow wingers in Thomas Tuchel’s side. But with a record of playing 30 or more league games in each of the last nine seasons and registering double figures for league goals in each of the last five, Sterling may be an option too good to ignore.
Real Madrid ‘interest’
Spanish champions Real Madrid are among the Champions League -winning clubs linked with interest in Sterling.
The aforementioned report claims that Los Blancos are keeping a close eye on Sterling’s future. The winger was left out of a number of key games for the Sky Blues last season, including both legs of their Champions League semi-final defeat by Carlo Ancelotti’s side.
Among Madrid’s summer exits was Gareth Bale, which could prompt the club to enter the market for another forward, although he would be battling Vinicius Jr., Eden Hazard, Marco Asensio and Rodrygo for the minutes at the Santiago Bernabeu.
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Barcelona also ‘keen’
Real’s El Clasico rivals Barcelona are also in the mix for Sterling, although the player’s likely wage demands will make a move difficult, given the Catalan giants’ financial struggles.
Should they offload some players in the transfer window, Xavi’s side may be able to strike a deal for the 27-year-old winger, who has a career record of 24 goals in 74 Champions League appearances.
Barca reportedly inquired about Sterling’s availability last summer but, unless something shifts significantly in their finances, this move may be a bit far-fetched.
The Sadio Mane alternative
Liverpool star Sadio Mane has already outlined his intention to leave Anfield this summer and Bayern Munich are the big favorites to sign the Senegalese forward. However, the German club will need to look elsewhere if they are unable to strike a deal to sign the former Southampton ace, having already been unsuccessful with two bids.
Bayern’s star striker Robert Lewandowski is pushing to depart the Allianz Arena this summer and selling him could bring in funds to sign Sterling, who has at times played up as a central striker during his seven years at City.
A move to Bayern would reunite him with former Sky Blues teammate Leroy Sane, although he would prefer to remain in England if possible. That could bolster his chances of joining Chelsea, having grown up in London.
Although four of Europe’s biggest clubs could be after Sterling, there is also a strong possibility that the 74-cap England international stays at the Etihad and fights for his place at City.
Sterling has played over 45 times in each of his seven campaigns at the club and while he was left out of the starting side in some big games in the 2021/22 campaign, he has still played a prominent role.
Riyad Mahrez also sees his deal run out next summer and Guardiola may look to keep Sterling instead of the Algerian – or vice versa – rather than lose two of his three top scorers from last season for free.