Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling has described Real Madrid as a “fantastic club” but insisted that he is happy and fully committed to the Citizens.
The England international has three years left on his contract at the Etihad Stadium and talks have started about a new deal which will see his weekly wage increase from £300,000-a-week to £450,000-a-week. Sterling has been impressive for the most part of this season, breaking the 20-goal barrier in a third successive season.
The 25-year-old superb performance has also attracted interest from Madrid, who are reported to be plotting a £180million swoop for the winger following City’s two-year ban from European competition. The25-year-old is trying to rediscover his form, after not scoring for the last eight games.
City play Real Madrid in the last 16 of the Champions League, with the first leg at the Bernabeu on Wednesday and the return game at Etihad Stadium on 17 March. The Spanish giants have lifted the trophy on a record 13 occasions, including three in successive seasons under Zinedine Zidane between 2016 and 2018.
Speaking to AS ahead of the showdown, the England international said he has seen the reports linking him to the Spanish club but claims they are just mere rumors.
“It’s one of those things… Right now I’m at City and I’m really happy.
“But Real Madrid are a fantastic club, when you see the white shirt you know exactly what the club stands for, it’s massive.
“But at the same time, I have a contract with City now and I have to respect this. But it’s a fantastic club.”
He added: “It’s something that you see all the time, but I’m a City player and I’m enjoying it at the moment, even if things haven’t gone quite to plan in the league.
“We now have a massive opportunity in the Champions League but I keep saying, Real Madrid is a fantastic club, there’s lovely weather but I am quite happy at City.”
According to Sterling, he could end up playing for Madrid in the future, adding that anything is possible. Speaking on whether he would sign for Los Blancos, Sterling said: “How do I answer that one? Is the camera live or is it just taking pictures?
“No one knows what the future will hold. I am a player and I am always open to challenges but right now my challenge is at Manchester City. In the future, hopefully, who knows.”
Sterling also commended Madrid manager Zidane Zidane for winning the Champions League and developing talents at the Spanish club.
He said: “I think to win the Champions League so many times especially in a row as well is very difficult,”
“I don’t think that’s luck, it’s definitely a formula. Some people have that winning mentality and he wins by any means.
“I’d say it’s something he has probably developed over his great career as a player and he’s developing his career as a manager so it continues this winning touch.”