Earlier this week, Raheem Sterling and agent Aidy Ward suffered a significant blow to their summer plans when it became clear that if Bayern Munich ever had any interest in the 20-year-old England winger, they didn’t any more. Now, Sterling’s options appear to have shrunk further with reports that Real Madrid have no interest in signing the player.
Earlier in the year, Zinedine Zidane had helped to fuel the Sterling camp’s push for a move to a bigger club than Liverpool by saying he was keeping an eye on the young attacker in his role as Madrid Castilla coach and was impressed. Then, just last week, came news that if Rafa Benitez became their manager, he would make Sterling his top priority and the replacement for Gareth Bale.
Ward and Sterling, who seem to believe that despite being 20 years of age and far from the finished product he is as good as the likes of Bale and Arjen Robben and ready to walk into a world class starting eleven that can compete deep into the Champions League, will have loved hearing rumours of the sort. The truth, though, is Sterling is nowhere near that good yet.
He may seem likely to become that good some day, but even then, the road to football superstardom is littered with the dead careers of players who for a time seemed destined to become truly great. Player and agent may have convinced themselves Sterling has already made it, but according to Spanish football expert Guillem Balague, Real Madrid don’t agree with them.
The well known journalist, who has ties both to Benitez and Madrid, has stated unequivocally that the Spanish giants have "no interest whatsoever in Sterling." However, he does expect that Sterling and his agent are interested in Madrid, a veiled hint that any talk of a move to clubs of Madrid’s calibre is coming from the Sterling camp rather than those being linked to him.
If true—and given Balague’s track record and connections there’s every reason to think it is—it leaves Sterling no likely landing spots on the continent. With Liverpool protected by the promise of training compensation domestically and loathe to sell to a league rival, it may also mean Sterling is now almost certain to still be making £35k a week at Anfield next season.
Real Madrid have got no interest whatsoever in Sterling. I imagine Sterling/agent might be interested in Real Madrid though.— Guillem Balague (@GuillemBalague) June 2, 2015