Raheem Sterling wants to hold off on new contract talks with Manchester City until after next summer's World Cup in Russia.
That is according to the Daily Mirror, who have claimed that the red-hot forward - who has two years left on his current contract - has shelved plans to negotiate new terms for the time being as he focuses on maintaining his sensational form for the Premier League leaders.
The report goes on to allege that Sterling's decision to forego sitting down to discuss a new deal has alerted Real Madrid to his potential availability, but such a link should be taken with a massive pinch of salt.
Sterling has been in frightening form for Pep Guardiola's team throughout the 2017/18 campaign as he has put a summer of possible upheaval behind him.
Bafflingly linked with a deadline day switch to join Arsenal, the 22-year-old has proved that he made the correct decision in staying at the Etihad stadium by racking up a staggering 13 goals and four assists in 20 appearances this term.
Sterling's match-winning credentials have been taken up a gear this season too, with the winger netting four late goals - strikes all coming after the 84th minute - to hand City an extra seven points from league encounters.
Raheem Sterling has won us 12 points. Just take a moment to realise that the guy has taken endless shit for the past 3 years, and he’s just took it and carried on. The guys class, genuine, and such a good footballer. I genuinely love him. And no im drunk. (yes I am a bit)— Jake (@Everything_City) November 29, 2017
Considering City would only be a point ahead of bitter city rivals and fellow title contenders Manchester United without that points haul, his displays and end product have been a huge boost for Guardiola as he seeks to win his first English top flight trophy at the second attempt.
Sterling currently earns a wage in the region of £180k-a-week and would be able to thrash out a deal for a considerably higher salary given his current form.
Real, who were interested in Sterling during his Liverpool days and before he moved up the M62, would be able to match any wages City throw his way.
However, question marks remains over their supposed desire to bring him to Spain regardless of what the Mirror has stated.