Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling has verbally agreed a new long-term deal to keep him at the Etihad Stadium until 2023, ending doubts about his long-term commitment with just under 18 months left on his current deal.
Sterling’s representatives met and reached an agreement with the Premier League champions’director of football Txiki Begiristain earlier this week and although everything is only confirmed verbally, the England international is expected to put pen to paper before the end of the month.
He was an unused substitute in City’s 2-0 Carabao Cup Fourth Round win over Fulham at the Etihad Stadium on Thursday night but has been an immovable member of Pep Guardiola’s squad and at international level since the Spanish manager took over from Manuel Pellegrini in 2016.
The 2017-18 campaign in which City achieved the Premier League, Carabao Cup double was the most prolific of his season yet, scoring 23 goals in all competitions to help the side, touted as one of the top-flights best ever, reach a record 100 points.
Since moving to the Etihad from Liverpool for £49m in 2015, Sterling’s value has continued to rise whilst averaging almost a goal every three appearances for the club and Guardiola stressed his eagerness to tie the no. 7 down to a new long-term contract back in September.
“It’s well known we’re delighted with him and would like him to continue. My club knows my opinion and we share that. After that it is the club and the agent.”
The 23-year-old hasn’t scored as many crucial goals than at this stage last season, but he’s still tallied four goals in 11 appearances which has seen City once again sit at the Premier League summit with an unbeaten record and +24 goal difference.
Sterling isn’t near his prime yet but has already represented England at two World Cups and one European Championships, collecting 46 caps on his way, and is expected to be one of Gareth South gate’s main attacking stars for years to come.
Competition for places is tough under Guardiola at City with Leroy Sané, Riyad Mahrez and Bernardo Silva all tussling for a starting place on the wings, but he continues to act as first-choice down the right flank and links up with fellow England star Kyle Walker admirably.
The new bumper contract is thought to be worth over £300,000-per-week and will make Sterling one of the highest paid players in the Premier League, but with at least ten more years left in the tank it’s more than a worthy investment from one of the world’s fastest growing football clubs.
City will face a trip to either Leicester City or Southampton in the Carabao Cup Quarter-Finals but before then they have a huge task of battling against Manchester United in the first Manchester Derby of the season.
Guardiola’s men will be looking to avoid back-to-back home defeats against José Mourinho’s United following the two clubs’ thrilling contest at the Eti had last season,where the visitors denied City clinching the league title by battling back from two goals down to win 3-2.
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