With Manchester City’s top brass believed to currently be discussing a final £50M bid for Raheem Sterling, one that matches Anfield’s reported demands, comes word today from the Liverpool end that the Reds have already decided that they would sell should it arrive and Sterling remain determined to leave the club.
The preference, as it always has been, would be for Sterling to reevaluate his position and sign a new, long-term contract with the club, pledging his loyalty to Liverpool for the foreseeable future. Other players have walked it back from the brink, most notably departing captain Steven Gerrard, and the opportunity still exists for Sterling to do the same.
All signs, however, point to that being an exceptionally unlikely outcome with serious interest from Manchester City fuelling the 20-year-old winger’s determination and reports in the Echo that Liverpool have already made up their minds to sell should an offer matching their valuation arrive. Now the only question is if City’s owners authorize the bid.
While many fans struggle with the briefing culture that clearly exists in modern football, one can only imagine the doubts and hand-wringing over a case like Sterling’s without the continual leaking of information to a small cadre of trusted local journalists. All along, the club have made it clear to their fans they wouldn’t accept less than £50M.
Rather than leaving fans to fret over rumours of lowball bids, they’ve made it clear what their stance is and when they might consider a sale. There may still be concerns about how any Sterling money is spent—as well as the 20% owed to QPR when he is sold—but for the second summer in a row the club appear to be dealing well with a difficult sale.
As for how the Sterling money, supplemented by the existing summer budget, might be spent, reliable links to the quartet of right back Nathaniel Clyne, holding midfielder Asier Illarramendi, attacking midfielder Roberto Firmino, and striker Carlos Bacca are certainly brightening the mood and would make losing Sterling far more palatable.