New Manchester City signing Raheem Sterling has said that the chance to line up alongside world-class players who can challenge for trophies every year was his main reason for joining the club.

The 20-year-old winger was unveiled by City yesterday (14 July) after joining the club from Liverpool for £49m ($76.4m), making him the most expensive English football player ever.

Speaking to City TV in an exclusive first interview, Sterling said that he was relishing the chance to play alongside his new teammates.

"They've got world-class players who I think are more than capable of winning things year in, year out," he said.

Raheem Sterling
Sterling becomes the most expensive English player ever after moving to the two-time Premier League championsGetty Images

Sterling was recently ranked by Soccerex as the most valuable young player in Europe. The London-born winger had become a mainstay of Brendan Rodgers' Liverpool side over the last two seasons, but his 2014-15 campaign was overshadow by speculation regarding the player's future at the club.

Back in April Sterling conducted an interview with the BBC without consent from the club to dispel claims that he was a "money-grabbing 20 year old" who had turned down a deal with the Reds worth £100,000 a week.

Liverpool's owners insisted that Sterling would not be sold this summer, but after two bids for the player were initially rejected, the Citizens have got their man. Sterling admitted he was relieved the saga was finally over.

"I'm just glad it's over and done with and I can't wait to get on the training field," he said.

Raheem Sterling
Sterling has thanked Rodgers for having faith in him at AnfieldGetty Images

While Sterling and Liverpool's relationship deteriorated over the final months of the season, the player thanked the three managers who had given him an opportunity on Merseyside.

"I'd like to thank a few people like Rafa Benitez for bringing me to Liverpool as a 15 year old. That was a massive step for me; a huge challenge.

"I'd also like to thank Kenny Dalglish for having faith in me and putting me in at such a young age.

"I'd also like to thank Brendan the current manager now for having faith in me and starting me against Man City, funnily enough, giving me a chance and an opportunity to cement my place in the first team and show the world my talents.

"A massive thank you to the people around me; my mum, my sisters, my family, my management team like Aidy Ward in helping me to focus and get me to where I am today," he said.

Sterling becomes City's record signing, jumping ahead of Argentina striker Sergio Aguero, Brazil international Robinho and French defender Eliaquim Mangala.

The England international could make his City debut in the International Champions Cup against either Roma or Real Madrid on 21 or 24 July as part of the club's pre-season tour of Australia.

The five most expensive English players of all timeIBTimes UK