RAHEEM Sterling says he is relieved to have completed his protracted £49m move from Liverpool to Manchester City and is ready to consistently challenge for major honours.
The England winger, 20, believes that he will improve as a player at Etihad Stadium after becoming his country’s most expensive footballer ever.
“I’m just glad it’s all over and done with and I can’t wait,” Sterling said.
“The more quality players around you, the more quality it brings out in you.”
Sterling had been under contract at Liverpool until 2017 but turned down a £100,000-a-week deal to extend his five-year stay at Anfield.
Liverpool rejected a number of offers from City before accepting a bid.
Sterling, who joined Liverpool from QPR in 2010, paid tribute to three Reds managers he has worked under, as well as agent Aidy Ward, who said in May that Sterling would not sign a new deal at Liverpool even if offered “£900,000 a week”.
“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,” Sterling said.
“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, 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.”
Most expensive British players
£85.3m- Gareth Bale (Tottenham to Real Madrid, 2013)
£49m- Raheem Sterling (Liverpool to Manchester City, 2015)
£35m- Andy Carroll (Newcastle to Liverpool, 2011)
£30m- Rio Ferdinand (Leeds to Manchester United, 2002)
£27m- Luke Shaw (Southampton to Manchester United, 2015)
£27m- Wayne Rooney (Everton to Manchester United, 2004)
£26m- James Milner (Aston Villa to Manchester City, 2010)