Raheem Sterling scored the only goal of England's game with Croatia at Wembley on Sunday
England goalscorer Raheem Sterling will hold talks over his Manchester City future after the European Championship and is not interested in the prospect of being used as a bargaining tool.
Sterling ended his major tournament goal drought by scoring England’s winning goal in the victory over Croatia, which settled some of the debate around his inclusion.
The 26-year-old did not enjoy his best season for Manchester City, even though he still finished with 14 goals, and has seen himself linked with being used as part of a bid for Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane and with Arsenal.
Spurs would not be able to afford Sterling’s wages, while Arsenal would also struggle to finance a deal for him, but the forward is not interested in having his destiny decided for him in any case.
Sterling has two years remaining on his City contract and talks over his future will be held at the end of the Euros, with the club ready to discuss a new long-term deal.
Other than Kane, City are also interested in Sterling’s England team-mate Jack Grealish who he was preferred to by Gareth Southgate on the left for the Croatia game.
Sterling lost his place as an automatic starter for City this season, although he was a surprise inclusion for the Champions League final that Pep Guardiola’s team lost to Chelsea.
Following his match-winning performance for England on Sunday, Sterling hinted at issues at City by saying: “There’s a lot of different reasons why I haven’t scored for my club and it’s totally irrelevant now. I’m here with England and I’m enjoying my football. That’s the most important thing. Have I justified my selection? I’m trying.
"I think one of the things about playing football and being in major tournaments for a long time now is knowing when to block the noise out. I just tried to focus and come into this tournament with a clear head. I know what I can bring to the team and it’s as simple as that.”
Southgate added: “I know people are saying he hasn’t hit the heights, but he’s still one in three for his club.”