Raheem Sterling was prepared to sign a new deal with Liverpool in December, but the club rejected the player's desire to introduce a buyout clause into the contract, according to his agent Aidy Ward.
In an interview with the Daily Mail, Ward has also insisted that former Reds chief Brendan Rodgers played a pivotal role in the England international's departure to Manchester City in the summer transfer window.
In fact, Ward claims that both Rodgers and Liverpool knew there was an issue with the player, but insisted on making it known that the youngster would sign a new contract with the club.
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Speaking to the Daily Mail, he stated: "Raheem could've stayed, he should be at Liverpool. I think for me it was like he was being told to be a good boy and sign a contract. In December I spoke to Liverpool and said we'll sign a contract if there is a buy-out clause - those clauses are now common practice. They said no to that.
"Then there was an underhandedness, there were sly remarks. In press conferences, Brendan told everyone Raheem would sign - why do that? I knew, Brendan knew and Liverpool knew there was an issue. Right now he probably should be a Liverpool player, but he's not and he's in a great place at City."
Liverpool have long moved on since the high-profile departure of Sterling, but mistakes were clearly made along the way.
Sterling and Ward certainly didn't cover themselves in glory, but the likes of Rodgers and Co. could have done more to keep the exciting talent on Merseyside.
City, on the other hand, will be extremely satisfied with the outcome; after scoring a hat-trick against Bournemouth on Saturday, Sterling is starting to prove his credentials in Manchester.
Of course, questions will still be raised regarding the £49 million City paid to secure his services, but the coup of the 20-year-old could prove quite the long-term investment for the club in their pursuit of success.
Who do you blame for the Sterling saga? Have your say below!
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