In-form Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling claims he never considered the prospect of a potential switch to Arsenal even "for one minute".

City were eager to reunite Alexis Sanchez with former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola throughout the summer and speculation during the final days of the window suggested that the increasingly desperate Premier League leaders had offered a player-plus-cash deal for the Chilean contract rebel that would have seen Sterling move in the opposite direction.

Such a deal never came to pass, however, with Guardiola later insisting that it was actually Arsenal that sought to make the England international part of negotiations, to which he replied there was "zero chance".

City later agreed a potential £60m ($79.6m) deal for Sanchez, only for the transfer to collapse at the 11th hour after the Gunners failed to secure the big-money signing of AS Monaco's Thomas Lemar.

Rumours circulated last month that Arsenal were pondering a fresh swoop for Sterling in January as they decide whether to field further interest in Sanchez or else lose him for nothing in the summer.

Addressing those links during a press conference held before rampant City's next Champions League Group F tie against Serie A pace-setters Napoli on Tuesday evening (17 October), Sterling revealed that he never discussed Arsenal's interest with Guardiola.

"I didn't need to speak with him, because I had already spoken to him during the summer about pre-season," he told reporters. "I didn't have any negative thoughts or anything bad about it.

"I just woke up one day with England and saw it, and I didn't believe a word of it until I heard something from the manager - then I would believe it. It wasn't something I was worried about because Pep is an honest guy, and he would have spoken to me about it before that. So, I didn't need to worry about it, and I didn't think about it, not for one minute."

Sterling, aged 22, also appeared to dash any lingering hopes Arsenal may harbour over a future transfer by insisting that he sees his future at City and pointing to the fact that he still has plenty of time remaining on a lucrative five-year deal signed upon his arrival from Liverpool in 2015.

"I signed for five years here," he added. "I've got two-and-a-half years left, and I see myself here and playing my football here under a great manager with a great team."

Like City, the oft-maligned Sterling has enjoyed a hugely positive start to the 2017-18 season, scoring seven goals across all competitions - including one in Saturday's 7-2 rout of Stoke City - to match prolific strike duo Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero. Guardiola recently reiterated that the player is simply not for sale.

"Raz [Raheem] is staying here," he said. "The club trust him, that is why we have invested a lot of money in him, so the players we have are going to stay. If they want to leave they are going to leave, but he wants to stay. If players want to leave they have to ask the chairman, but there is no chance of that. He is going nowhere."

Raheem Sterling
Raheem Sterling addresses the media before Manchester City's Champions League meeting with Napoli PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images