RAHEEM STERLING goes into the World Cup with his Manchester City future unclear after he failed to agree a new long-term contract with the club.
Sterling, 23, was one of City’s best performers last season and the club had opened talks over extending his stay at the Etihad Stadium.
But according to Sky Sports, Sterling has been unhappy with the terms offered by the Premier League champions and the deal remains unsigned.
The England star had hoped to finalise an agreement with City before he flew off to Russia to help lead the country’s World Cup challenge.
But it has been claimed that despite his advisers meeting up with City officials twice since the end of the season, the two sides are a long way from finding common ground.
Sterling’s emergence as one of the best players in Pep Guardiola’s side last season had led the champions to want to seal a new deal to ensure he was not targeted by other big clubs.
But so far it appears that the offer they have come up with is not satisfactory to the player’s camp, who are understood to be looking for a package recognising his status in the squad.
At present Sterling is about to enter the last two years on the deal he agreed when he joined City from Liverpool, worth around £175,000-a-week.
That is half the figure Kevin De Bruyne is getting as a result of signing a new six-year £350,000-a-week contract at the Etihad earlier this year.
Sky suggest the Sterling camp believe his contribution to the success of the side, and his status in Guardiola’s plans, mean he should be getting paid on a scale which is similar to that of the other top earners within the club.
There is no suggestion the player is agitating for a move away from City, three years after he moved there in a £44million move from Liverpool.
And City are understood to be relaxed about the impasse, believing there is plenty of opportunity to revisit talks when the World Cup is over.
Since Guardiola arrived at the Etihad Stadium, he has worked closely with Sterling to improve aspects of his game and continue his development as a player.
And the hard work in training paid off last season when, playing in a free attacking role, he finished the season as the fifth highest scorer in the Premier League.
His 18 league goals saw him end the campaign just three behind City’s leading scorer Sergio Aguero – with 23 in all competitions.
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