Raheem Sterling admits he thought about leaving Liverpool from a young age

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Raheem Sterling isn't exactly the most popular person in Liverpool right now.

Many fans from Merseyside are still unable to forgive the England international for switching to Manchester City last season and seemingly 'betraying' the team who were responsible for his development as a teenager.

But just in case anyone felt like Sterling rushed into his decision to leave Liverpool, he has revealed just how early he started planning his departure.

The Man City midfielder actually started out at Queens Park Rangers before moving to the club where he would make his name as a professional footballer in 2010.

But even then - as a 15-year-old - Sterling was prepared to move on if Liverpool struggled to compete for major honours.

"I've never mentioned this to anyone but I'll never forget when me and my agent were on our way to Liverpool on the train," he told Gary Lineker, as part of BBC's Premier League show, per the Daily Mail.

"At that time I was 15 years old and we were already talking about what we'd like to do after Liverpool if things didn't turn out like we wanted.

"I just said well this is a massive club and a massive opportunity for me now but I remember saying to him by the time I'm 22, if I haven't won anything or playing in the biggest competitions then I need to assess my options."

But it turned out that Sterling didn't even need to wait that long for his big money move as he became the most expensive English player of all-time by transferring to the blue side of Manchester for £49 million aged just 20.

Despite the Man City star's obvious ambition, the switch was understandably negatively perceived by his former fans at Anfield.

However, he insists it was a step in the right direction to fulfil his potential.

Adding: "You want to make sure you're playing at the highest level. Liverpool are a great team, I never said that wasn't the case. But at the time it was a great opportunity to come here and work with some of the best players in the world.

"I'm not saying there aren't some great players at Liverpool because there are but it was for me, my development and where I wanted to be. It was about playing in the Champions League and against the biggest teams like Barcelona; for me that's a massive game to be involved in."

So after Tuesday's big win over the Catalan giants, you can imagine Sterling must be feeling on top of the world.

Guardiola's men closed the gap on Lionel Messi and co. at the top of Group C to just two points with only two games remaining and are now in a prime position to qualify for the next stage of the Champions League after Christmas.

Brendan Rodgers
Premier League
Manchester City
Raheem Sterling

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