Manchester City have made Raheem Sterling available for transfer this summer as part of a squad overhaul from boss Pep Guardiola.
The Premier League champions are intent on adding to their squad with premium talent in this transfer window but are aware they must sell first-team players to help fund the moves.
Aston Villa playmaker Jack Grealish and Tottenham captain Harry Kane – both of whom starred for England at this summer’s European Championships – are at the top of City’s wanted list.
Their international teammate Sterling – who netted three goals for the Three Lions this summer and forced Simon Kjaer’s semi-final own goal – may be on his way out of the Etihad.
The details are outlined by The Athletic, with the report claiming that City believe they can land both Grealish and Kane this summer in deals which are each likely to eclipse any transfer fees paid by an English club.
The two stars are likely to cost a combined fee in excess of £200million and whilst those fees are unlikely to be recuperated through transfer fees this summer, the club could make significant reductions on their wage bill.
Despite shining at international level for Gareth Southgate’s side this summer, Sterling endured a relatively underwhelming season on a personal level at club level.
The 26-year-old netted only 10 Premier League goals last season – half that of his 2019/20 return – and having netted a remarkable 79 goals across all competitions in the previous three campaigns.
Sterling is said to be unsettled at the Etihad and is no longer a guaranteed starter in attack, despite now entering what are expected to be the peak years of his career.
With just two years left on his contract – the tipping point in the balance of power between player and club over their future – Sterling would be a sellable asset this summer but he retains a huge financial, commercial and sporting value.
It is unclear if he will pen a new contract at the club but the report does not rule out his exit should the right offer come in for his signature.
Riyad Mahrez is in the same contractual situation and the Algerian is four years older than Sterling, so that exit may be more feasible.
Defender Aymeric Laporte – who impressed for Spain at this summer’s Euros – is said to be keen for a return to La Liga but the dearth of finances in that league may prohibit an exit this year.
Gabriel Jesus – who is the only senior striker in City’s current squad – could also be sold, with Juventus monitoring his situation.
Bernardo Silva is another player who could be a sellable asset, although the depressed finances of the European football market may again help dictate his future.
Sergio Aguero and Eric Garcia have both left as free agents to join Barcelona, while Jack Harrison has joined Leeds United permanently in an £11million deal – a similar sum that City netted for their sell-on clause of Jadon Sancho, who will join Manchester United.
Lukas Nmecha, Pedro Porro, Yangel Herrera and Ivan Ilic are also said to be available for permanent sales following impressive loan spells.