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Doubts Over Man City Trio's Future Sparked Uncertainty Among Etihad Hierarchy Over Potential Cristiano Ronaldo Swoop Last Summer

The uncertainty surrounding the future of Bernardo Silva, Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez at the Etihad Stadium caused doubts amongst Manchester City's board over a late move to sign Cristiano Ronaldo last summer, according to a new report.

Whilst Manchester City were targeting the acquisitions of Harry Kane and Jack Grealish to bolster their squad further after what had been a historic campaign that saw the Sky Blues reach their first-ever Champions League final, there were expected to be outgoings as usual.

A year on from when Leroy Sane departed for Bayern Munich, it emerged that Bernardo Silva, Raheem Sterling, Riyad Mahrez, Gabriel Jesus and Aymeric Laporte were all open to an exit should the right offer arrive.

Though the Sky Blues have plainly refused to keep players who don't want to stay at the club, the financial constraints of the COVID-19 pandemic during the summer transfer window meant that few clubs would have been able to tempt the Premier League champions in cashing in on any of their wantaway stars.

After their bid to engineer a move for Harry Kane failed, Cristiano Ronaldo was heavily linked with making a sensational switch to the east side of Manchester after the Portugal captain announced his departure from Juventus in the closing stages of the transfer window.

According to Sam Lee of The Athletic, while Ronaldo were unsure about regular game-time at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester City's doubts over a late surge for the current Manchester United striker were amplified due to the uncertainty surrounding possible sales for the likes of Silva, Mahrez and Sterling.

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Bernardo Silva was reportedly keen on a new challenge after four seasons in Manchester, and while the 27-year-old was a regular starter for Pep Guardiola's side last season, the playmaker's head had been turned by interest from the likes of Barcelona, Juventus, Atletico Madrid.

Despite enjoying arguably his best campaign at the Etihad Stadium since his arrival from Leicester City in 2018, Riyad Mahrez was also open to the idea of a possible departure after playing a starring role in Manchester City's run to the Champions League final against Chelsea in Porto.

Following the emergence of academy graduate Phil Foden as a regular started and crucial first-team player, Raheem Sterling was left out of favour with Pep Guardiola and did not play nearly as much as he would have desired towards the business end of the 2021/22 campaign.

The aforementioned trio stayed put at Manchester City and saw Jack Grealish arrive as a club-record signing to further strengthen the competition for places in the attacking positions, though the Sky Blues failed to fill the void left by Sergio Aguero's departure to Barcelona.

As we approach the business end of the January transfer window, Silva, Mahrez and Sterling are once again content with how things are going at City after what has been an incredible season so far for the Premier League champions.

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