When City paid Liverpool £49 million for the then 20-year-old in July 2015, many believed they had overspent.
And after 13 Premier League goals in 64 appearances during his first two seasons at the Etihad, that looked the case.
However, under Pep Guardiola, Sterling has improved immensely.
He’s scored 48 goals in the previous two campaigns in all competitions and already has six in five this season.
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It’s no wonder that Real Madrid are interested, then.
That’s certainly the case according to City correspondent for The Athletic, Sam Lee.
He produced a report explaining how Real met with Sterling’s representatives in the summer over a potential future deal.
And Alex Kay-Jelsk - the editor-in-chief of The Athletic - summed up the report in four bullet points.
- Real met with Sterling people over summer
- Player happy at City but keen to play there one day
- Real might try to force issue this summer
- City likely to offer new deal and are confident he'll stay
So it sounds like there will an almighty tug-of-war between Man City and Real Madrid over Sterling at some point in the coming years.
The truth is, City are undoubtedly in a better state than Real at the moment.
They’re probably the best side in world football right now and are just missing a Champions League trophy to confirm that.
Maybe that’s the only reason Sterling would move.
Real have won the competition 13 times and, despite their current bad form, are still regarded as the biggest club in the world.
And once Pep leaves the Etihad, Sterling may follow him out the door.News Now - Sport News