Real Madrid have moved on quickly after missing out on PSG star Kylian Mbappe, as reports say that they are now targeting England international Raheem Sterling instead.
Mbappe announced on Saturday that he's staying in Paris to sign a new contract, ending months of speculation that he was set to move to Madrid - and leaving the Spanish champions furious.
However, the Daily Star (opens in new tab) writes that Real have now turned their attentions towards Sterling, who they hope to sign in a £50 million move.
Sterling is entering the final year of his contract at the Etihad and doesn’t appear close to agreeing an extension, while he's said to be keen on a move abroad.
It’s been a tough transfer window for Real already, and it hasn’t even opened yet.
Two of the Spanish club’s long-standing targets, Mbappe and Erling Haaland, committed their futures elsewhere, with the Frenchman extending his PSG stay and the Norwegian joining Man City.
With Haaland coming in at the Etihad and Sterling struggling to nail down a regular starting spot under Pep Guardiola this season, both parties may well decide it’s time to part ways before the 27-year-old’s contract expires.
Sterling scored 13 Premier League goals for City this season as they successfully defended their title, but he started just 23 league games.
With the World Cup coming up in November, Sterling could be tempted to head elsewhere in search of more regular game time, although he’s unlikely to lose his place in Gareth Southgate’s squad any time soon.
More transfer stories
Mohamed Salah is a major option for Real Madrid to turn to after losing out on Kylian Mbappe, though Liverpool are making moves of their own during this transfer window, eyeing a deal for Matthijs de Ligt, according to reports and listening to offers for one midfielder.
Rumours are rife that Manchester United are looking to slash the wage bill – with PSG lining up one final attempt to sway Paul Pogba to Paris. There could be plenty of incomings, too: Frenkie de Jong remains a key target at £67.5m, while Raphinha of Leeds is on the radar. Jurrien Timber is one name heavily linked, while United are long-term admirers of Lazio man Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.
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Alasdair Mackenzie is a freelance journalist based in Rome, and a FourFourTwo contributor since 2015. When not pulling on the FFT shirt, he can be found at Reuters, The Times and the i. An Italophile since growing up on a diet of Football Italia on Channel 4, he now counts himself among thousands of fans sharing a passion for Ross County and Lazio.
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