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Raheem Sterling has opened the door to a move away from Manchester City with a move to Europe potentially on the cards for the England international.

Sterling has struggled for regular minutes under Pep Guardiola in recent months, starting only around half of City's games in all competitions. He has long been coveted by clubs around Europe and has previously been linked with Real Madrid, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain. Whether any potential suitors would be able to finance a move remains to be seen but pressure will be on the Premier League champions to make a decision over the future of a player who is out of contract in the summer of 2023.

Talks between City and Sterling have been placed on hold and the 26-year-old has indicated a willingness to move on for the right opportunity.

"If there was an opportunity to go somewhere else, I'd be open to it at this moment in time," Sterling said at the Financial Times' Business of Sport summit.

"As I said, football is the most important thing to me. Challenges that I have set myself from a young age and dreams as well.

"As an English player all I know is the Premier League and I've always thought you know maybe one day I'd love to play abroad. See how I would come up against that challenge."

It is not the first occasion in which Sterling has indicated some degree of discontent with his situation at City. Speaking to CBS Sports before May's Champions League final he pointed to "behind the scenes" issues as explaining a season which he appeared to have found disappointing. In 49 games, he scored 14 goals and provided 12 assists, significantly down on his best campaigns since arriving at the Etihad Stadium.

Sterling has started just four of City's 11 games so far this season with the arrival of Jack Grealish increasing competition for places, particularly in the left flank where he has predominantly played since joining from Liverpool in 2015. When he has played, Sterling has often been deployed as the team's central attacker.

"I'm not a person that's going to complain," said Sterling. "I've not tried to make it a bigger deal than it actually is. I get on with my work. Do what I need to do. And I'm just raring to go: Playing football matches regularly, scoring goals regularly. 

"From a young child, football has been the most important thing in my life. My most happiest I should say. When I play football that is where I get my happiness from. And, of course, with family as well but football for me has a special place in my heart.

"With everything that comes with football, money, being able to do nice things … at the end of the day, if football for me is not at a certain standard I'm not really at my happiest. If I want my happiness at a certain level I need to be playing football. I need to be scoring goals and enjoying myself."

Sterling also revealed he is planning to start his own foundation in the coming months, one which will focus on providing opportunities for youngsters from a similar background to his "from a single parent home, not a lot of financial stability". 

He added: "When I was younger it's something that you always wished you'd had, someone or an organisation to listen and just be a helping hand. That's what the foundation will do. If someone is studying for university and the family can't financially support that we'll be another avenue to help people try and chase their goals."