Liverpool are so certain that there is no real interest from the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United in Raheem Sterling, that they are willing to call his bluff and put a £50million price tag on him to get the upper hand in contract negotiations.
According to the Daily Mail, the Anfield club are getting frustrated at negotiations with Sterling’s representatives, who are angling for a deal worth in the region of £140,000-a-week to extend his stay on Merseyside.
The report claims that Liverpool believe interest being reported from Jose Mourinho and Louis van Gaal is part of a play by the 20-year-old forward’s representatives to pressure the Reds into offering more – Bayern Munich and Real Madrid have also been mentioned.
However, it then says that the club are confident such interest does not exist and so will bust the claims by making the young star who has become a key part of Brendan Rodgers’ team available for a price of £50million and nobody will come forward to pay it.
It would be a huge blow to Liverpool if Sterling were to leave for Old Trafford or Stamford Bridge and would be a damning indictment of their ambition. Though they believe Sterling does yet warrant the kind of wages that Steven Gerrard is on and Luis Suarez was on, which has seen talks stall repeatedly.
Sterling still has over two years left on the current deal, so Anfield officials are in no rush to get this wrapped up in a way that could unsettle the whole squad, but the continued speculation surrounding his future can’t be helping.
Meanwhile, Manchester United and Chelsea must be alert to exploit any opportunity arising, however small, where they could somehow land the England international. He is one of the most exciting young players in Europe and signing would be a massive coup.
SHOULD LIVERPOOL CASH IN ON RAHEEM STERLING? HE SEEMS A DISRUPTIVE INFLUENCE ON THE CLUB AND THEY CAN REPLACE HIM! TELL US WHAT YOU THINK BELOW...