Two years ago, a want-away Liverpool attacker became the target of a £40M—give or take a pound—bid from league rivals Arsenal. This summer, if reports from the Express are to be believed, the Gunners will try to find out if going through a similar set of steps can lead to a different outcome, as the suggestion is that the London club are now plotting a £40M bid for Raheem Sterling.
Their attempts to land Luis Suarez rather famously blew up in their faces, helping to steel Liverpool’s resolve to hold on to the Uruguayan striker who then went on to fuel their title challenge the next season. In the end, Suarez may have left, but it wasn’t to a league rival and it was only when Liverpool received a gargantuan offer for him a year later from Barcelona. All early signs from Liverpool are that it won’t be any different with Sterling.
The club are resolved not to sell the budding superstar either on the cheap or to another English club, and feel confident in their position due to Sterling’s current low wages the promise of training compensation should he run down his contract and leave for another Premier League club. That training compensation means Liverpool could hold on to him for two more years on the cheap and still be awarded a fee equal to his market value.
If Sterling were to run down his contract and head to the continent the situation changes quickly, but when it comes to the like of Arsenal or the Manchester clubs, Liverpool have all the cards and a player who is only on £35k a week. The simple truth is that the club would be better off sitting on Sterling and challenging him to play for a big move than selling him on the cheap to a rival. All of which means Arsenal may want to reconsider.
Or they may at least want to consider raising their bid to the £50M that journalists connected to Liverpool have suggested is the absolute minimum it would take the club to even begin to consider selling Sterling. Short of that, a £40M bid for him from Arsenal—plus or minus a pound—is only likely to end the same way as their last such bid. Namely with Arsenal being told in no uncertain terms to get lost.
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