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'What a ride': Man City fans thank Sterling after winger bids farewell ahead of Chelsea move

Raheem Sterling has penned an emotional letter to Manchester City ahead of his 50 million-pound move to Chelsea, admitting he is leaving the club 'as a man'.

football 'What a ride': Man City fans thank Raheem Sterling after winger bids farewell ahead of Chelsea move snt
Manchester, First Published Jul 13, 2022, 5:54 PM IST

In an emotional letter, iconic forward Raheem Sterling announced his departure from Manchester City ahead of a 50 million-pound move to Chelsea on Wednesday. The Englishman reportedly agreed on personal terms on a five-year contract with the option of a further 12 months and had a medical with the Blues on Sunday.

Admitting he is leaving Man City 'as a man', Sterling reportedly jetted out to Los Angeles to link up his soon-to-be teammates ahead of the official confirmation.

"Seven seasons. Eleven major trophies. A lifetime of memories," Sterling's statement read.

"To the coaching staff who have played a massive role in my development over the years, to my teammates who have become more than just those I share a pitch with, to the backroom staff, to the office staff, to the fans who have tirelessly supported the team, and to everyone associated with Manchester City, my respect for you couldn't be greater," the England international added.

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"What a ride it's been. I am thankful for the ups and downs, as it's the downs that have, at times, have tested my strength and resolve, and enabled me to stand here in front of you as the best possible version of myself," he added.

"I arrived in Manchester a 20-year-old. Today, I leave as a man. Thank you for your endless support. It's been an honour to wear the shirt of Manchester City," the forward concluded.

The 27-year-old winger has also shared a three-minute video showing his Etihad highlights reel. Following this, several City fans took to Twitter to thank Sterling for all the memories he gave them. Here's a look at some of the reactions:

Sterling joined City from Liverpool in 2015 and has gone on to make 339 appearances in all competitions, scoring 131 goals and registering 95 assists. However, the winger has recently slipped down the pecking order under Pep Guardiola, being left out of the starting XI for some headline games.

Sterling would have most likely spent more time on the sidelines next season with the additions of Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez this summer and the performances of players like Phil Foden and Jack Grealish.

By playing regularly in the upcoming season, the 27-year-old, whose contract at City was slated to expire next summer, hopes to position himself well to compete for a spot in England's starting lineup at the 2022 World Cup.

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At the beginning of last month, Sterling reportedly informed City that he wanted to look for a fresh challenge abroad, and several great clubs in Europe were intrigued. Although it was impossible, Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel was anxious to complete the transaction before the Englishman travelled with his team last weekend on their pre-season journey to Los Angeles.

He will now be able to meet his teammates on tour with Chelsea to play Club America, Charlotte FC and Arsenal before the start of the new season. The winger can also extend one season on a deal that will take him into the Premier League's top three earners. New Blues chairman Todd Boehly led the talks with City to thrash out the 50 million-pound fee. 

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