Reports: Sterling to follow De Bruyne path and conduct City contract talks by himself
Updated: Apr 12, 2021
Raheem Sterling is setting up his own sports management company and will conduct talks over a new Manchester City contract by himself, according to Matt Hughes and Jack Gaughan of Mail Sport.
With FA rules stating that players cannot act as intermediaries, Nadine Clarke, the 26-year-old's mother, is listed as the sole director of 16ninetytwo Sports Management Limited, which was incorporated in January of this year.
Sterling split from his long-standing agent Aidy Ward last year, and it's reported that Sterling would use the legal advice provided by Northridge Law to ensure everything is legally sound after conducting his own negotiations.
City's hierarchy will be no strangers to their players negotiating renewal terms without agents after Kevin De Bruyne did so in recent months to secure his latest contract at the club, which, if fulfilled, will see him complete a decade at the club in 2025.
De Bruyne parted ways with his agent Patrick De Koster of J&S International Football Management, who was arrested last year on suspicion of money laundering, forgery, and false documentation.
Instead of hiring another intermediary, City's vice-captain conducted negotiations by himself, leaning on the assistance of his father, Herwig De Bruyne and solicitors, Daan Buylaert and Sven Demeulemeester, for legal assistance. This saved the club from paying any commissions.
Interestingly, the Belgium international hired data analysts to compose a dossier of data, which emphasised his impact on the side and calculated the team's continued chances of success and how it stacked up with other top teams in Europe.
Ultimately, it was decided there was no better place to be by De Bruyne, and the chances are the same will be the case for Sterling, who has been instrumental to the success of the club in recent years.
Although the forward is currently struggling for form and is having to play second fiddle to Riyad Mahrez and Phil Foden, who are in 'incredible, incredible, incredible top form', he has proved to be a key figure for Guardiola - becoming only the third player to reach one hundred goals in all competitions under the Catalan behind Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero.
When asked about Sterling in his pre-Leeds press conference, Guardiola said:
"Raheem has been so important in the period since we arrived. Nothing we have done so would have been possible without him, he is an important player. Right now I decide because Riyad and Phil are in incredible, incredible, incredible top form, this is the only reason why, there is not another one. In the last 30 minutes against Borussia Dortmund, Phil created all the chances that we had at 1-0 and scored the last goal with an incredible control and assist from Gundogan. Riyad, the last month, has been so decisive. This is the only reason why. He [Sterling] is an important player for our club, there is no doubt about that."