Real Madrid held talks with Raheem Sterling’s agent this summer and will push to sign him in a potential £200m deal in 2020, according to a report.
The England forward, who has won five major trophies since joining City from Liverpool in 2015, extended his contract at the Etihad Stadium to 2023 last November and is paid around £300,000 a week.
His form at the Etihad over the past 12 months has been nothing short of sensational and the player already has seven goals to his name this season, adding to his tally of 25 goals in 51 games last season as City claimed the Premier League title and retained the Carabao Cup.
That has inevitably led to speculation linking Sterling with some of the world’s biggest clubs and now The Athletic claims representatives of the former Liverpool forward met with Madrid general director José Ángel Sánchez this summer to discuss a potential transfer.
As per the report, Sterling’s party told Real that the player was happy in Manchester right now, largely thanks to the influence of Pep Guardiola, who has been credited with the rise and rise of the 24-year-old attacker. However, they claim Sterling is open to a future move to the Bernabeu, with a projected timescale of summer 2021 put on the potential transfer.
And that would tally with a report Sterling gave to GQ Magazine back in July when he openly admitted his desire to test himself abroad at one stage in his career.
“Looking at it now it’s like, Manchester, I love it. I love it here. This is one of the best clubs in the world and I’m here for the long haul,” he said.
“But you just don’t know what happens in the future. I’m still young and, like I say, I am loving every minute.
“Ever since I was a kid, 100 per cent it’s always been a dream of mine to play abroad somewhere. It would be nice one day to finish training and go home and sit in your garden and eat some dinner.”
Sterling added that he would ideally like to play in a warm climate “where it’s minimum 17C or 18C constantly”.
However, The Athletic claims Real could yet make another concerted push to sign Sterling once again this summer, amid talk of a £200m approach for a player now said to be their No 1 target ahead of both Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.
Furthermore, and as a result of the suggestions that Sterling’s representatives met with Real, El Mundo Deportivo claims City sporting director Txiki Begiristain knows of their interest in the player and has been planning a fresh contract renewal for the player.
Get the latest personalised City products on our new TEAMtalk Manchester City shop!