England international forward Raheem Sterling has admitted he is absolutely delighted after putting pen to paper on a five-year deal with Manchester City.
The deal, for a fee that could rise to £49 million, makes Sterling the most expensive English footballer in history.
Sterling, who joined Liverpool from Queens Park Rangers for an initial fee of £600,000 in 2010, has been the subject of exit rumours all summer long, and the player is relieved the saga is finally over.
“It’s a good feeling and this is really happy time for me and my family,” Sterling told the club’s official website. “I’m just glad it’s all over and done with and I can’t wait to get on the training field.
“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. 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 added: “It has been a long journey from QPR and I’d like to thank a few people who have helped me along the way.
“I’d like to thank Rafa Benitez for taking me to Liverpool as a 15 year-old – that was a massive step for me and a new challenge. Also to Kenny Dalglish for showing such faith in me and putting me in at such a young age.
“I want to thank Brendan Rodgers for giving me a chance and an opportunity in the first team, giving me my full debut – against City funnily enough – and giving me a real chance to cement a place in the first team and show the world my talents.
“Finally, I’d also like to thank all the people around me – my mum and sisters, my management team and Aidy Ward for helping me focus and get where I am today. I just wanted to say a big thank you to everyone.”
Meanwhile, Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher, who criticised Sterling on several different occasions regarding his transfer saga with the Merseyside club this summer, believes the Reds have pulled off a remarkable sale.
Carragher said: “There’s no doubt it’s an astronomical amount of money considering his career so far. It’s a great price for Liverpool and City are paying well over the odds.”
Manchester City are best-priced at 11/4 to win the English Premier League title in 2015/16.