Raheem Sterling: Chelsea transfer target wanted Liverpool return

Robin Bairner
Robin Bairner 22 Jun 2022 16:11 BST 3 min read
Raheem Sterling, Manchester City, 2021/22

Raheem Sterling may be destined to leave Manchester City for Chelsea or Barcelona, but the England winger’s first choice this summer was Liverpool, FootballTransfers' sources have learned.

With a year left on his contract, Sterling faces a big decision with regards his future: does he commit to another year at City, where there have been few rumblings of a potential new deal, or will he seek a transfer elsewhere?

The 27-year-old is approaching the peak years of his career but has been given few guarantees by Pep Guardiola that he is a key figure in City’s long-term plans.

FootballTransfers has learned that the England winger did try to push for a move back to Liverpool and even went so far as to enquire about the possibility. However, this was knocked back.

Sterling's difficult Liverpool past

Sterling started his career at the Anfield club, where he played a couple of years with the academy side before graduating to the first team in 2012. His time with the Reds ended acrimoniously, though. He rejected what then-manager Brendan Rodgers described as an “incredible deal” to remain with the club and spoke publicly about his situation.

Man City eventually prised him away in a deal that was worth £44 million, which was an eye-watering figure at the time for a player who was still relatively unproven. Indeed, it made him the most expensive English player of all time.

Raheem Sterling, Manchester City, 2021/22

Sterling faced criticism over his final product in the early days of his career but matured nicely to become a key figure when Pep Guardiola took over the Etihad outfit. Indeed, he managed 20-goal seasons from 2017/18-2019/20, notching more than 30 goals in the final of those campaigns.

His form, though, has tailed off and towards the end of the season he found himself often on the bench. It was as a substitute, however, that he played a role in the stunning comeback victory over Aston Villa on the final day of the season that earned his side a second successive Premier League title.

It may also prove to be his last game for the club, with Barcelona and Chelsea interested in his situation – but his preferred move to Liverpool is off the table.

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