Raheem Sterling Needs a Guarantee Before Signing New Contract With Manchester City
The always reliable Martin Blackburn is reporting that Raheem Sterling wants to ensue he will remain a crucial part of the Manchester City squad before penning a new deal. Rumours have been swirling about contract talks for the last year and a half, but talks have stalled and the 26-year-old now has less than two years left on his deal.
Sterling is currently in his worst run of form in City shirt and despite still maintaining his consistency with England, he has lost his place in Pep Guardiola's squad. Sterling has only started four of City’s 11 matches so far this season; in those four starts the blues' lone win came against Wycombe in the heralded Carabao Cup.
Despite the team’s results, Pep Guardiola has publicly backed Sterling in an interview after City’s 2-0 loss away against Paris Saint-Germain.
"I’d say Raheem can play good on the right, like he did in the 100 points season, he played incredibly good on the left when we got 98 points."
"And as a striker he always has the movements to create something for himself in front of the goal."
According to the report, Sterling and Guardiola had a “heart-to-heart” to discuss his future with the club, promising to accept his new centralized role.
With Grealish and Foden flourishing on the left, as well as Riyad Mahrez and Gabriel Jesus on the right, there’s now a lot less room in the squad. Sterling has seen his minutes begin to dwindle since the end of last year’s campaign, and the expectation is that he must now flourish as a striker. However, a central role is no guarantee either with Guardiola often opting to play a midfielder as a false 9 in key games, as well as the emergence of Ferran Torres, who now has six goals in 10 starts for club and country so far this season.
Blackburn also seemed to confirm concrete interest between Barcelona and Sterling. Over the past few weeks there have been rumours coming out of Spain that the Carolinian side are looking to sign Sterling in January, but City remain firm in their hope to extend his contract.
City fans likely haven’t forgotten it was less than two years ago that Sterling had a perplexing interview to AS days before City’s Champions League Round-of-16 tie against Real Madrid. In the interview Sterling was photographed donning both a City and Real kit draped over his shoulders, while calling Madrid a massive and fantastic club.
Sterling was absent in England’s 5-0 trashing of Andorra, but will likely feature in tonight’s game against Hungary. It will be yet another opportunity to continue his good international form and potentially carry it over back to his club.
Written by: @IVIeehan
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