Report: Raheem Sterling Wants Manchester City to Meet Contract Demands

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistAugust 4, 2018

Manchester City's English midfielder Raheem Sterling applauds supporters on the pitch after the English Premier League football match between West Ham United and Manchester City at The London Stadium, in east London on April 29, 2018. - Manchester City won the game 4-1. (Photo by Ben STANSALL / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. /         (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)
BEN STANSALL/Getty Images

Raheem Sterling won't extend his contract with Manchester City unless the Premier League champions pay him £300,000 per week.

The wage would put the England international on par with the Citizens' biggest earners, Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero, according to Simon Mullock of the Sunday Mirror.

Sterling isn't ready to commit himself to City, but manager Pep Guardiola still considers the 23-year-old an integral member of his squad, even after Riyad Mahrez's arrival this summer.

Guardiola made it clear Mahrez's addition "doesn't influence Raheem at all."

Yet the manager also sounded a note of caution about a contract extension: "There is no doubt we want Sterling. He knows that, and his agent knows that. We made it clear from the day I arrived. But deals are deals, agents are agents and players are players, so I don't know what is going to happen."

Sterling wants to be paid the same as De Bruyne.
Sterling wants to be paid the same as De Bruyne.OLI SCARFF/Getty Images

Mullock noted how Sterling's agent, Aidy Ward, needs to meet with City director of football Txiki Begiristain to iron out a deal. It's in City's interest to secure Sterling's future after the forward enjoyed a terrific 2017/18 campaign.

Sterling helped fire the Citizens to a league and Carabao Cup double by finding the net 23 times in all competitions. While his pace has always posed a major threat, Sterling refined his already impressive off-the-ball movement.

His intelligent, well-timed runs made him the obvious focal point for City's stylish passing through the lines. Sterling also showcased his underrated ability as a provider by supplying 11 assists in England's top flight.

If there's one area of the former Liverpool man's game still in need of work, it's finishing. Sterling has yet to cultivate coolness and efficiency in one-on-one situations.

Guardiola wants Sterling to stay.
Guardiola wants Sterling to stay.OLI SCARFF/Getty Images

He notably spurned a pair of glorious chances when Manchester United beat City 3-2 by at the Etihad Stadium in April, per Peter Smith of Sky Sports. However, Smith also made note of Opta statistics that showed Sterling had the best conversion rate among "players to have had 20 clear-cut chances."

Sterling is an invaluable match-winner Guardiola would be loath to lose. However, City have gained useful insurance against any potential exit after paying £60 million to sign Mahrez.

He will get an early chance to show he can help City cope without Sterling during Sunday's FA Community Shield clash with Chelsea:

Mahrez is as good as there is when it comes to dynamic wingers and is more than talented enough to command a starting spot in City's best XI.

If Sterling's contract situation drags on, Mahrez will make it easier for the Citizens to rid themselves of the hassle.

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