Manchester City has told Real Madrid to forget about signing Raheem Sterling. Reports claim the Spanish giants are set to tempt City with a £70m cash offer plus Gareth Bale, in return for Sterling going to the Bernabeu.
But senior figures at the English champions have laughed at the proposal and described it as ‘absurd’.
Sterling has emerged as one of the best players in the world following a stunning run of form in the last 18 months.
The winger helped England reach the World Cup semi-finals in Russia in 2018, before going on to become an integral part of the City side that pipped Liverpool to the league title to make it back-to-back championships.
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Sterling has continued his deadly form this season, plundering 17 goals in 19 appearances in all competitions for both club and country.
City boss Pep Guardiola believes Sterling is maturing into someone capable of succeeding Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as the best player on the planet.
Guardiola values Sterling so highly that he was even instrumental in City signing him from Liverpool in a £49m deal in 2015, 12 months before he replaced Manuel Pellegrini as boss.
Since then the Spaniard has helped Sterling take his game to another level and the 24-year-old signed a new and improved deal 12 months ago worth up to £300,000-a-week including bonuses.
The contract keeps him at the Etihad until 2023 and Guardiola, along with the director of football Txiki Begiristain, has no intention of selling Sterling.
In the current market, Sterling would be valued in the £200m bracket, while Guardiola has no interest in having Bale in his team because he believes the 30-year-old is now past his best.