Belfast Telegraph

I don't want City captaincy: Sterling

Growing role: Raheem Sterling
Growing role: Raheem Sterling

By Andy Hampson

Raheem Sterling recognises his growing authority in the Manchester City dressing room - but is in no hurry to take over the captaincy.

England forward Sterling has developed into one of City's most senior and influential players. That might make him a candidate to succeed Vincent Kompany as captain after the long-serving Belgian left the club at the end of last season.

Others would include David Silva, who has taken on the role most during pre-season, Kevin de Bruyne, Fernandinho and Sergio Aguero.

Sterling said: "It's not something I'm fussed about. It has to be natural, you can't force it.

"I'm not going to start shouting on the pitch now Vinny's gone. Your team-mates have to see you in that light.

"The manager and us as players will make the right choice. We've got a lot of good candidates here.

"David has been here for God knows how long - he's been in the country longer than I have! There is Kevin, Dinho, we have a lot of players who can fill it."

Manager Pep Guardiola has said he will allow the squad collectively to decide who should take on the responsibility rather than make a decision himself.

That is only likely to happen after the whole squad return to training, with several players still to figure in pre-season following international commitments.

Sterling is happy to play a part in the process and realises that he now does have a strong voice.

The 24-year-old said: "People ask me questions for an opinion. I'm developing and maturing."

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