Raheem Sterling relieved with £49m Manchester City move from Liverpool

LONDON. KAZINFORM - Raheem Sterling has expressed relief at the completion of his acrimonious transfer from Liverpool to Manchester City for an initial £44m and believes he is joining a club "capable of winning things year in, year out".

The fee for the 20-year-old could rise to £49m with add-ons linked to appearances and honours, all considered to be obtainable by the Merseyside club, and establishes Sterling as the most expensive English player. The forward, who passed a medical on Tuesday, has signed a five-year contract believed to be worth around £200,000 a week and will wear the No7 shirt at the Etihad stadium. The player, who had cited the pursuit of silverware as more significant than financial rewards when agitating for his move, will now fly out to Australia to join up with his new club-mates on their pre-season tour. His new manager, Manuel Pellegrini, has described him as "one of the best attacking players in world football". "It's a good feeling and a really happy time for me and my family," said Sterling, who spoke with his new club-mate, Joe Hart, about the prospective move while on England duty in Slovenia last month. "I'm just glad it's all over and done with and I can't wait to get on the training field. Things have come really fast in the last couple of years, Kazinform quotes the Guardian. "I've just had to learn to take it all in my stride but I never imagined I'd be at this point at the age I am now and breaking a British transfer record fee ... the world-class players that are here and a squad that are capable of winning things year in, year out. The more quality players that are around you, the more quality it brings out in you so I can't wait to get started and play alongside them." Sterling, speaking to Manchester City's website, went on to thank his managers atLiverpool, including Brendan Rodgers, for offering him the opportunities to develop and impress in the topflight, as well as his family and agent, Aidy Ward. "They're top class - there's everything you need here and plenty more," he added when asked about the facilities at his new club. "There's everything you need to take you to the next level so there's no excuses." "Raheem Sterling is one of the best attacking players in world football and I am very much looking forward to him joining our squad out in Australia later this week," said Pellegrini. "He is a young player with outstanding ability and I am sure the Manchester City fans will be very excited about seeing him in action for the team." Confirmation of the moves brings to a conclusion one of the more protracted and acrimonious transfer story-lines of the last four months. Sterling's relationship with the hierarchy at Liverpool had deteriorated markedly over the course of last season once talks over a new contract at Anfield, which were initiated last October, quickly stalled. The player rejected a proposed deal worth £100,000 a week in March and, despite making 52 appearances for the club last season and having two years left to run on his deal, appeared destined to leave ever since. City lodged two bids earlier in the summer - the first for an initial £25m rising to £30m, and the second £35m with add-ons taking the deal closer to £40m - which were knocked back, though Sterling made clear to the Liverpool manager, Brendan Rodgers, his desire to leave on the first day of pre-season training last week. He had requested to be omitted from the Merseysiders' squad for a two-week tour of Thailand, Malaysia and Australia and duly called in sick twice, missing two days' training, amid suggestions the Professional Footballers' Association might have to be called in to try and broker a peace. Rodgers has since insisted there was "no issue" with the player. Liverpool are now expected to test Aston Villa's resolve to retain Christian Benteke. Sterling's career at Anfield ultimately amounted to 129 appearances and 23 goals since a switch from Queens Park Rangers five years ago. The west London club, who gained £600,000 potentially rising as high as £5m, are due 20% of the profit on the fee that took the player to the Etihad and will effectively pocket their biggest profit yet on a player sale.

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