Raheem Sterling's agent Aidy Ward isn't exactly the most popular person on Merseyside, and his latest remarks will do little to improve his reputation.
Ward played a central role in helping to dislodge Sterling from Anfield over the summer and secure an exit for Manchester City as part of a huge £49 million transfer in the summer window, claiming that his client wouldn't sign a new contract with the Reds 'for £900,000-per-week'.
The agent also twisted the knife earlier this month by claiming that Sterling should still be at Liverpool and that he'd love to be working under Jurgen Klopp, who took over from the much-maligned Brendan Rodgers last month.
The England international, who has six goals in 16 appearances for Manchester City to date, will likely face a hostile reception when he goes up against Liverpool for the first time since leaving the club, and Ward has done little to dispel the tension with his latest comments.
“At Liverpool, Raheem was asked to play as a full-back, just like Emre Can was asked to play as a central defender when he is a midfielder," he said. "That wasn’t going to help him develop as a player.
"Moving to City was right for Raheem, even if Liverpool fans don’t want to accept that. At City, he now has a licence to thrill. He has gone up a tier. Manuel Pellegrini has played him in a wide role with the freedom to drift inside and he has also played as a central striker. That’s why he scored the first hat-trick of his professional career recently (against Bournemouth) – all of the goals coming in the first half.
Ward also claimed that Sterling has moved on to a different level with Manchester City from Liverpool, saying he is playing for a manager who has given him the 'freedom' to express himself.
“He is playing with better players for a manager, who gives him the freedom to express himself, and he is improving as a player in a team that is at the top of the Premier League and in the Champions League. Raheem is in a good place."
Sterling bagged his first professional hat-trick against Bournemouth last month, and was also on the scoresheet in their key Champions League win against Sevilla.
Somewhat understandably, Liverpool fans took to Twitter to vent their frustrations at Ward this morning, and you can see a selection of the best below. Please be warned, some choice language is on display.
What do you make of Ward's remarks? Leave a comment below!
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