City begin contract talks with Sterling

Manchester City
Raheem Sterling scored a hat-trick as ten-man Manchester City continued their winning start in Champions League Group C with a 5-1 thrashing of Atalanta.

Premier League champions Manchester City have reportedly opened contract negotiations with forward Raheem Sterling.

Sterling has developed into one of City’s most prized assets since joining from Liverpool in a £44million deal in the summer of 2015.

The exciting winger hit 11 goals across all competitions during his debut campaign at the Etihad under boss Manuel Pellegrini.

However, the arrival of Pep Guardiola the following summer has seen Sterling’s game go to the next level and he is one of the first names on the team sheet.

City rewarded his fine performances with a new improved contract in November 2018, handing over a five-year deal worth £275,000-a-week.

But reports have recently claimed that he is being courted by the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

With some of Europe’s biggest names starting to circle, City are concerned that he could be tempted away in the near future.

It’s claimed they are ready to make him the highest earner in the club’s history to ensure he stays put.

Belgium international Kevin De Bruyne is currently the highest-paid player at City, taking home £350,000-a-week.

Reports suggest that Sterling’s representatives held a ‘positive’ meeting with City’s Chief Operating Officer Omar Berrada and Director of Football Txiki Begiristain on Monday.

It was also claimed that Sterling’s future at the club depended on Pep Guardiola remaining in the dugout, however, it’s understood that no longer remains the case.

Sterling has already scored 18 times in 19 appearances for club and country this term, and City recognise they need him to be fully focused if they are to close the gap on league leaders Liverpool.

They currently sit nine points adrift of the Reds after 13 games and face a mammoth task in trying to reel in their rivals.