In a massive revelation made by Sergio Lopez de Vicente while writing for Diario AS, it’s been confirmed that the likes of Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus were offered to Real Madrid in the summer, but the team could not complete the transfer as there were no free non-EU places in the team.
The lack of spare non-EU places in the team has been a major problem for Real Madrid for years and it even hindered their transfer strategies for the ongoing season. According to La Liga regulations, each Spanish team is only allowed three non-EU players in the squad.
These places are currently acquired by Eder Militao, Vinicius Jr and Rodrygo. So when the opportunity of signing Sterling and Jesus came calling, Madrid had to pass on it.
Back then, Raheem Sterling was well within Madrid’s range as he wanted to leave City to look for other avenues. As it turns out, he was offered to Real Madrid and while the team did weigh his incorporation, they were forced to back out due to the aforementioned issue.
Similarly, Gabriel Jesus was on the verge of exit after City signed Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund. Just like Sterling, Jesus, too, was offered to Madrid, who looked at the Brazilian as a replacement for Karim Benzema. But lack of non-EU spaces once again pulled Madrid out of it.
Sterling went on to sign for Chelsea in the summer while Gabriel Jesus reunited with his former coach Mikel Arteta at Arsenal.
Interestingly enough, it’s not the first time Sterling’s name was linked with Real Madrid. Back in February 2020, the England international spoke highly of the team, saying that he is always open to new challenges.
“I’m very happy [at City], but I also say that Madrid is a fantastic club,” he had said.
“When you see the white shirt you know exactly what the club stands for, it’s huge. Although I have to say that I have a great contract with City and I have to respect it.
“But it’s a fantastic club. Madrid is a fantastic club, in a country with a long time. incredible. I am a player who is always open to challenges,” he added.
Back then, there was no place for Sterling in the Real Madrid squad as all positions were duly acquired. Even this season, if he would have arrived, there would have been a high competition to play on the wings.