Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger refused to rule out the possibility of a bid for wantaway Liverpool star Raheem Sterling.
The Gunners boss was responding to questions ahead of his side's last game of the season against Sunderland at the Emirates Stadium tomorrow, and wouldn't be drawn on whether he intended to make a move for Sterling.
"I do not bid for anybody at the moment,” Wenger said. “But in the summer we will bid for people, yes."
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When pressed on whether Sterling is a player he is interested in, Wenger explained: “I do not like to lie. If I say I will and I don’t do it, you will say I lied.”
Reports emerged last night that Sterling had informed Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers that he wants to leave Anfield having refused to sign a £100,000-per-week contract extension to his current deal which is worth £35,000-per-week and expires in 2017.
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The 20-year-old has been linked with a move to both Manchester City and Arsenal in recent weeks, and it is the Citizens who seem willing to push hardest to try and get a deal done. Liverpool remain steadfast that he won't be sold and his agent Aidy Ward has confirmed talks have been arranged for later this week.
He told TalkSPORT: “The story has been blown somewhat out of proportion. Raheem and his representatives have a meeting scheduled with Liverpool later this week, and we will take proceedings from there.”
Wenger and Arsenal were embroiled in a transfer saga with Liverpool when they tried to prise Luis Suarez away from Anfield in 2013. The Gunners believed they had activated a £40 million clause in the striker's contract but Liverpool refused to let him leave - only for owner John W. Henry to admit last year that the clause did indeed exist.
Asked whether he was wary of entering a similar situation with Sterling, Wenger replied: “They (Liverpool) have the right to decide what they want but at the end of the day you need the agreement of the player as well."
Arsenal need just one point from their final game of the season to secure third place and automatic qualification for the Champions League ahead of Manchester United. Wenger confirmed today that defender Laurent Koscielny will miss the game, as will Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Danny Welbeck.
A move for Sterling to Arsenal would represent only a slight step up when he claimed in his now infamous interview with the BBC that his goal is to win trophies, not make money. Well, he can most likely do both at Manchester City.
Arsenal have shown they've progressed this season but a lot of familiar traits remain; they struggled at the start of the season and have only really turned it on when it didn't really matter. Plus they seem a few players of making a title tilt, namely a defender, a goalkeeper and a striker - so where Sterling fits in to Wenger's plans remains unclear.
The most logical outcome is a move to Manchester City if Liverpool sell up. At the moment that remains a massive if.
Is Raheem Sterling a traitor for trying to force his way out of Liverpool?
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