Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling has put contract talks on hold until after England’s World Cup campaign, according to the Mirror .

Mirror adds that his decision could alert Real Madrid to renew their interest in the Manchester City forward after they were heavily linked with him two years ago.

The red-hot striker wants to focus on trying to win the Premier League and maintaining his best form for his country in the build-up to the finals in Russia.

But the delay in starting talks is likely to get Madrid and other European superpowers to test City’s resolve over a player who would be able to command one of the best contracts in the Premier League.

Sterling, who is 23 on Friday, has been in sensational form in City’s dominant title push after scoring nine Premier League goals and being a mainstay in their star-studded line-up.

The England star has two years left on the £180,000-a-week deal he signed at the Etihad when he joined from Liverpool in a £49m deal in 2015.

Sterling fought for his future at City last summer when Arsenal were interested and his form this season has been a revelation.

City have yet to open contract talks but are likely to try to begin negotiations before next summer with Sterling now established as a hot property.

Sterling is playing the best football of his life and is happy at the Etihad but wants to concentrate solely for the next six months on what could be the biggest season of his life.