Raheem Sterling has admitted that he’s ‘open’ to a move away from Manchester City, and said that he is keen to play abroad at some stage during his career.
The England international starred for his country at Euro 2020 over the summer, scoring three goals en route to the final, yet has since played a bit-part role for his club in the early weeks of the season.
While he was handed a start in the Champions League final defeat to Chelsea, the 26-year-old was largely out of favour in the second-half of the campaign, amid talk of a strained relationship with manager Pep Guardiola.
The emergence of international teammate Phil Foden as a regular starter saw the former Liverpool man lose his place in the side, with the £100 million arrival of Jack Grealish in the summer pushing him further down the pecking order.
There had been suggestion that the winger was keen for a move during the latest transfer window, while recent reports have said that he is ‘seeking assurances’ about his role at the club, before discussing an extension to his existing deal – which expires in June 2023.
Sterling – who has scored 115 goals in 302 games for Man City since joining in 2015 – has now sparked even more speculation over his future by admitting that he is ‘open’ to an exit from the Etihad, with a move abroad seemingly of interest.
“If there was an opportunity to go somewhere else, (for more game time), I would be open to it at this moment in time,” he said, speaking at the FT Business of Sport US summit.
“As I said, football is the most important thing to me – challenges that I have set myself from a young age and dreams as well, to play abroad.
“As an English player all I know is the Premier League and I have always had something down (in me) that maybe one day I would love to play abroad to see how I would come up against that challenge.
“I’m not a person that’s going to complain. I’ve not tried to make it a bigger deal than it actually is.
“I get on with my work, do what I need to do. And I’m just raring to go – playing football matches regularly, score goals regularly.
“From being a young child, football has been the most important thing in my life, my most happiest I should say.
“If I want my happiness at a certain level I need to be playing football. I need to be scoring goals and enjoying myself.”
Sterling has reportedly spiked the interest of Barcelona in recent weeks.