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Pep hoping Sterling in for long haul with City

ELATION: Jubilant scenes against Southampton as City's number seven grabs victory in spectacular fashion for the second time in a week

ELATION: Jubilant scenes against Southampton as City's number seven grabs victory in spectacular fashion for the second time in a week

Pep Guardiola says he hopes City can secure Raheem Sterling’s long-term future.

The England winger has been in blistering form this season and is the Blues’ leading scorer with 13 goals – already the best seasonal return of his career.

Sterling joined City in 2015 from Liverpool, penning a five-year deal – but with two-and-a-half years remaining, the Blues’ boss is hoping to extend the 22-year-old’s stay at the Etihad.

“It’s not my business right now, it’s for Txiki,” said Pep. “I think I was clear like with Club at the beginning of the season when Arsenal wanted him, and we said absolutely not. 

“He’s still young, hopefully we can make him happy and stay longer.”


Every Angle


Every Angle: Raheem Sterling v Southampton

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Sterling has been one of City’s outstanding performers this campaign with his 13 goals coming from just 14 starts.

Typically, Pep wanted to underplay his role in Raheem’s development…

“All the credit goes to him,” he said. “All the managers want to help their players because if they play good, we survive, if they play bad, we are sacked. 

“We tried to help him - not just Raheem, all of them. There’s no secret about that.. 

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“We believe in him. But we believe in the players who don't play regularly, like Bernardo, Gundogan, Danilo. We believe in them absolutely. 

“After that we will see. In winter we ask if they are happy and decide what is best for them. 

“Believe me, I didn't discover Raheem. It is his talent. He did it in Liverpool. There he played amazing which is why Manchester City took him. 

“I don't feel guilty when a player isn't playing good. We try to do our best, all the staff, to understand. 

“We are so happy for him, he’s a nice guy, we love him in the locker room. He is more stable, less in social media. All the players playing well, it’s down to them.”

When quizzed whether he had advised his players to play down their social media activity, he smiled: “They are free to do what they want, but when they post something, then they might have comments, insulting them or whatever - but if they want do it, do it, no problem. 

“As for Raheem, if the reason he scores goals is less social media, I would say to all players no social media! He was more active, now he is more passive.”

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