Manchester City are blessed to have one of the best teams in the world and believe one of their academy graduates has the potential to be a regular starter.
Reports have circulated that Manchester City are willing to let Raheem Sterling leave this summer, and the club already has a replacement waiting in the wings.
Sterling found he is no longer one of the team’s first names at the Etihad Stadium, with increased competition from Pep Guardiola’s side. And with the arrivals of Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez already this summer, the former Liverpool man could be a surplus for City’s requirements.
Reports have circulated that Sterling is catching the attention of top European teams now that he is potentially available, with Chelsea and Real Madrid cited as interested parties. And according to The Times, City aren’t too reluctant to let the forward go, as Guardiola aims to give Cole Palmer more opportunities next season.
The academy graduate is said to be impressing the City team and they are “amazed by his progress”. Palmer is a rightist and would therefore be seen as a direct replacement for Sterling if he leaves.
Arsenal are also among those looking to improve their attacking options by signing Sterling, but appear to have been ruled out of contention due to their late collapse last season. The Gunners threw away their advantage over North London rivals Tottenham as the campaign began to wind down, meaning they will play in the Europa League next season.
Sterling is only willing to leave City to play in the Champions League next season, meaning the Gunners are certainly more likely to pinch Gabriel Jesus of the Etihad Stadium rather than Sterling. The Brazilian international has been heavily linked with Arsenal this summer, who see the striker as a long-term number 9 option.
According to the Manchester Evening News, Palmer will likely follow the ‘Phil Foden route’ at City next season, working with the first team rather than leaving on loan. The England Under-21 international is likely to gradually become a key player in the coming seasons, although Guardiola seems unwilling to put him in the deep end on a regular basis.
Sterling, of course, will be a significant loss for City, but if Palmer continues to rise through the ranks and impress key figures along the way, he is destined for a great future at the club – and he was rewarded for his work last summer. with a contract extension until 2026. But former Liverpool star Steve McManaman believes Sterling won’t be a very significant loss to Premier League title holders and that a move to Chelsea would benefit the player.
He told Horseracing.net: “I think it will be a good move for Raheem because he is an excellent player and his goals over the last few years have proved that I wouldn’t necessarily say he’s better than Riyad Mahrez and Jack Grealish, but I don’t think this is the right comparison because they are all different players.
“There’s the fact that you’re letting one of your players go to a title rival, but Pep Guardiola can be happy he’s doing that because he knows he’s going to keep Bernardo Silva, Mahrez and Grealish. You just have to trust Pep and him. what he wants to do, and what the player wants. If the player wants to play more games and tells the manager he wants to leave, then that’s football now, but Manchester City are blessed in those positions.”