Raheem Sterling has been tipped to join Barcelona after Manchester City striker revealed he is ready to move away from Etihad stadium.
The 26-year-old, whose current contract expires in 18 months, has only made two starts this season and has said he would be open to a challenge away from England as he seeks more playing time regular.
Speaking at the US FT Business of Sport summit on Thursday evening, Sterling said: “If there was the possibility to go elsewhere [for more game time], I would be open to that right now.
“Like I said, football is the most important thing for me – challenges that I set for myself from a young age and dreams of playing abroad as well.
“As an English player all I know is the Premier League and I’ve always had something low [in me] that maybe one day I would like to play abroad to see how I would meet this challenge.
Sterling’s shocking admission has led to speculation about where he might go next and his former club Liverpool, who sold him to City for £ 50million in 2015, has been seen as a potential next destination for the English winger.
However, Trevor Sinclair – who has made 98 appearances in four years as a Man City player – doubts the Premier League champions would sanction a move to sell Sterling to their biggest title rivals.
Instead, he believes Sterling’s most likely destination is overseas and, in particular, Spain.
However, he admitted that Newcastle and Arsenal could be the England star’s realistic next clubs.
“For me, I think he will end up in Barcelona,” Sinclair told talkSPORT Breakfast.
“I think they will sort out their finances, whether it is a package the club accepts to manage their debts or generating more income in the football club so that they can spend more on the players.
“I think he will go abroad. I don’t think he will go to any of the traditional rivals, I don’t think Man City will allow that to happen.
“But, with what’s going on at Newcastle, if they start investing heavily in players, why wouldn’t Raheem Sterling be a player they would watch?”
“I don’t know if he would consider them, it might depend on what other players they bring, but it’s an exciting time for the Geordies.
“But Barcelona, I really feel like they could [sign him]. I just see him going to a warmer climate and really enjoying his football and then later in his career potentially going to America.
“I wouldn’t rule out Arsenal either, especially if they could go for free.
“But I would like to think that he does not leave Manchester City for free, because I think that would leave a mark on his performance and the time he spent at the football club.”
Reports suggest that a falling out between the player and the manager is the reason for Sterling’s lack of playing time this season.
But Sinclair hit back at those claims, saying City’s playstyle has simply evolved.
“What he brings to the football club has not changed, I think the team has evolved under Pep,” added the talkSPORT expert. “This is the next generation of players and he doesn’t want them to face so much opposition, he wants role models.
“I think he takes his philosophy one step further and he also wants these playing models in the final third, rather than a piece of individual brilliance.
“With Raheem and what he brings to the table I think he hasn’t really been able to adjust to that and Phil Foden came in and did extremely well, they are strengthening themselves in that area of the l left wing by bringing in Jack Grealish.
“I just think Raheem’s skills aren’t as necessary for Pep, and that’s why he ended up out of the squad.
“I don’t think there was any quarrel. Grealish has done brilliantly since signing, Foden is homegrown and truly loved at the club, and Sterling is out of shape and out of favor with the manager.
He added: “I think this is a critical moment for Man City as if he is not leaving in January as he can start talking to clubs next season.
“I think there is a risk that he is going for nothing. There could be a loan deal maybe at Christmas or at the end of the season.
“I certainly don’t see him staying at the club if he doesn’t start playing more and starting more games.”
And, reacting to Sterling’s honest comments, Sinclair insisted the forward had done nothing wrong and respected his club.
“I think he was fair with the statements he made,” Sinclair said. “He just wants to play, like any player. He did not criticize the club.
“He’s in his prime, 26, and he’s already given Manchester City a lot – in performances and silverware. I think he was excellent.
“The way he kept his head up and the way he dealt with the unfair criticism he received, I think he was exceptional.
“He is a player that a lot of young people admire and he has performed extremely well.”
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