I had to be at 'best level' - Sterling explains Liverpool exit
Manchester City star Raheem Sterling revealed he always intended to consider his options at Liverpool if the club struggled to win trophies.
Sterling, 21, made a £44million move to City in mid-2015, leaving Anfield – where he moved to in 2010.
The England international remembers a conversation with his agent as a teenager, saying he would move on if his spell at Liverpool was unsuccessful from a team perspective.
"I remember saying to my agent; by the time I'm 22, if I haven't won anything at that time and if I'm not playing in the biggest competitions then I really need to assess my options," Sterling told The Premier League Show.
"You want to make sure you are playing at the highest level and the best level.
"I've always loved Liverpool and they are a massive team and a great team that helped my development.
"I had no big issues there at all, with the fans or anything like that so it wasn't really the way I would have liked to have gone."
However, Sterling said the toughest period of his career came later – just before Euro 2016.
He was criticised for his performances as England suffered an embarrassing last-16 exit at the hands of Iceland.
"Just before the Euros was the most difficult time," Sterling said.
"Even the pre warm-up games when you hear negative stuff before the tournament has started when you're about to go away and represent your country.
"You want to try and do the best you can but you're probably not getting the support any player needs, not just a young one."