Raheem Sterling says discussing Man City future before Real Madrid game would be 'selfish'

Attacker insists he is happy at club but will not talk about contract situation in run-up to Tuesday's Champions League semi-final first leg

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Raheem Sterling insisted it would be “selfish” of him to talk about his future ahead of Manchester City's Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday.

Premier League leaders City take on La Liga's table-toppers in the first leg of a mouth-watering last-four clash.

Sterling said last year that he would consider leaving the club he joined in a controversial move from Liverpool back in 2015, if he was not playing regularly.

But the 27-year-old has regained his place in the City starting XI and has been a key player in their current campaign that could see them complete a Premier League-Champions League double.

The England forward’s current deal at the Etihad Stadium is due to expire at the end of next season and he was asked at Monday's press conference before the Real game whether there was any update on his future.

“At the minute I'm just happy to be playing, happy to be contributing with the team,” said Sterling, who has scored 14 goals in all competitions this season, including three in Europe.

“I think that's the most important thing. At this period, I think it would be selfish of me to speak of any contract situation and I'm just happy to be playing football and see where we are at the end of the season.

“As a player and forward, to be playing and scoring and making assists, contributing to the team is a massive thing.

Raheem Sterling has scored 14 goals in all competitions for Manchester City this season. Reuters

“That's where you get your confidence from and at the moment I'm happy to have a part with the team and try to contribute as much as I can.

“I’m playing and contributing a lot more to the team this season. And yeah, I mean a good mood, a good spirit. The football club's in a semi-final for the Champions League we're fighting for a title. There's not much more I can ask for.”

City manager Pep Gaurdiola, meanwhile, said his team need to put all thoughts of the two clubs' histories to the backs of their minds.

Real have won European club football's top trophy a record 13 times while City remain in search of their first Champions League title after losing in the final to Chelsea last year.

“If we have to compete with their history, we don't have a chance. It speaks for itself,” said the former Barcelona manager, when asked about the contrasting records of the two clubs.

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“We have the desire to compete against them. For us playing against them is an incredible test and we want to do as well as possible.

“It would be the same against Bayern or Barcelona. They are a team many times in this position. In the last decade we were almost never here and now we are, which is good.”

City might have to take on Real without their first-choice right-back Kyle Walker and central-defender John Stones, who are both doubtful with injuries.

Walker has been struggling with an ankle injury picked up against Atletico Madrid in the previous round and Stones is battling with a hamstring strain he gained in the midweek win over Brighton & Hove Albion.

“They are doubts, Kyle didn't train in the last 10 days, John since Brighton. That's why, I don't know if they will train. We see how they feel, [and] tomorrow take a decision,” said Guardiola.

Updated: April 25, 2022, 3:38 PM
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