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Wages could prove huge stumbling block as Arsenal eye Sterling deal

Sterling will enter the final year of his contract at the Etihad Stadium this summer and Arsenal are said to be considering a move if he becomes available.

The Gunners want to sign new attacking options to replace Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, who is out of contract at the end of the season.

Mikel Arteta worked closely with Sterling during his time at City. Arsenal have significantly trimmed their wage bill in recent transfer windows by offloading high-earners including Mesut Ozil and Aubameyang.

And it is not clear if they could match Sterling’s wage demands given he is entering the prime of his career. Sterling has publicly stated that he is happy to resolve his future at the end of the season, while he also previously expressed a desire to play abroad.

“If there was an opportunity to go somewhere else (for more game time), I would be open to it at this moment in time,” Sterling told the FT Business of Sport US summit in October.

“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, to play abroad.”

Arsenal still retain an interest in Sterling’s City team-mate Gabriel Jesus, who will also have one year left on his contract this summer.

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