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Raheem Sterling's promise five years ago raises doubts over Arsenal and Tottenham move

By Dan Marsh

The chances of Arsenal or Tottenham striking a deal for Raheem Sterling in the summer look bleak - after the attacker previously insisted that he 'couldn't' return to London.

The 27-year-old has evolved into one of the most complete players in the Premier League since joining Manchester City back in the summer of 2015. Since then, Sterling has racked up over 300 appearances at the Etihad, netting 130 goals. He's also tasted Premier League glory three times and could even clinch a fourth domestic crown in the coming weeks, with City in pole position to pip his old club, Liverpool, to the title.

But with just over a year remaining on his current deal, Sterling's long-term future at the club is unclear. And although Arsenal and Tottenham would be keen on keeping Sterling in the Premier League, the England star has not been shy about ruling out the prospect of playing in the capital in the past.

Speaking back in 2017, Sterling told The Daily Mail : "I’m happy at Man City. But nobody knows what the future brings so one day, definitely, it would be nice to play abroad. It would be a great experience. Spain’s attractive. Anywhere the weather is nice really!"

But when pressed further on a location, Sterling - who came through the academy at QPR before his move to Liverpool - ruled out returning to London. He added: "Nah, can’t be in London. I can’t be near my friends. They got to stay down there."

After starring for England during their stunning run to the Euro 2020 final last summer, Sterling's stock was at an all-time high. But that didn't do him any favours at the start of the season, when he started just three of Manchester City's first 11 league games.

Join the debate! Do you think that Sterling should Man City in the summer? Let us know here.

Since voicing his concerns over that alarming run, Sterling has managed to muscle his way back into Pep Guardiola's team on a regular basis. And after netting twice in the 5-0 win over Newcastle at the weekend, only Riyad Mahrez (24) can better Sterling's tally of 16 strikes for the season.

If Sterling is available for a move at the end of the season, then Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is reportedly keen on reuniting with a player that he 'worked closely with' while he was part of Guardiola's backroom team at Manchester City.

That's according to The Telegraph, who claimed earlier this week that Sterling has emerged as a target for Arsenal should they end their multi-year Champions League exile in the coming weeks.

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