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Raheem Sterling says Real Madrid are a

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Raheem Sterling joined Manchester City from Liverpool for an initial £44m in 2015

Raheem Sterling says Real Madrid are a “fantastic club” but insists he is “really happy” at Manchester City.

Sterling, 25, has been linked with a move to Real following City’s two-year ban from European competition.

“Right now I’m at City and I’m really happy. But I say Real Madrid are a fantastic club,” Sterling told Spanish outlet AS.

“When you see the white shirt you know exactly what the club stands for, it’s massive.”

The England international added: “But at the same time, I have a contract with City now and I have to respect this. But it’s a fantastic club.”

City play Real Madrid in the last 16 of the Champions League, with the first leg at the Bernabeu on Wednesday and the return game at Etihad Stadium on 17 March.

The Spanish giants have lifted the trophy on a record 13 occasions, including three in successive seasons under Zinedine Zidane between 2016 and 2018.

“I think to win the Champions League so many times especially in a row as well is very difficult,” Sterling said of Zidane, who left Real shortly after that third win in 2018 before returning for a second spell at the Bernabeu in March.

“I don’t think that’s luck, it’s definitely a formula. Some people have that winning mentality and he wins by any means.

“I’d say it’s something he has probably developed over his great career as a player and he’s developing his career as a manager so it continues this winning touch.”

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