Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini believes Liverpool would not sell Raheem Sterling unless they received a bid of £100 million.
The comment came as a response to questioning over homegrown players. Manchester City are struggling to fill the required quota of eight qualifying players in their 25-man Premier League squad.
James Milner looks set to be the latest homegrown player to leave the Etihad, following the recent exits of Scott Sinclair, Joleon Lescott and Gareth Barry out the door. As a result, Manchester City are believed to be drawing up a list of homegrown targets for this summer's transfer window.
Sterling is one of England's brightest prospects and would be an attractive proposition for the Citizens. However, the fact that Sterling is English means there would be a significant premium on any transfer.
"Can you get Sterling? Maybe if you go to Liverpool with £100 million you can"
Couple that with the fact that Sterling is an outstanding talent and Manchester City are Liverpool's direct rivals and you are quickly looking at a huge transfer fee.
"It is important to have English players but can you sign them?" he said in a widely reported interview. "You are talking about trying to sign players from clubs that won't sell them.
"Can you get Sterling? Maybe if you go to Liverpool with £100 million you can."
Of course Sterling is not currently worth such an outrageous sum of money, but it is not inconceivable to suggest that he could command such a fee in the future. He is likely to be one of the best players in the world and the Premier League's expanding finances would drive his value up even further.
But Manchester City, as Pellegrini suggests, have no chance of completing the deal and staying on the right side of financial fair play regulations. They should turn to the best of the rest if they want to fulfill their homegrown requirements.
They've been linked with an ambitious move for Jack Wilshere and a big bid for West Ham's Aaron Cresswell. Arsenal would be reluctant to sell Wilshere, but West Ham would struggle to keep Cresswell away from a top four club.
Does Sterling have the potential to become the world's first £100m player? Would Liverpool fans like to see Brendan Rodgers accept such a bid? Give us your thoughts in the comment box below!
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