Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has urged Raheem Sterling to commit his long-term future to the club following his goalscoring performance during the season opener against Arsenal this afternoon.
City got their title defence off to a winning start courtesy of a comfortable 2-0 victory over the Gunners at the Emirates Stadium, with Sterling breaking the deadlock after just 14 minutes.
The England international’s future was the subject of some debate during the recent transfer window and he has only two years left to run on his original five-year Man City contract, but Guardiola is eager to see him stay at the club for the long haul.
“We are delighted with him and would like Raheem to stay. We’ll do our effort to make him feel we count on him. And we count on him. We arrived after a difficult season and I told him I want to help him and would like him to be happy,” he told reporters.
“In the end, the agents may not have agreements and that may not happen. But he knows and his agent knows we like him and want him a lot.
“If you judge the players in the World Cup if they score a goal or not… Raheem had this special relationship with English football, but he’s so loved in the locker room.
“He made some very good things in the World Cup, how he moved and created space for others. He likes to score goals and he tried, but I’m sure in the European qualifiers he will score goals for his country, England.”
Sterling netted a career-high 23 goals for City across all competitions last season.