The delight of Steven Gerrard's farewell charity match at Anfield on Sunday offered brief respite from the onslaught of rumours about Raheem Sterling's contract negotiations. Now that the match has passed and fan favourites from years past have said all the nice things they could muster about the club and its supporters, the regular daily slog that is news coverage of Sterling's contract saga has returned.
In the past two weeks, Sterling's contact negotiations have gone from being postponed until the summer to suddenly being so broken that he may or may not be going to Manchester City or maybe Bayern Munich or [insert any other club where he'd find himself paid handsomely to sit on the bench regularly]. A gap in what Liverpool feel the youngster is worth versus what his agent feels he should be earning is rumoured to be the source of the rift between the two sides.
Enter the Daily Mail, who seek to outdo themselves on the scale of sublime ridiculousness. Despite most news outlets — reputable or otherwise — previously reporting that the Sterling camp is hoping to secure a wage in and around the £150k/week range, our friends at the Daily Mail have a sudden scoop that Sterling is set to reject a deal for £180k/week. A deal that hasn't actually been offered by Liverpool, given that they haven't even offered £150k/week yet, but nevertheless the player will reject said monumental sum on the off chance the club do decide to nearly double their initial offer.
Not content to be outdone by the Daily Mail, the Mirror decided to go one higher and suggest that Arsenal might try to sign Sterling now that the player is allegedly rejecting a theoretical deal that no one at Liverpool has actually offered him. Although no number has been placed on Arsene Wenger's "massive summer bid" for Sterling, we can presume that it ends with a £1, if not a £2 if he's learned from past mistakes.
Stranger things have happened in football, of course, and maybe it very well could be that Raheem Sterling will be an Arsenal player on July 1 making £200k/week and living the dream in north London. But at this stage with these news sources, it might be a safe bet to file these stories away under LOLZ.