England forward Raheem Sterling insists he is looking forward to challenging for titles on a consistent basis after completing his protracted £49m transfer to deposed Premier League champions Manchester City yesterday.
City will pay Liverpool an initial £44m for the 20-year-old, with a further £5m due in add-ons, which makes Sterling the most expensive Englishman of all time. Wales’s Gareth Bale is the only Briton to have cost more.
The fee also made Sterling, who has signed a five-year deal at the Etihad Stadium worth £180,000 a week, the costliest under-21 player in football history.
“The thing that excites me the most is the world class squad we have and knowing we have a team that is capable of winning things year in, year out,” said Sterling.
“The more quality players that are around you, the more quality it brings out in you so I can’t wait to get started and play alongside them.”
Sterling formally asked to leave Liverpool last month after rejecting a £100,000-a-week offer to extend his five-year stay at the club, which he joined in 2010 for an initial £600,000 from Queens Park Rangers.
The deal places him third on the all-time list of most expensive Premier League signings behind Angel di Maria and Fernando Torres, and City boss Manuel Pellegrini believes the club have secured value for money.
“Raheem is one of the best attacking players in world football,” he said. “He is young and has outstanding ability. I am sure Manchester City fans will be very excited about seeing him in action.”