Manchester City were left furious by reports that Raheem Sterling was offered to Arsenal in a part-exchange deal for Alexis Sanchez, Simon Mullock of the Sunday Mirror reports.
The story, funnily enough written by Mullock’s colleague at the Mirror, John Cross, gave the impression that Sterling was unwanted bait being used to get Alexis to the Etihad – something far from the truth.
Sporting director Txiki Begiristain called the 22-year-old immediately after these reports surfaced to ensure him that he is still a big part of Pep Guardiola’s long-term plans. And Raheem is said to have appreciated Txiki’s message, which put his mind at ease.
Sterling, a £49million signing from Liverpool in 2015, was brought in with great effort, and despite Raz’s arrival coming a year before Guardiola’s, it is said that the Catalan boss gave his approval, something that has also been claimed of the Kevin De Bruyne deal.
Despite patchy performances early this season – he was poor for England against Malta and taken off at half-time – Sterling has already been crucial, scoring the equaliser against Everton when City were down to 10 men, and then bagging an epic winner deep into added time against Bournemouth (and getting himself sent off in the celebrations).
Raheem will miss the visit of his former club Liverpool on Saturday through suspension, but despite reports started by Arsene Wenger’s biographer John Cross, remains a big part of Pep’s Manchester City plans.