SOCCER - A.Klagenfurt vs Southampton, test match KLAGENFURT,AUSTRIA,18.JUL.22 - SOCCER - ADMIRAL Bundesliga, Premier League, SK Austria Klagenfurt vs FC Southampton, test match. Image shows a ball. PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxAUTxSUIxSWE GEPAxpictures/xFlorianxMori

The England international swapped Anfield for the Etihad at a big-money move but his former trainer insists it was not about finances.

Raheem Sterling’s blockbuster move from Liverpool into Manchester City wasn’t about money, according to his former director Brendan Rodgers.

The England international joined City in 2015 from Merseyside in a 49 million ($53m/$58m) move – that was a record for an English participant at the moment.

Reds fans were devastated to find that the 20-year-old talent leaves their club, with the winger appearing poised to be a world-class player after scoring 23 goals in 129 appearances.

Rodgers, who gave Sterling his introduction as a 17-year-old, considers the Jamaican-born celebrity left Liverpool for footballing reasons – not because of their financing provided by City.

“For Raheem, it was never about money,’ the now Leicester City boss told the Liverpool Echo.

“If it was about money, he might have remained in Liverpool. It was about being the best that he could be.

“At that moment in time, there was an opportunity to go to where they’d top-class players. He has gone and developed and become a winner, which is clear to see today in his match.

“I look at Pep’s team and it is different if he is not in it. What a testament that is to a young English player.

“What I loved about Raheem was for a young boy, he knew what he wanted to be.”

Sterling came of age under Pep Guardiola in City throughout the 2017-18 campaign, scoring 23 goals in all competitions before backing it up with 25 strikes last season.

But, despite a hot start to the present season, he’s failed to score a goal in 2020, with Guardiola indicating that harm had curtailed his sanity.

At a recent Q&A session on Instagram, Sterling refused to rule out a return to Liverpool in the future.

“Can I ever go back to Liverpool? To be honest with you I love Liverpool,” he said.

“Do not get it twisted, they’re always in my heart. It is a team that did a lot for me growing up so…”

Sterling will not be in action with Manchester City until at least April 30 with the Premier League suspended until this season due to the coronavirus pandemic.