Raheem Sterling's World Cup gamble has failed, strengthening Manchester City’s hand in talks over a new contract, writes David Anderson in Chicago
Sterling hoped his performances in the World Cup would increase the pressure on City - but the champions are taking a hardline stance
Sterling shelved negotiations before the World Cup in the hope his stock would rise on the back of a sparkling tournament.
His camp reckoned this would increase the pressure on City to accept his demands for improved personal terms to his current £170,000-a-week deal or attract interest from a big foreign club.
Neither has happened and the England forward had a decent World Cup without lighting it up.
Despite scoring a record 23 goals for City last season as he enjoyed his best campaign, he has gone over 1,000 days since last netting for England in November 2015.
City will now wait for Sterling, who is enjoying his post-World Cup break, to return to the negotiating table.
Although Sterling’s current contract runs until June 2020, City will sell him next summer if he does not agree new terms before then.
They are adamant that none of their big names will be allowed to run down their contracts and leave on Bosmans.
They will take the same tough line over the former Liverpool star, who cost £49million in 2015 if he continues to stall over talks.
Sterling’s camp is also taking a hardline stance and they believe that at 23, Sterling will continue to improve, increasing his value.
They are determined to hold out for the significant pay rise they feel he is worth, leaving talks at their current impasse.
City are also at loggerheads with Spanish ‘whizzkid’ Brahim Diaz over his future.
City want to send the attacking midfielder, who has made 11 senior appearances, out on loan to their sister club Girona.
But Diaz, 18, wants to play more regularly for Pep Guardiola and will agitate for City to sell him if he does to get his way.
He has entered the final year of his City contract and will only sign a new deal if he is part of Guardiola’s plans.
Meanwhile, Swansea are in talks to sign Manchester City starlet Bersant Celina in a deal worth up to £4million.
Celina, 21, impressed on loan at Ipswich last season and the Kosovo winger scored eight goals in 35 appearances.
Celina, who signed a three-deal with City last year, spent the previous season on loan at FC Twente in Holland and has made four senior appearances for the Blues.
Swans boss Graham Potter feels Celina has great potential and City are prepared to let him go after six years at the club.
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