Raheem Sterling's Agent Says He's 'Focused on Manchester City' Amid Exit Rumours

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistFebruary 17, 2020

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 27: Raheem Sterling of Manchester City celebrates scoring his second goal during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Manchester City at Molineux on December 27, 2019 in Wolverhampton, United Kingdom. (Photo by Visionhaus)
Visionhaus/Getty Images

The agent of Manchester City star Raheem Sterling has said the player is "solely focused" on the club despite rumours of a player exodus following news they'll be banned from the UEFA Champions League until the 2022-23 season.

The Mirror's John Cross wrote Real Madrid have shown interest in Sterling after UEFA announced City's punishment for breaching financial fair play (FFP) laws.

Sterling's agent, Aidy Ward, told the Mirror: "Raheem is solely focused on Manchester City and will not be distracted by any talk of transfers to any club at the moment."

Emily Mee of Sky News noted City were fined €30 million (£24.9 million) in addition to their Champions League suspension, which they will appeal through the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

El Mundo Deportivo (h/t Football Espana) reported Real also had their eyes on midfield talisman Kevin De Bruyne should any of City's stars become available following news of their potential ban.

Sterling, 25, joined the Citizens from Liverpool in 2015 for £49 million, and his contract at the Etihad Stadium isn't due to expire until June 2023.

The England star has excelled since moving to Manchester and gone on to become a key figure for club and country, scoring 89 goals and recording 71 assists in 226 appearances for City.

Sky Sports News reporter Kaveh Solhekol provided quotes from manager Pep Guardiola, who said he intends to stay at the club regardless of their punishment—even if it includes relegation:

The defending Premier League champions are accused of overstating sponsorship revenue in their accounts between 2012 and 2016, a tactic that would have helped the club bypass FFP regulations.

Sports lawyer John Mehrzad QC suggested City's alleged actions could be in breach of player contracts, which may see stars leave the club for nothing, per James Ducker and Mike McGrath of the Telegraph.

City issued a statement criticising UEFA's decision and the manner in which the investigation into their spending was conducted.

The statement described the matter as "a case initiated by UEFA, prosecuted by UEFA and judged by UEFA," European football's governing body.

Sterling came off injured late on when City lost 2-0 at Tottenham Hotspur on February 2, and the speedster isn't expected to recover in time for Wednesday's rescheduled Premier League clash with West Ham United.

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