The Blues’ £47.5million signing was Guardiola’s most used player since he arrived in the Premier League and second top scorer, but gradually fell out of favour last season.
Sterling now wants to bring the benefit of his experience from winning four League titles to Stamford Bridge.
“From playing against Chelsea already, I know what the club stands for,” Sterling said. “Then, of course, seeing the finals the team has reached in the last few years and knowing that they are winning stuff and always challenging. I don’t need to know too much more than that — and an owner that’s going to try to set the club so it can challenge on all fronts every year. That’s the main reason [I joined].”
Speaking candidly about his summer switch, the 27-year-old admitted it hurt to see his status diminish at City.
“It was a big surprise. It was a massive surprise [that I was allowed to leave]… a change of events all of a sudden,” he said. “It’s something I had to handle and that’s why I’m here. Me and the manager and the people at the club know exactly what the reasons were. I tried to play my football and overcome the situation but it couldn’t be done, so I had to move on.”
When Thomas Tuchel heard of Sterling’s availability, the Chelsea head coach identified him as the club’s No1 target in an early summer transfer summit with the new Boehly-Clearlake owners.
Tuchel had asked his English players about Sterling’s personality and whether he would be a good fit. He earned great reviews from the squad, with Mason Mount one of those aiming to convince the forward to move to Stamford Bridge.
“I’ve known Mase for a couple of years,” Sterling said. “A few in the international team were asking me if it is true and blah, blah, blah, but I tried to keep it pretty much as calm a situation as possible as it was a situation I needed to know. When I did know, he was one of the first who I told.
“It was towards the end of the season when I got a phone call while in Jamaica [on holiday] to say it was heating up. That was when I was aware of the seriousness [of the Chelsea interest].”
Sterling is now focused on beating Tottenham on his home debut on Sunday and, in the longer-term, titles.
“I am here to try and win, of course,” he concluded. “I don’t know if I am better off here or there — it is not really my forte. I will just go out and try to help the team as you do every season.”