Manchester City are reported to be completed relaxed amid reports that Raheem Sterling has been targeted in a surprise blockbuster move to neighbours Manchester United.
Sterling, who rose through the Liverpool ranks to become a vital player for Brendan Rodgers, earned a lucrative move across the north west in 2015.
But while that move caused plenty of controversy, that would be nothing were the England man to switch across Manchester and sign for United. That was first mooted as a possibility on Monday when a report in one respected broadsheet claimed he was being considered as a possible target for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.
It was claimed Sterling could be on the move if City’s two-year European ban remains in place, and that United would have no hesitation in pursuing a deal.
City were banned by UEFA in February after the governing body’s Club Financial Control Body found the club had committed “serious breaches” of club licensing and financial fair play rules.
However, sources have told Metro that City are completed unconcerned by United’s interest in the winger and have no intention of selling Sterling, let alone to a Premier League rival.
Sterling’s current deal runs until summer 2023 but it was revealed earlier this year that talks over an extension are already well underway, with City wiling to tie the 25-year-old down to a new deal worth a staggering £350,000 a week.
Metro insists that City remain intent on securing Sterling to that new contract and are “more confident than ever” that he will commit his peak years to the Blues, where he has become a key member of Pep Guardiola’s side.
City are said to rate the player in the £200million bracket anyway – a fee which would surely discount United from any raid – while the player has already made it well clear that he sees himself playing in Spain if and when he leaves City.
In an interview with Spanish outlet AS earlier this year, Sterling was asked if he would one day like to play for Real Madrid and responded: “How do I answer that one? Is the camera live or is it just taking pictures?
“No one knows what the future will hold. I am a player and I am always open to challenges but right now my challenge is at City and I’m really happy. I have a contract with City now and I have to respect this.
“Real Madrid are a fantastic club. When you see the white shirt you know exactly what the club stands for, it’s massive.”
While Sterling looks unobtainable for United, the Red Devils will push ahead with their plans to sign No 1 target Jadon Sancho. However, Wednesday’s Paper Talk suggests they do fear missing out on the Borussia Dortmund talent and could instead pursue deals for three alternatives.