The England international has left the door open for a move to Spain, but his current boss has no concerns over his commitment
Pep Guardiola has no concerns when it comes to Raheem Sterling’s future at Manchester City, with the England international considered to be totally committed to the Blues despite hinting at a future move to Real Madrid.
The Blancos have been credited with holding a long-standing interest in the 25-year-old.
Fresh speculation regarding a switch to Spain has sparked on the back of City being stung with a two-year Champions League ban for alleged breaches of Financial Fair Play regulations.
It is understood that Sterling is not actively looking for an exit, but he has been ruled anything out.
In an interview with AS, the City winger admitted that a switch to Santiago Bernabeu could appeal to him at some stage.
Guardiola is not about to go reading between the lines of that statement, with a key part of his plans tied to a contract through to 2023.
He told reporters when quizzed on Sterling’s comments: “The players are free to talk about what they believe.
“I am completely sure about the commitment of our players.
“They have shown it for many, many years. No one knows what will happen, but right now the commitment for the last three months, every single game, I don’t have any doubts.”
Sterling is currently out of action with a hamstring injury.
He will not be ready to return to the fold when City face Leicester on Saturday, with fellow forward Leroy Sane also nursing his way back from a serious knee problem.
Guardiola said when offering his latest fitness update: “All of them are ok, not 100 per cent some of them.
“[David] Silva was smart to come off for the last minutes [against West Ham], Sterling is in the latter stage [of recovery]. He’s getting better.
“Sane is good as well, but of course he needs a little more time after six months out.”
While Sterling is facing questions on his future at the Etihad Stadium, Guardiola is doing likewise.
He is, however, convinced that UEFA’s European ban will be overturned and that speculation will soon fade away.
“We cannot change what people think. I know how hard we work,” he said of the FFP allegations.
“I am so proud about how hard we’ve worked all these years.
“No one helped us outside, we did it day by day, game by game.
“This is not finished, it’s not over, we appeal as a club and we see what happens.”