Raheem Sterling will join either Real Madrid or Barcelona because Manchester City cannot satisfy his needs, says Liverpool legend Graeme Souness. Sterling spoke of his admiration for Real last week but insisted he was happy at City. His comments came just days before City visited the Bernabeu for the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie.
City have been banned by UEFA from European competition for the next two seasons for breaking Financial Fair Play rules.
Souness believes City will be able to keep hold of their star men for next season at least but says it is inevitable Sterling will join one of the La Liga giants because City are not as big a club as they are.
“I think not all of [the City players] could go and play for Real Madrid or Barcelona,” Souness said on Virgin Media Sport.
“You go through them and certainly the two [Sterling and Kevin de Bruyne] we’re talking about could.
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“I think the player and whoever advises them will be sitting back and waiting to see how the appeal pans out.
“I don’t think anything will happen at the end of this season but I think Sterling will ultimately end up at Real Madrid or Barcelona, I think he’s that good and given his age I think it’s inevitable.
“I don’t think City will be able to satisfy his needs going forward.
“When I say needs, in terms of playing for arguably the biggest one out there.”
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Sterling’s quotes about Real came during an interview with Spanish outlet AS.
And Souness does not think that was the smartest move from the England international.
“I think with this game coming up, it’s not the wisest thing to do,” Souness added.
“Obviously the stories that have come out are always going to come out. Not wise I don’t think.”
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Sterling revealed what he thought of Real and their boss Zinedine Zidane, who led the club to three successive Champions Leagues during his first spell in charge.
“Right now I’m at City and I’m really happy. But I say Real Madrid are a fantastic club,” Sterling said.
“When you see the white shirt you know exactly what the club stands for, it’s massive.
“I think to win the Champions League so many times, especially in a row as well is very difficult.
“I don’t think that’s luck, it’s definitely a formula. Some people have that winning mentality and he wins by any means.
“I’d say it’s something he has probably developed over his great career as a player and he’s developing his career as a manager so it continues this winning touch.”
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