Liverpool's contract negotiations with Raheem Sterling haven't gone as planned at all with the youngster rejecting an offer to make him one of the club's highest paid players in December. The interview with the BBC in April was ill-advised but revealed that all was not well within Sterling's camp. A lot of ire has centred on the role played by Sterling's agent Aidy Ward who is seen as the shadowy figure whispering unhelpful nothings in callow ears.
Senior figures at the club all expressed their confidence that Sterling would stay with discussions to resume in the summer. It seems that Liverpool fans might have to endure another high-profile departure if reports from extremely credible sources are to be believed. The BBC and Sky Sports broke news that Raheem Sterling does not want to sign a new deal at the club. Ben Smith's report for the BBC also reveals that Sterling told Brendan Rodgers of his intentions before the away game with Chelsea earlier in the month. Sky Sports have been told by sources that Sterling felt "the club have tried to bully him into signing a new contract" along with failing to protect him.
Apparently talks will be held this Friday, but the signs don't look good. There have been dramatic turnarounds in the past, which is part of football's dance with players and clubs. This news does shift some focus onto the drastic dip in form of a talented young player whose attentions may or may not have been elsewhere. The whole scenario may have been difficult for the play to deal with, but this seems to be behind the pursuit of Memphis Depay and link to Heung-min Son.
Liverpool have one game left in the season to determine when the club will start its Europa League campaign, but this is hardly a distraction with the season virtually over. Will Liverpool stick or twist? Where will Sterling go? How much will Liverpool accept for him? Who will be bought as a replacement? What will be the club's response this week? Will talks happen on Friday or be brought forward after recent news?
It may be May, but transfer season has well and truly begun. This doesn't reflect well on Raheem Sterling, no matter how much the player and his camp feel hard done by. It's interesting that this comes out after a weekend of saluting a player of enormous talent and ambition who was loyal to the club. This news contrasts starkly with the attitude of Steven Gerrard and a number of players who have left Liverpool at a mature footballing age.
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