Raheem Sterling has revealed he would be open to leaving Manchester City in search of regular game time.
The winger, who left Liverpool to join City in 2015 for £49 million, has started more games for England (3) than his club in the Premier League (2) since the start of the season, with Manager Pep Guardiola regularly picking Jack Grealish and Phil Foden ahead of him. Since City were beaten by Manchester United in March, he has started only seven league matches.
Consequently, the 26-year-old admits he would be open to a move to pastures new, possibly abroad.
“If there was the opportunity to go somewhere else for more game time I would be open to it,” Sterling told the Financial Times. “Football is the most important thing to me [with the] challenges that I have set myself from a young age and dreams to go abroad as well. As an English player all I know is the Premier League and I’ve always thought one day I’d love to play abroad — see how I would come up against that challenge.”
Sterling’s contract with the Premier League champions expires in the summer of 2023. Talks about the possibility of a new one were set to take place last season, but in November, he parted ways with Aidy Ward, his representative, and nothing has moved on that front since.
Apparently, Sterling would still prefer to win back his place in the team and remain at the Etihad, but he’s not prepared to sit on the bench while his best years are slowly passing. He has been linked with Real Madrid in the past, and more recently, Barcelona. The Catalan club are reportedly interested in a possibility of a loan.
“If I want my happiness at a certain level I need to be playing football,” he said. “I need to be scoring goals. And enjoying myself.”