Such a scenario could be a factor in the postponing of talks with City over a contract extension, part of a process that Pep Guardiola's club has undertaken with all its key young assets of late.
He has over two years remaining on his current contract, but City told Sky Sports News in December last year they meant to open discussions with him over a new deal.
Guardiola has taken the potential of Sterling and turned him into one of Europe's most risky players.
"In terms of contracts I'm not the guy, it's Txiki who's talking about that".
"No doubt, so important", said Guardiola.
And while you'd expect the top search for a Premier League footballer to be about his weekly wage, or maybe even some juicy transfer gossip... all people want to know is why Sterling runs the way he does.
Ball-tampering: Steve Smith, David Warner get 12-month bans
The Cricket Australia punishments followed an internal investigation into the extent of the cheating plot in South Africa . We love all our players and they are going through a really rough time, as you'd imagine you would be in this scenario.
"Of course you think, 'It's not going well, we are not winning, what do we have to do?' That is normal", said Guardiola.
The former Malaga starlet explained how he didn't feel that he had the "confidence" of Real manager Zinedine Zidane, and admitted that his Madrid "problem" could force him to seek a move elsewhere to earn regular first-team football.
If City win their next two Premier League games against Everton and United, they will be guaranteed the title. "It was a long time injured".
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