‘Real or Barca the next stepping stone for Sterling’
Raheem Sterling has been told that Real Madrid or Barcelona are “the next stepping stone for him”, with Les Ferdinand expecting the Manchester City forward to reach the very top.The 24-year-old has already come a long way from his early days spent as an academy hopeful at Queens Park Rangers.Spells at Liverpool and City have allowed him to compete for and claim a number of major honours, including two Premier League titles, while he is just one short of reaching 50 caps for England. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Time spent working under Pep Guardiola at the Etihad Stadium is considered to have taken Sterling’s game to another level, with 49 goals recorded over the last two seasons.The most exciting thing is that there is still more potential to be unlocked, and Ferdinand believes that could lead the dynamic winger to Spain at some stage of his career.The former England international, who is now director of football at QPR, told talkSPORT of Sterling: “When you look at his improvement under Pep, you think to yourself ‘wow’ and he’s still young.“There’s a lot more for him to learn and there’s a lot more for him to do and he’s enjoying his successes in front of goal.“If he continues to have the success he’s having at Manchester City, then you could see a team like Real Madrid or Barcelona being the next stepping stone for him.“When you look at some of the players playing for those teams at the moment, he’d certainly be in good company if he went to those football clubs.”Sterling contributed 26 goals to the City cause in 2018-19 as they claimed an historic Premier League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup treble.He was also named PFA Young Player of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year after competing with Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk for the most prestigious individual prizes in the English game.Those at the Etihad Stadium have him tied to a long-term contract, with a deal penned in November intended to take him through to the end of the 2022-23 campaign.