Raheem Sterling's Targeted Return Date Revealed as Manchester City Prepare for Huge Real Madrid Clash
Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling is targeting a return from injury in time for the club's Champions League knockout stage match against Real Madrid.
The England international was forced off in the latter stages of City's defeat at Tottenham last week with a hamstring injury that manager Pep Guardiola suggested could rule Sterling out for weeks.
Although he was initially expected to be out for the rest of the month, the Telegraph report that Sterling is hopeful of returning to the first team in time for the first leg of City's Champions League match against Real Madrid on February 26.
Even if Sterling isn't able to return in time for their trip to the Santiago Bernabéu, the 25-year-old will be available for the return leg against Real Madrid, as well as the upcoming international break.
Both Harry Kane and Marcus Rashford will likely be out of contention for Gareth Southgate's side next month, leaving Sterling as the most senior attacker who will be included for England.
Real Madrid will benefit from Sterling's absence in a purely footballing sense, but the Telegraph's report adds the record European champions are actually monitoring the England international ahead of the summer transfer window.
Los Blancos are said to be keeping an eye on Sterling's contract situation in the north-west, with his present deal, signed in 2018, currently having another three years to run.
Despite not linking them with any clubs specifically, the Telegraph also suggest the likes of Adama Traore, Mohamed Salah, Kingsley Coman and Wilfried Zaha could make a move elsewhere at the end of the season.
One forward who is expected to leave this summer is Sterling's Manchester City teammate, Leroy Sané.
The Germany international has been flirting with a move to Bayern Munich for the last year and even saw a proposed move last summer fail to go through after he tore his anterior cruciate ligament in the curtain-raising Community Shield.