Raheem Sterling has been told that he must join the Liverpool squad for pre-season trips to Australia and Asia, despite the fact he wants to leave Anfield.
This is according to the Mirror, who claim Sterling has been warned by his current employers to forget about a potential move to Manchester City.
Until any deal is done between the two clubs, Brendan Rodgers expects the wantaway winger to be fully committed and prepared for the upcoming pre-season tour.
Sterling will report back for training, following his summer break, in the week beginning July 6 and could find himself in action again for the Reds on July 14, when they face the Thai All Stars in Thailand.
The England international, 20, will be acutely aware of the hostile reception that awaits him if he pulls on the Liverpool shirt again - even on a pre-season tour in overseas countries - and wants to leave the Merseyside outfit beforehand.
Sterling's relationship with Liverpool in tatters
Liverpool fans are angered by the youngster’s desire to move clubs for what they presume is a decision motivated by a desire to earn more money,
Sterling insists a more lucrative contract is not his biggest concern; he wants to play for a club that can match his ambition in terms of winning trophies and is prepared to join Manchester City, even though a move to Arsenal would have been his preferred choice.
Arsenal were linked with the winger earlier this summer, as were Chelsea, but it seems Arsene Wenger has decided to stick by Theo Walcott instead.
Manchester City have already had two bids rejected by Liverpool for Sterling - the most-recent of which was worth £40 million - with the Reds holding out for £50 million.
City want the deal done as soon as possible and are expected to table a third bid, potentially worth a cool £50 million, imminently.
Liverpool should get the deal done quickly
It’s also in Liverpool’s interests to get the deal done quickly. There are few things more useless to a football club than a player who wants to be elsewhere, and the money generated from Sterling’s sale would allow Rodgers to invest on a first-class striker.
Liverpool have already completed deals for Danny Ings, Adan Bogdan and James Milner this summer, while it was announced this week that Brazil international Roberto Firmino will be arriving from Hoffenheim in a deal worth £29 million.
Firmino is expected to be the man who replaces Sterling, whose departure would free up the required funds for Rodgers to spend big on at least one more quality acquisition.
Liverpool fans: would you be happy if Raheem Sterling ended up staying at Anfield beyond this summer? Could you forgive him? Have your say in the comments below!
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