But concerns over his behaviour and background saw the London clubs pull out of a deal for Sterling.
"At the time, I wanted him to stay at QPR. I persuaded the reserves to give him his debut at 15 so he'd feel he was being fast-tracked. But at one meeting, after training, Raheem said 'Steve, I have to go'.
"I could see how genuinely upset he was and I thought, 'I can't do that to a kid', so we reluctantly agreed to listen to offers.
"Now, with hindsight, I can see it was the right thing for him to leave, as much for a change in environment off the pitch."
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