Academy director reveals Arsenal & Chelsea wanted Sterling

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Queens Park Rangers academy director Steve Gallen says Raheem Sterling was watched by Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City, before the young winger joined Liverpool.

Sterling joined Liverpool from QPR in 2010 for a fee of £600,000, and has been given his chance in the Reds' first-team this season following the arrival of Brendan Rodgers at Anfield.

The 17-year-old joined Liverpool having garnered quite a reputation playing for QPR and, says Gallen, was watched a number of times by Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City.

But, when it came to making a formal approach for Sterling, Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City all reserved their interest - leaving a straight fight between Liverpool and Fulham.

"I fought like crazy to keep him and I was adamant he wasn't going," Gallen told the Mail on Sunday. "I was very close with him and his mum, who's a lovely lady. But towards the end of his time at QPR, everyone knew he was available.

"Manchester City and Chelsea had watched plenty of times and Arsenal, but in the end only Liverpool and Fulham came in for him."

Sterling has made eight Premier League appearances for Liverpool this season, and scored his first senior goal in the defeat of Reading at Anfield just over a week ago.

The teenager has impressed enough for Liverpool to earn a call-up to Roy Hodgson's England squad, before Sterling even made his debut for the under-21s.

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