Manchester City are thought to be open to selling Raheem Sterling this summer if the England superstar makes it clear that he is ready to leave the club amid uncertainty about his future. But equally, they are still ready to offer him a new contract instead.
Despite winning a third Premier League title with City last season, Sterling had a disappointing club campaign compared to the world class standards he had previously set with performances since 2017. He and a number of others are rumoured to have grown dissatisfied.
Sterling, who has shone at Euro 2020, Bernardo Silva, Riyad Mahrez, Gabriel Jesus, Joao Cancelo, Rodri and Aymeric Laporte are the City players believed to be considering their respective futures.
City’s approach to Silva, who had a move to Barcelona arranged last summer only to see it fall through, is that he is free to leave if a suitable offer is made and will not stand in his way if it does. That is already how they have handled players like Leroy Sane in the past.
It appears to be no different for Sterling, with The Athletic reporting that City chiefs have already been discussing that it might be time to cash in on the 26-year-old if a sizeable bid comes in. Quite simply they would be prepared to ‘sell him if they had to’, although the preference is still not to.
Manager Pep Guardiola also still wants him to stay and believes that even if Sterling isn’t fully happy, would continue to put in professional performances and not become a disruptive influence.
Sterling’s current contract expires in 2023 and City digging in if a suitor step forward might only serve to lower the transfer fee they could obtain if all it achieves is pushing him closer to the end of his contract and being sold for less than he is worth now.
Even though Sterling would be open to a transfer, The Athletic notes that the club will present him with a new contract offer the next times he reports for duty after Euro 2020 and a summer holiday.
90min revealed way back in November that it was City’s plan to secure both Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne to new contracts. The latter signed his new deal in May.
City have been tipped to sell off a number of young fringe players to raise transfer funds this summer. Jack Harrison is already one such example, making his three-year loan at Leeds permanent for an estimated £11m, while another £70m could come from cashing in on others.
But selling Sterling could further help fund expensive pursuits of players like Harry Kane and/or Jack Grealish. Given his stance on his future, it might not be too complicated as long as there is a willing buyer. But Real Madrid are the club that has been most heavily linked in recent years and are not in a position to spend big, even if contact has been maintained with agent Aidy Ward.
It had previously been suggested that Sterling could be offered to Spurs in some kind of exchange deal for Kane. But that is not something he is not interested in as if he does leave City he wants it to be on his own terms and not as a makeweight for somebody else.