Real Madrid are reportedly keeping an eye on England international Raheem Sterling, amid talks over a new contract at Manchester City.
As per a report from ESPN, reigning European champions Real Madrid are monitoring Manchester City superstar Raheem Sterling, who will be entering the final year of his contract at the end of the season.
Sterling joined Manchester City in £49 million move from Liverpool in July 2015, signing a five-year deal. The 23-year-old has made 150 appearances for the Cityzens, scoring 48 goals and setting up 51 more in the process.
Sterling has come into own since Pep Guardiola took over the reins at the Etihad in 2016. Last season was by far the Englishman’s most prolific campaign, as he plundered 23 goals and registered 17 assists in 46 games across all competitions, playing a crucial role in City’s Premier League and Carabao Cup double.
In the 2018-19 season, Sterling has taken the field on ten occasions for the Premier League champions, in which he has found the back of the net four times and assisted three more.
Sterling’s current deal with Manchester City expires in 2020 and there has been little headway made in negotiations over a new contract. A report from The Guardian in September claimed that Sterling, who is on wages of £170,00-a-week, was seeking a pay rise to £220,000-per-week at least. However, the club are not willing to meet the demands, leading to an impasse.
This has alerted Real Madrid, who have been in search for attacking reinforcements since summer, following Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure to Juventus. The Merengues’ recent run of poor results under new manager Julen Lopetegui have meant their misfiring attack is in the spotlight.
Real Madrid are without a victory in their previous four games in all competitions and have failed to score a single goal in each of those fixtures – the first time they have gone goalless in four consecutive games since 1985. And this has left club president Florentino Perez seeking new additions to the attacking ranks.
Chelsea superstar Eden Hazard remains Real Madrid’s primary target, however, they are believed to be keen on making a move for Sterling, should an opportunity present itself at the end of the season. The 23-year-old’s value would significantly drop once he enters the final year of his contract with Manchester City and Los Blancos are hoping to capitalize if such a situation arises.
Sterling has hinted that he would be open to a move abroad in the past, however, the report claims that both the player and Manchester City want to reach an agreement over a new long-term contract. Manager Pep Guardiola has also stated that he wants the England international to remain at the club.
The Premier League title holders handed out new deals to Kevin De Bruyne, Ederson, Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero recently, along with Guardiola himself and Sterling could be the next in line. However, if the two parties fail to come to an agreement, Real Madrid will be waiting in the wings to swoop in. It will be interesting to see how this story develops in the coming months.