Pep Guardiola is reportedly desperate for Raheem Sterling to sign a contract extension at the Etihad Stadium, his current deal set to run in two years' time.
"I've not spoken to him about his contract. I'm not a sports director, not even a manager, I'm a trainer. I try to make a good team spirit in the locker room and win games.
"But we are delighted with him and would like him to stay. We'll do our effort to make him feel we count on him. And we count on him. We arrived after a difficult season and I told him I wanted to help him and would like him to be happy.
"But the agents may not have agreed and it may not happen. But he knows, and his agent knows, we like him and want him a lot."
The desire to work together appears to be mutual from Sterling's side, too, after the winger addressed the media following Sunday's win and detailed the decision to return early from his post-2018 FIFA World Cup holidays, via Match of the Day:
The 23-year-old's current contract is worth £180,000 per week, not far off the £200,000-per-week terms that make Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane the highest-paid England player as things stand.
Sami Mokbel of the Daily Mail wrote that Sterling is in line to beat that figure at the Etihad Stadium, though the delay on an extension has "led to doubts over his future." Sterling was in good spirits following his landmark strike in the win over Arsenal:
Last season was Sterling's most prolific at the Etihad to date, scoring 23 goals in total, more than double his previous best tally for strikes in a single campaign (11).
Squawka illustrated how his impact in front of goal has taken on a more lethal streak since joining the Citizens:
Negotiations over a new deal have been stalled for a number of months, but after playing a significant hand in the club winning the Premier League last season, it's difficult to envision him not extending his stay.
His scoring success stands out, especially when compared with England's other youngest half-century scorers when considering most of those named are strikers:
Squawka Football @Squawka
Youngest players to reach 50 Premier League goals: 20y, 251d: Owen 20y, 255d: Fowler 21y, 54d: Rooney 22y, 192d: Lukaku 22y, 340d: Ronaldo 23y, 34d: Kane 23y, 101d: Heskey 23y, 140d: A. Cole 23y, 188d: Sutton 23y, 228d: Robbie Keane 23y, 247d: Sterling In good company. ⚽️ https://t.co/3q14aAyJ4b
Sterling started against the Gunners despite his recent return from the summer holidays, though the likes of Leroy Sane and Gabriel Jesus came off the bench.
The decision speaks volumes for Guardiola's faith in Sterling, who could angle for a more lucrative deal with City depending on the club's success later this season.