Sterling wants to play abroad in the future
Raheem Sterling insists he is at Manchester City "for the long haul" but would like to fulfil his dream of moving to a foreign club before the end of his career.
The 24-year-old has spent the past four seasons playing in the Premier League with City following his high-profile switch from Liverpool in 2015. He has won six major honours during his time at the Etihad Stadium, including back-to-back league titles, and is under contract until 2023. However, Sterling has reiterated a desire to try his luck abroad in the coming years, hinting a move to LaLiga could be his preference.
"Looking at it now it's like, Manchester, I love it. I love it here," he told British GQ. "This is one of the best clubs in the world and I'm here for the long haul. But you just don't know what happens in the future. I'm still young and, like I say, I am loving every minute. "Ever since I was a kid, 100 per cent it's always been a dream of mine to play abroad somewhere. It would be nice one day to finish training and go home and sit in your garden and eat some dinner.
I would need to see where it's minimum 17°C or 18°C constantly."
Asked if he would consider a move to the Bundesliga, Sterling responded: "Not really - the language barrier. It sounds very difficult [to learn]. I hear Leroy [Sane] and Ilkay [Gundogan] talking and sometimes I think they're having me on. Spanish sounds like... 'Hola! Raheem!' I feel that one I can definitely catch on!"
Sterling has managed to silence critics over the past two seasons after a slow start upon his £49million arrival from Liverpool. The England international conceded he struggled amid the deluge of criticism aimed his way, but it ultimately made him stronger.
"My lowest point? Probably my first season at City, purely because I came in excited for my move here and then it went from 'This kid is going to be the next whatever' and before making a mark I was written off," he said. "I was the golden boy six, seven, eight months before that, a big money move, and it's kind of switched without even hitting a ball. Before I've even done anything it's just, 'He's not good enough'. I was like, 'What's going on?'
"At first it got to me because I was 19, it was my first time as a professional football player and it's a learning curve. Now you can say or do what you want and I wouldn't take it in."
Four years on from his big-money switch from the reigning European champions to this season's treble winners, Sterling has no regrets.
"When I got into Liverpool I said if I haven't won the Premier League by the time I'm 21 I need to look at my options and see what I'm doing there," he added. "I put that into place from a young age. And I came to City and won my first Premier League. It's just good to know what I've set out to do - what we've set out as a team to do - is going as planned."