Wednesday 26 October 2016

sterling: city move was about ambition not money

New City signing says he'll let his football do the talking at Etihad

Raheem Sterling was prepared to let his name be dragged through the mud - just to ensure he secured his move to Manchester City.

The 20-year-old striker became the most expensive English player in history after completing a £44m transfer from Liverpool on Tuesday.

The nature of his exit has seen him targeted by fans and criticised by Anfield legends.

But he says he refused to let the negative reaction sway his determination to quit Merseyside.

"I've had friends and some of my family asking me if I've seen what someone has said," he said.

"I just had to tell them I've completely switched off from the situation.

"My only focus was completing the move to City and I'm just happy it's done."

Jamie Carragher claimed Sterling risked damaging his reputation as his protracted move was allowed to drag on.

And his former skipper Steven Gerrard claimed he was disappointed by the events surrounding Sterling's final days at Liverpool, when he failed to turn up for training for two days due to illness.


But the England international said: "I wasn't too focused on what anybody had to say during that time.

"I just knew what I had to do.

"I haven't really been paying too much attention to what's been going on in the papers and stuff, but you do realise it's going to be a really big deal.

"But you've just got to take it in your stride and do your best for the football club."

Sterling's reputation has been battered after he rejected a new deal at Liverpool worth around £100,000-a-week.

He was even booed by England supporters during his last appearance for the Three Lions.

But he describes himself as different to the character depicted in recent months.

"I'm quiet, keep myself to myself, but when I get angry it is a different story," he said. "I'm a quiet person. I like to have a laugh. I'm really chilled out and laid back."

Sterling always insisted his determination to leave Liverpool was due to ambition rather than money. He flew out to Australia to join Manuel Pellegrini's squad this morning and is convinced he will win silverware with his new club.

"The team and the players that Man City have got, they should be challenging for titles every year," he said.

"This year I don't think it is any different.

"We want to be challenging for the title and winning trophies. The more quality player you have around you the best you get out of yourself. The team has got a lot of quality players and I can't wait to play with them and be in the training pitch."

City, meanwhile, are set to step up their search for a central midfielder with Everton's Republic of Ireland star James McCarthy linked with a move to the Etihad.

Pellegrini had already targetted Aston Villa's Fabian Delph, but the England international chose to stay at Villa Park.

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