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Raheem Sterling Left Behind as Liverpool Prepare to Sell to Manchester City

The transfer of Raheem Sterling to Manchester City appears imminent, as the club make the decision to ultimately leave him out of their preseason tour.

Michael Regan/Getty Images

Despite making the 30-man squad and rejoining training on Friday, Liverpool have made the choice to leave Raheem Sterling behind, with Manchester City reportedly entering final negotiations to bring the talented 20-year-old to the Etihad. Liverpool had held firm in their valuation despite the young forward's protests, including the grave illness that kept him from traveling ten minutes to a facility that's staffed in part by medical doctors and trainers, and it now appears that City have lodged an offer that the club deem acceptable.

It was always a waiting game for Liverpool, who were made aware of Sterling's desire to head elsewhere months ago. The player and his agent have led a confused wantaway campaign, first rejecting big money from Liverpool to highlight the need for trophies, or respect, or more confidentiality, or less time stood next to Brendan Rodgers in training. Whatever the reason, Raheem Sterling and Aidy Ward, who's down to one client as a result of this process, will get their move, while Liverpool will get a very large sum of money.

How they use that money will be cause for concern, as will Brendan Rodgers' ability to fill the void left by a player who played such a large part in any of Liverpool's successes last season. The latter appears easier than the former; there's a number of talented attackers in the squad capable of featuring across the forward areas, and with a change in formation likely, Rodgers should be able to strike a balance that not only renders Sterling's presence unnecessary, but gets the best out of those that are there.

The club's ability to spend money wisely doesn't seem a huge challenge at first, particularly given that the names linked with Liverpool this summer appear to be a far better fit than in transfer windows past. Selling the club's project and finalizing a deal with big-name talent will always be difficult, however, and acting swiftly and decisively--as they did with Roberto Firmino--seems their best bet. The likes of Marco Reus and Alexandre Lacazette remain unlikely, but with the money raised here, an honest inquiry backed by a significant sum for player and club would be a nice first step.

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