Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid ramp up their interest in Manchester City star Raheem Sterling – with the England winger aware he’ll need to make a quick decision on his future as the World Cup approaches
- Raheem Sterling is heading into the final 12 months of his contract at the Etihad
- Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid have all been linked to the forward
- Sterling will not consider his future until after England’s Nations League fixtures
- However, the England star knows regular game time is crucial for the World Cup
- Click here for all the latest World Cup 2022 news and updates
Interest in Raheem Sterling has intensified from suitors in Spain since Manchester City clinched the Premier League last week.
Sterling, who has won nine major trophies with City, is heading into the final 12 months of his contract at the Etihad Stadium and being trailed by a number of clubs domestically and abroad.
Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid – along with Chelsea – have been namechecked as potential destinations for the 27-year-old were he to leave City this summer.
Interest in Raheem Sterling (left) has intensified after Manchester City’s league title win
It is believed that Bayern Munich have studied his situation as they look to replenish in attacking areas, while Real were caught cold when top target Kylian Mbappe chose to remain at Paris Saint-Germain.
Sterling decided some time ago that he would not contemplate his future in the north west until after England’s four Nations League fixtures in June.
The forward, integral to last year run to the European Championship final, is linking up with Gareth Southgate’s side on Wednesday ahead of the weekend trip to Hungary.
The forward was integral to England’s run to the European Championship final last year
Strong performances over the coming fortnight are expected to only strengthen existing interest and Sterling believes that regular games will prove crucial if he is to make an impact at this winter’s World Cup in Qatar.
He is, therefore, acutely aware of the need to make a swift call on where he will be playing next season once the international window has concluded – with game time on the biggest occasions a key determining factor.
Sterling did not start either leg of the Champions League semi-final against Real, with Riyad Mahrez and Gabriel Jesus preferred both home and away.
Sterling, who recently broke into the club’s top 10 all-time goalscorers and the Premier League’s 100 goals club, is likely to represent an attractive proposition with only a year left on his deal if he did request to depart City.
Sterling did not start either leg of the Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid
The 27-year-old recently broke into the Premier League champions’ top 10 all-time goalscorers
He wants to stay within the elite of European football given he still harbours ambitions of lifting the Champions League.
Wayne Rooney holds the record of most goals scored by an Englishman in the Champions League with 30 strikes and Sterling is six shy of the Manchester United legend.
Meanwhile, teenager Jayden Braaf moved to Borussia Dortmund after City did not enter into new contract negotiations. Braaf, who has been out on loan and suffered injuries, persistently fell foul of the club’s disciplinary rules and was allowed to leave.