Raheem Sterling’s World Cup gamble has backfired and Manchester City now hold all the cards in contract negotiations, according to various reports.
The 23-year-old and his camp had hoped an electric World Cup would give them leverage to have his weekly salary bumped from £170,000 to £250,000 when they resumed contract talks with City bosses.
His advisors began talks with the club after last season but strategically delayed further conversations until after the World Cup, and the gamble, which would have seen him become one of City’s top earners alongside Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne, appears to have backfired.
Both the Telegraph and Mirror report that City will not allow Sterling to run down his contract, which has two years left on it. The hope remains that he will sign a new deal – on their terms – but if he does not, he is likely to be sold next summer rather than risk losing him for nothing in 2020.
City will now wait for Sterling, who is holidaying after the World Cup, to return to the negotiating table.