Raheem Sterling has no interest in joining Tottenham or Arsenal and will discuss a new Manchester City contract after Euro 2020, according to reports.
The Telegraph reported on Tuesday that the England winger doesn’t want to be used as a makeweight in a City bid to sign Spurs captain Harry Kane, and the Etihad hierarchy will open talks for a long-term contract later this summer.
Speculation over Sterling’s future was almost inevitable after the season just ended, where he contributed 14 goals in 49 appearances in all competitions.
That's by no means a poor return, but the winger's tally of 10 Premier League goals was his lowest since 2016/17, and he lost his automatic starter spot with the likes of Phil Foden, Riyad Mahrez and Ferran Torres for competition.
Sterling's subsequent inclusion from the start for England’s opening game of the Euros against Croatia on Sunday sparked debate before kick-off, but he soon silenced any doubters by scoring his first major tournament goal to seal a 1-0 win at Wembley.
It was a timely reminder of Sterling’s star quality and, as the Telegraph’s report points out, the 26-year-old’s wage requirements are likely to be out of reach for Spurs or Arsenal in any case.
Sterling isn't the only City player who has been linked with an exit during a summer transfer window where all clubs are feeling the financial effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
Indeed, the Athletic reported on Tuesday that Bernardo Silva's sale is possible as the Portuguese wants to leave despite enjoying a superb season.
The likes of Mahrez, Aymeric Laporte and Gabriel Jesus have also been linked with moves away.
Sterling has two years left on his deal at the Etihad, so the club will want to decide his future sooner rather than later.
Given his improvement under Pep Guardiola, which has been clear for all to see in recent seasons, Sterling extending his stay and fighting to win back his starting spot feels like the option that makes the most sense for club and player.
Plus, if the former Liverpool man builds on his opening day performance at the Euros and plays a starring role for England, his current employers will be keener than ever to get ink on paper for that new deal.
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