Raheem Sterling has admitted he is contemplating a future away from Manchester City and would consider moving abroad.
The star of England’s run to the Euro 2020 final has been struggling for game time at City since last spring and has started only two Premier League games this season.
Sterling has less than two years left on his contract but discussions over an extension have stalled, with City having been willing to allow him to leave in the summer.
Speaking for the first time about his future, Sterling said his focus was on achieving more game time at the highest level.
The 26-year-old is understood to be willing to adapt to a new role at City, including playing as a No 9, and his commitment has been commended by coaching staff. But the possibility of a move is now a reality.
Sterling said: “If there was the option to go somewhere else for more game time I would be open to it … As an English player all I know is the Premier League and I’ve always thought: ‘You know, maybe one day I’d love to play abroad and see how I would come up against that challenge.’”
After scoring 30 times in 51 competitive matches for City in the 2019-20 season, Sterling got 14 goals for the club last term. A surprise starter in the Champions League final against Chelsea, he was withdrawn before the end as City chased an equaliser, but went on to score three times in the European Championship for England, including a memorable opening goal in a 2-0 victory against Germany.
Speaking at the FT Business of Sport US summit, Sterling explained how he saw his situation at City on the day it was confirmed team-mate Ferran Torres had suffered a fractured right foot while away with Spain. “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. [Ready to be] playing football matches regularly. Scoring goals regularly.
“If football for me is not at a certain standard I’m not really at my happiest. If I want my happiness at a certain level I need to be playing football. I need to be scoring goals. And enjoying myself.”