• Kevin De Bruyne hopes Raheem Sterling stays with Manchester City 
  • Barcelona has reportedly been targeting Sterling for a January loan move
  • Sterling's benching is mainly due to the arrival of Jack Grealish

Manchester City attacking midfielder Kevin De Bruyne recognizes Raheem Sterling’s frustrations with the club but hopes he changes his mind soon.

Speaking to the media ahead of their UEFA Champions League fixture with Club Brugge, De Bruyne offered a sobering opinion on the Sterling situation.

“I understand the frustration, I'm a player and you have some players who need more rhythm and maybe Raz [Raheem Sterling] needs more, I need that also. It's tough to play one game, but it's the manager who has to make choices and it's hard,” the Belgian international told them via Goal.

Earlier this month, Sterling was linked to Barcelona in a potential January loan move after seeing his playing time drastically go down due to the arrival of Jack Grealish from Aston Villa.

Sport.Es claimed that the England striker is keen on a move away from Manchester City in search of more time on the field, something that the La Liga giants can offer after Lionel Messi’s departure during this past summer’s transfer window.

Leaning into De Bruyne’s thoughts, it is understandable why players like Sterling get to be benched from time to time as Manchester City is going for its third English Premier League title in four years.

However, a Sterling departure seems likely as the days continue to pass.

The striker confirmed as much when he spoke with the Financial Times Business of Sports US Summit.

“If there was [an] opportunity to go somewhere else, I’d be open to it at this moment in time. I keep saying football’s the most important thing to me. I would love to play abroad and see how I would come up against that challenge,” said Sterling.

Sterling has only scored one goal in eight Premier League appearances, the lone goal being in a 5-0 thrashing of Norwich City in late August.

Manchester City currently sits at the top half of the Premier League table in third place with 17 points, two points behind league leaders Chelsea.

Before visiting Brighton and Hove Albion on October 24, the Citizens have a Champions League date with Club Brugge at 5:45 PM BST (12:45 PM ET) on Thursday, October 19.