Patrick Vieira: Raheem Sterling interest shows Manchester City are a big club

Manchester City's youth coach evaluates the big names being linked with his current employers, claiming the interest confirms their status as a big club.

Former Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira has told ESPN that the fact Raheem Sterling is being heavily linked with Manchester City proves how far the club has come in recent years.

The 20-year-old Liverpool forward has been the subject of two bids from City, as per ESPN, but none have been accepted thus far. Meanwhile, Sterling, with just a year remaining on his contract, has made it clear he will not sign an extension, as per the Mirror.

According to ESPN, City are preparing another bid in the region of £50 million to land the highly-rated England international.

Vieira, who spent a year playing for City, is now a youth coach at the club. He believes being linked with players like Sterling will attract other big names in football, proving City have become a huge draw through progression down the years.

"I think you are in a period where you have a lot of speculation and that's the way football is," Vieira told ESPN at an event for Western Union's PASS initiative.

"In a period where people and journalists are going crazy, that is a part of the game.

"I think every big name will be linked with City because City is a big club in Europe. Players will want to join the club and have success."

After an impressive World Cup in Brazil, Sterling returned to Liverpool to make 35 appearances in the 2014-15 season. Brendan Rodgers worked on the forward’s versatility, playing him up front alone, on the wing and full-back, even if it meant sacrificing his main attributes at times.

"I think if you go down and ask 10 people what they think about him, I think nine would give you a positive answer," Vieira added.

"I would be part of the nine people because he's shown how good he is, how well he's been doing at Liverpool.

"If he is in the market, not just City would be interested in him. But that's the first team and I'm not part of the first team, I work with the Academy. So I'm just giving you my opinion."

Are Manchester City a big club?

If you account for domestic success in recent years and the money they have to spend, yes, you could argue Manchester City are a big club. They're not as big as their rivals and still feel new to the competitive scene.

Patrick Vieira is correct in saying the club has been linked with an array of big names, but the summer transfer window is approaching and speculation surrounding all clubs is rife. Being linked does not always mean there is substance to the story.

City will continue to compete and grow as a club but they still have some way to go before they enjoy the same global standing as their neighbours Manchester United, even if the reds are not as successful as they once were.

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