Raheem Sterling has thanked Manchester City for the “endless support” he received at the club as the England forward said his goodbyes ahead of his move to Chelsea.
Sterling is set to be announced as a Chelsea player this week after the two Premier League rivals reached an agreement over a transfer reported to be worth around £50 million. The 27-year-old, who has entered the final year of his City deal, is expected to sign a five-year contract with the Stamford Bridge club.
In a letter posted to his social media channels, Sterling thanked City’s staff and fans for their support during his seven years at the Etihad, during which he scored 131 goals in 339 games and won four Premier League titles, four League Cups, and the 2019 FA Cup.
“Seven seasons, eleven major trophies, a lifetime of memories. 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 shared a pitch with, to the backroom staff, to the office staff, to the fans who have tirelessly supported the team, and to everyone involved in Manchester City, my respect for you couldn’t be greater. What a ride it’s been,” the letter read.
“I am thankful for the ups and downs, as it’s the downs that have, at times, tested my strength and resolve, and enabled me to stand here in front of you as the best possible version of myself.
“I arrived in Manchester as 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.”
Sterling, who joined City from Liverpool in 2015, is expected to join his new Chelsea teammates for the pre-season tour of the United States, where they are scheduled to play their opening tour match against Club America in Las Vegas on Saturday.
Sterling has been capped 77 times by England and played a key role in the team’s run to the Euro 2020 final last summer.