Raheem Sterling insists he is ‘really happy’ at Manchester City but admits he is ‘always open to challenges’ amid speculation linking the winger with a move to Real Madrid.
The England international has attracted the interest of the Spanish giants for a number of years, though speculation about a move to the Bernabeu has intensified in the wake of Man City‘s two-year ban from European competition for Financial Fair Play breaches.
The 25-year-old has now dismissed the talk, however, and says he remains committed to the Premier League champions, though spoke of his admiration for Los Blancos, labelling the 13-time European champions as a ‘fantastic club’.
“It’s one of those things… Right now I’m at City and I’m really happy,” Sterling said in an interview with Spanish newspaper, AS.
“Real Madrid are a fantastic club, when you see the white shirt you know exactly what the club stands for, it’s massive.
“But at the same time, I have a contract with City now and I have to respect this. But it’s a fantastic club.”
Sterling admits the season has not quite gone to plan for Pep Guardiola’s side thus far, the club having fallen well adrift of league leaders Liverpool in the title race, though is hopeful the club can make an impression on the European stage ahead of their Champions League last-16 tie – ironically against Real Madrid.
“It’s something that you see all the time, but I’m a City player and I’m enjoying it at the moment, even if things haven’t gone quite as planned in the league,” Sterling added.
“We now have a massive opportunity in the Champions League but I keep saying Real Madrid is a fantastic club, there’s lovely weather but I [also] keep saying that I am quite happy at City.”
Despite seemingly committing his immediate future to the Etihad, Sterling refused to rule out a potential move away from the club in the future, admitting he is ‘always open’ to the possibilities of a new challenge.
“No one knows what the future will hold,” he said. “I am a player and I am always open to challenges but right now my challenge is at Manchester City.
“In the future, hopefully, who knows”