Manchester City aim to make a signal of intent by opening contract negotiations with star players on a list headed by Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling.

Sportsmail understands City chiefs want to begin talks following the Champions League second leg with Real Madrid.

They earmarked the stability of their two top earners as crucial to the club's immediate future amid an ongoing legal battle surrounding future participation in Europe. 

De Bruyne and Sterling still have three years left to run on their current deals. Discussions that far in advance indicates City's resolve in retaining their best players.

Sterling's contract, revealed by Sportsmail in 2018, is worth up to £300,000-a-week with bonuses, while De Bruyne earns a guaranteed £280,000.

It is expected that both will be offered an increase in salary to underline their commitment to the Premier League champions.