Raheem Sterling’s comments on ‘dream’ transfer abroad amid Barcelona links

Pep Guardiola reflects after Manchester City's 6-3 win against Leipzig

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Raheem Sterling described the prospect of playing abroad as an opportunity that has “always been a dream of mine”. The Manchester City superstar faces an uncertain future at the Etihad. Sterling enjoyed an exceptional Euro 2020, scoring four goals and terrorising defences as England reached their first international final since 1966.

Despite the 26-year-old’s fantastic summer, his only appearance for the reigning Premier League champions this season was as a 72nd minute substitute in City’s 6-3 victory against RB Leipzig in the Champions League.

Having previously appeared to be one of Pep Guardiola’s more untouchable stars, he has fallen down the pecking order with the likes of Phil Foden and Riyad Mahrez being preferred to the former Liverpool star last season.

And with his starting place at City no longer a guarantee, quotes from an interview with the Bleacher Report in 2019 suggest a move abroad could be a strong possibility for the wide midfielder.

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“Ever since I was a kid, 100 per cent it’s always been a dream of mine to play abroad somewhere,” said Sterling.

“It would be nice one day to finish training and go home and sit in your garden and eat some dinner.

“I would need to see where it’s minimum 17C or 18C constantly.”

Varying reports from Spain have also suggested Sterling was almost signed by Barcelona in the season.

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According to Sport, the Catalans’ director of football Mateu Alemany even travelled to Manchester to open discussions about the prospect of signing Sterling.

With the five-time European champions struggling beneath the weight of crippling financial difficulties, any move for the winger would have likely involved one of Antoine Griezmann, Ousmane Dembele, or Sergi Roberto moving to City in exchange, according to the Spanish outlet.

A move did not materialise in the end, however, the report also claim Barcelona’s interest in the England international will not dwindle.

In the 2019 interview, Sterling did affirm the fact he was happy at the Etihad Stadium and was not looking for a move.

“Looking at it now, it’s like, Manchester, I love it. I love it here,” said Sterling.

“This is one of the best clubs in the world and I’m here for the long haul.

“But you just don’t know what happens in the future. I’m still young and, like I say, I am loving every minute.”

He has enjoyed a hugely successful six years with the Citizens having moved to the club from Liverpool in the summer of 2015.

City signed the then 20-year-old in a deal worth £49m. Since then, he has won three Premier League titles, five League Cups, the FA Cup, as well as reaching the Champions League final last season.

He has made 297 appearances for City, scoring 115 goals, and contributing 88 assists.

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