Pep Guardiola heaps praise on Raheem Sterling as contract negotiations continue to stall

Sterling is reportedly after a substantial rise in his wage before committing to a new deal 

Jack Watson@jackwatsonsport
Friday 14 September 2018 14:37
Manchester City 2018/19 Premier League profile

Pep Guardiola has refused to weigh in on Raheem Sterling’s lengthy contract negotiations and continued to heap praise on the Englishman.

Sterling is in talks with Manchester City to sign a new deal and wants a significant increase on his £175,000-a-week deal that expires in 2020, according to reports.

The England international pulled out of Gareth Southgate’s squad with a back injury, but will be available for selection against Fulham this weekend in the Premier League.

Talks to renew Raheem Sterling's contract rumble on

Guardiola, who sees Sterling as a key player in a number of positions, refused to get drawn into the details of the contract talks and instead praised the 23-year-old.

“It’s well-known that we are delighted with him, we would like him to continue,” said the City manager. “After [all], it is the club and the agent. I am not involved. Sometimes these kind of things need their own time.

“What’s important is that Raheem and his people know how delighted we are with him,” he added.

City have recently agreed new deals with Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva, Fernandinho, Gabriel Jesus and Ederson and want to add Sterling to that list as soon as possible.

With Financial Fair Play in mind, City are offering basic wage packets with added performance related bonuses, image rights and a signing-on fee to be spread over the length of the contract. Sterling has been offered a package with the main increases arriving in 2019/20 and 2020/21, but he and his advisors believe he deserves sooner reward, reports The Times.

It was claimed by Guardiola that De Bruyne, who signed a deal in January to keep him at City until 2023, had a €250m release clause in his contract, but the manager revealed in his new conference that he was misquoted and doesn’t “know what his release clause is”.

On De Bruyne’s knee injury, which has restricted him to just 30 minutes this season, Guardiola said he will not be fit for Saturday’s clash for Fulham but is recovering well.

“He’s not fit for tomorrow but the doctor told me he is progressing well.”

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