Real Madrid eye £180m move for Raheem Sterling

express: Real Madrid want to sign Raheem Sterling this summer, and Zinedine Zidane believes the Manchester City star could be tempted to leave the Etihad Stadium in search of European football. City were dealt a two-year ban from the Champions League by UEFA this week, over broken Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules.

Sterling has developed into one of the best players in world football, and has drawn attention from across Europe.

The 25-year-old has been a key part of Pep Guardiola’s time at City, and was heavily relied upon during the famous Centurions season two years ago.

Sterling has previously admitted that he would love to play abroad at some point in his career.

But, after City’s apparent ban from the Champions League, Real Madrid believe that Sterling may fancy moving sooner than expect, according to The Sun.

Los Blancos have been linked with a move for Sterling for a number of years, after his impressive rise to stardom.

City weren’t planning on letting the England international leave the Etihad any time soon.

They were already in talks over a new £450,000-a-week contract, despite Sterling already having three years left on his current deal.

He’s currently earning £300,000-a-week, and contract talks have been ongoing since November.

Zidane may seen Sterling as a direct replacement for Gareth Bale, who almost left the Bernabeu last summer.

Both players play in a similar position, while Bale looks almost certain to finally leave Real Madrid at the end of the season.

Sterling’s future, as well as a number of other City stars, have been thrown into doubt after City’s UEFA-imposed ban on the Champions League.

The Citizens were barred from all European competitions for two years, and ordered to pay a £25million fine, after being guilty of failing to comply with FFP regulations. But, City have already revealed plans to appeal the decision.

The club will take the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and are adamant that they’re being harshly treated.

It’s not clear when a final decision on whether the appeal is successful will be announced, but it’s expected to be before the start of Champions League qualifying rounds, in early July.

Meanwhile, Sterling has already made it clear that he wants to play abroad before he decides to retire.

Before the start of the season, he insisted that he was happy in Manchester, although it’s always been his dream to play elsewhere.

“Looking at it now it’s like, Manchester, I love it,” Sterling told GQ.

“I love it here. This is one of the best clubs in the world and I’m here for the long haul.

“But you just don’t know what happens in the future. I’m still young and, like I say, I am loving every minute.

“Ever since I was a kid, 100 per cent it’s always been a dream of mine to play abroad somewhere. It would be nice one day to finish training and go home and sit in your garden and eat some dinner. I would need to see where it’s minimum 17C or 18C constantly.”

Source: Published by express

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