Manchester City has begun initial negotiations with Raheem Sterling. The negotiations are over a new contract which could make him the highest earner in the club’s history.

Omar Berrada and Txiki Begiristain held “positive’ initial discussions with Sterling’s representatives on Monday.

The meeting held in Manchester lasted under an hour. Talks focused on a deal that could catapult Sterling’s £275,000 a week wages beyond the £350,000 a week deal signed by Kevin De Bruyne in January 2018.

City relaxes over the negotiations. Nonetheless, the club had agreed on a five year deal with the former Liverpool winger in November last year.

However, the forward has become a talisman in Guardiola’s squad.  As a result, City’s board remain keen to keep him out of the clutches of Europe’s biggest clubs such as Real Madrid. These clubs are understood to be weighing up a lucrative offer for the winger earlier this month.

Unlike most players at the Etihad Stadium, Sterling owns his own image rights-agreed as part of his new deal 12 months ago-which includes lucrative endorsements from companies including Pepsi, H&M and Gillette.

The 24-year-old views on race. The media have made the reigning Football Writers’ Association’s Footballer of the year a valuable ambassador for the club off the pitch.

Sterling’s future at City is not dependent on whether Guardiola commits his future to the club.

However, sources claim that Sterling would not commit to a new contract unless Guardiola does the same.

Sterling wants to know if Guardiola is staying beyond the 18 months left on his deal. If the manager decides to walk away and take charge of another club, then Sterling would follow him.

The reason being, the forward has formed a deep bond with Guardiola.