Manchester City have confirmed the signing of Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling on a five year deal.
The 20-year-old England international will become the most expensive English player ever and City’s record signing after joining for a fee of £49m.
It’s believed that the fee includes £44m in cash and £5m in performance related payments. Queens Park Rangers will receive a 20% cut of the transfer fee as part of a sell-on clause when Liverpool signed him.
Sterling, who has been handed the number 7 shirt which was recently vacated by James Milner, will depart to join his new City team mates on tour in Australia within the 24 hours.
City manager Manuel Pellegrini commented on the capture of Sterling:
“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.
“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.”
Sterling will add pace and attacking flexibility across midfield as well as the potential to become a world class player.
He is also an invaluable home grown player towards City’s quota of eight out of a squad of 25 for UEFA European competitions which had been hit by the departures of Frank Lampard, James Milner, and Micah Richards in the close season.
By definition, a home grown player is one who has been registered with and English or Welsh team for three years before their 21st birthday.
In an attempt to bolster their home grown quota while also hampered by financial restrictions due to financial fair play in recent years City have signed the likes of Jack Rodwell and Scott Sinclair but injuries and competition have meant that opportunities were limited for these players and they subsequently moved on.
City are attempting to redress the balance by purchasing home grown talent but they are also continuing to develop their own home grown talent.
Belgian youngster Jason Denayer starred in the Scottish Premier League for Celtic last season as they won the title and was recently handed a new five year contract by City and promoted to the first team squad after the departure of Dedryck Boyata.
The central defender will begin as fourth choice defender but is already out on tour in Australia with the first team squad and will expect some first team game time in the coming season.