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Raheem Sterling confirms Man City departure before Chelsea move

Raheem Sterling has confirmed his Manchester City departure and said he was leaving the club as “a man”.

The 27-year-old’s £50m move to Premier League rivals Chelsea is expected in the next 24 hours.

England forward issued a heartfelt goodbye message to his former teammates and the club’s staff and fans on his social media account.

“I arrived in Manchester a 20-year-old. Today, I leave as a man,” said Sterling.

“Seven seasons, 11 major trophies, a lifetime of memories.”

City have won 11 trophies during Sterling’s time at the club including five EFL Cups, although he did not play in the 2018 victory over Arsenal.

City signed Sterling from Liverpool in a £49m deal in 2015. He went on to score 131 goals in 339 games, winning four Premier League titles.

Capped 77 times by England, Jamaica-born Sterling will become Chelsea’s first major signing since the Todd Boehly-led takeover.

He added: “I am thankful for the ups and downs, as it’s the downs that have tested my strength and resolve and enable me to stand here in front of you as the best possible version of myself.”

Sterling will now link up with the Chelsea squad who flew out for their pre-season tour to the United States on Saturday.

Sterling’s deal is worth up to £50m including add-ons and is expected to be a five-year contract with an option for an extra year. Sterling had one year left on his contract at City and had attracted interest from major clubs overseas.

Chelsea are also looking to strengthen in defence following the loss of Antonio Rudiger to Real Madrid and Andreas Christensen to Barcelona. They are also pursuing City’s 27-year-old Dutch defender Nathan Ake, as well as Napoli and Senegal centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly, 31.

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