Manchester City star Raheem Sterling has made just three Premier League starts this season and manager Pep Guardiola reportedly wanted the player to leave the club
The ex- Liverpool ace, 26, has fallen down the pecking order at the Etihad in recent months and has been linked with a move.
According to transfer expert Gianluca di Marzio, the relationship between Guardiola and Sterling deteriorated last season.
The winger scored ten Premier League goals during the 2020-21 campaign, just half of his tally from the previous term.
Their relationship has allegedly improved in recent months but Sterling has made just three league starts this season.
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Speaking about his lack of game time earlier this month, the player said: “If there was the opportunity to go somewhere else for more game time I would be open to it.
“As I said, football is the most important thing to me. Challenges that I have set myself from a young age and dreams as well.
“As an English player all I know is the Premier League and I’ve always thought you know maybe one day I’d love to play abroad. See how I would come up against that challenge.
“I’m not a person that’s going to complain. I’ve not tried to make it a bigger deal than it actually is. I get on with my work. Do what I need to do.
“And I’m just raring to go. Playing football matches regularly. Score goals regularly.”
Sterling has been linked with a move to cash-strapped Barcelona, although it’s believed that would depend on the Spanish club’s finances in the summer.
The La Liga side are reportedly more than £1billion in debt and have lost Antoine Griezmann, Lionel Messi and Miralem Pjanic in recent months.
Sterling has also been linked with a return to Liverpool, although Di Marzio believes the Reds are more interested in signing younger talent.
Responding to Sterling’s recent comments, Guardiola said: “Raheem is our player, hopefully he will be an incredibly important player for us.
“I don’t know if he wants to play more game time like Riyad [Mahrez], who doesn’t play and he doesn’t complain, like Joao [Cancelo] doesn’t play and he doesn’t complain.
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“What I want from Raheem and everyone is they have to be satisfied to be here and delighted to be in this club.
“If that’s not the case they are free to take the best decision for the player and his family.
“Not just Raheem, all of them want to play every game but I cannot assure them. They have to improve every training session and be there on the pitch and try to be happy there.”
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