LONDON (Reuters) - Raheem Sterling confirmed his departure from Manchester City in an emotional message to the club's fans on Wednesday.
The England forward, who played 225 Premier League games for City and scored 91 league goals since joining from Liverpool in 2015, is expected to join Chelsea.
"To the coaching staff who have played a massive role in my development over the years," Sterling said in a statement on Twitter. "To my team mates who have become more than just those I share a pitch with. To the backroom staff. To the office staff. To the fans who have tirelessly supported the team.
"And to everyone involved with Manchester City, my respect for you couldn't be greater."
Sterling won four Premier League titles, one FA Cup and four League Cups with City and also reached the Champions League final in 2021, losing to Chelsea.
"What a ride it's been. I am thankful for the ups and downs, as it's the downs that have, at times, tested my strength and resolve, and enabled me to stand here in front of you as the best possible version of myself," he added.
"I arrived in Manchester a 20-year-old, today I leave as a man. Thank you for your endless support. It's been an honour to wear the shirt of Manchester City."
Sterling, who has one year left on his City contract, did not mention Chelsea in his statement but it has been reported that he has signed personal terms.
(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Christian Radnedge)