MX23RW : Friday, March 5 13:57:34| >> :120:3743:3743:

Manuel Pellegrini: 'Raheem Sterling's £49m price tag not most important thing'

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini says that Raheem Sterling's £49m price tag is "not the most important thing".

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has claimed that the reported £49m fee the club paid for Raheem Sterling is not "the most important thing".

The former Premier League champions were successful in their third bid for the 20-year-old, who signed a five-year contract on Tuesday.

The big-money transfer has made the former Liverpool star the most expensive English player in history.

During a press conference in Australia, Pellegrini told reporters: "Well the price is so difficult because is it a real price or not? I think it will depend on the performance of the player over the next years. Every time you want to meet a player, the price is high.

"I think it was important to make a bid and have the necessary players. After that there are so many things to analyse. I repeat the price is not the most important thing. The most important thing is choosing the player you think that you need. After that it depends on what they can do.

"But he can play as a centre-forward, he can play on the sides of the wings. He is a very young player and he has a lot of things that he can improve but for him he has a new challenge in our team. He will be playing with great players. He can improve his game and improve us as a team."

Sterling has been ruled out of Saturday's pre-season friendly against Melbourne City.

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Raheem Sterling of Liverpool in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Leicester City at Anfield on January 1, 2015
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City27205256173965
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd27149453322151
3Leicester CityLeicester27155746311550
4Chelsea27138642251747
5Everton2614483933646
6West Ham UnitedWest Ham2613674031945
7Liverpool27127847351243
8Tottenham HotspurSpurs26126842271542
9Aston Villa251231038271139
10Arsenal26114113427737
11Leeds UnitedLeeds26112134344-135
12Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2797112837-934
13Crystal Palace2797112943-1434
14Southampton2686123144-1330
15Burnley2778121935-1629
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton26511102633-726
17Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2675142744-1726
18Fulham27411122133-1223
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom2738162056-3617
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd2742211643-2714

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