Money literally grows on trees at Man City, well by trees I mean in petrol reserves in Abu Dhabi.
The sentiment is the same, so why are they stalling on granting Raheem Sterling the supposed £100,000-a-week pay rise he is asking for?
Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero are both on serious wedge and if they don’t find a solution with Sterling they could risk losing him.
All the major clubs in Europe know they are at risk of losing their best players when they see Real Madrid wallowing down at seventh in the league and having failed to score in four games.
Florentino Perez doesn’t do failure and having waved goodbye to Cristiano Ronaldo in the summer there is a cool £100m burning a hole in his pocket.
According to several reports Los Blancos have targeted Sterling as the man to turn things round at the Bernabeu and with only 18 months left on his contract he is seen as ‘gettable’ compared to the likes of Kylian Mbappe or Neymar.
Sterling had the best season of his career last year as he played an integral role in City’s all-conquering title winners.
He scored 23 goals and there was even a moment when ‘Sterling time’ become common parlance because of his crucial later winners.
This term he has looked even better, racking up four goals and two assists in seven league games for City and tearing through Spain on international duty.
Two goals against the Spanish, the first a wicked shot past David De Gea, clearly impressed Perez.
Sterling is only 23 years old and he is one of the best players in the best team in England and the national side – it is no surprise Real Madrid are keen on him.
If Sterling does move to Madrid it could be great news for the England team for years to come.
Much like Gareth Bale moving to the Bernabeu, watching Sterling compete with the world’s best players for a place in the first team and handling the almost unbearable pressure that comes with playing for Real would be good for him.
He would learn a new style of football playing in Spain, gain experience of other leagues and teaming up with some of the talent at Madrid would only benefit England.
You forget just how young Sterling is but if he could go to Madrid and succeed then he would surely join football’s top table
The secondary bonus, both for the short and long term, is that Sterling’s departure opens up a space in the Man City first team.
Riyad Mahrez would fill his role most weeks, but with everyone shifting up in the pecking order Phil Foden would get closer to becoming a regular starter under Pep Guardiola.
Foden has been marked out as a brilliant talent coming hot off the City academy conveyor belt.
He might have got 15 minutes against Burnley but the 18-year-old is still someway behind the big names in Pep’s plans.
It would be an interesting test for City that if they were to lose Sterling would they promote Foden up the rankings, and in turn ward off any interest from Borussia Dortmund, or would they go back to the market to replace him with a star?
If it is the former, Foden’s football education under Guardiola and learning from KDB and David Silva on the pitch could make him the answer to England’s long term problem of a lack of creativity.
Man City would receive around £100m, Sterling would likely get his wage increase and England would benefit from one established talent playing for the most prestigious side in Europe and another real talent moving into the most exciting team in England.
Talk about win-win.
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