Raheem Sterling: Manchester City forward ‘open’ to leaving in search of regular playing time

By Mark Critchley
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Raheem Sterling has admitted that he will be open to leaving Manchester City in search of regular playing time elsewhere if he continues to only play a bit-part role at the Etihad.

The 26-year-old’s opportunities at City have been limited under Pep Guardiola since the second half of last season, despite a starring role in England’s run to the European Championship final this summer.

Sterling’s contract with the Premier League champions is set to expire at the end of next season and, though there is a willingness on both sides to negotiate new extended terms, talks are currently on hold.

It is understood that Sterling would be willing to recommit to City if he receives assurances over his playing time, and while appearing at a live event hosted by The Financial Times, he left the door open to a potential move.

“If there was the option to go somewhere else for more game time I would be open to it,” Sterling said.

“As I said, football is the most important thing to me. Challenges that I have set myself from a young age and dreams as well.

“As an English player all I know is the Premier League and I’ve always thought you know maybe one day I’d love to play abroad. See how I would come up against that challenge.”

Sterling has started just four of City’s 11 games this term, having sat out for much of the run to last season’s Champions League final, though started the 1-0 defeat against Chelsea in Porto.

Since returning from Euro 2020, Sterling's opportunities to impress Guardiola have largely come as a false nine rather than in his natural wide role.

The England international is said to be committed to playing any role asked of him in order to win back a regular starting place and his professionalism has been commended within the City camp during his spell out of the starting line-up.

“I’m not a person that’s going to complain,” he said. “I’ve not tried to make it a bigger deal than it actually is. I get on with my work, do what I need to do and I’m just raring to go, playing football matches regularly, score goals regularly.”

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