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Official: Liverpool Agree £49m Deal with Manchester City for Raheem Sterling

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After having been left behind earlier in the day, talks of an imminent deal to send Raheem Sterling to Manchester City grew, and a £49m has now been confirmed.

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As has been the case with so much of their transfer business this summer, the sale of Raheem Sterling moved quickly once it became clear there was a deal in place that met their expectations. The club decided to leave the player off the traveling squad for their preseason tour of Thailand, Australia, and Malaysia at the last second, with a third bid from Manchester City finally lodged, and by late afternoon a deal had been agreed. Raheem Sterling will leave Liverpool at the age of 20, becoming the sixth most expensive player in history if he meets the terms of what's expected to be £5m in add-ons to a £44m base fee.

Liverpool lose a player of tremendous promise, one who was a revelation over the second half of the 2013-2014 as he combined with Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez to form the league's best attacking contingent. He was again vital last season, doing a little bit of everything over the course of the year and featuring regularly across the forward areas. He filled the gaps at striker and wingback when needed, and while his form dipped badly near season's end, which coincided with a string of high-profile PR failures, there is no doubt that he was among the most talented in Liverpool's squad.

He won't hold that same status in Manchester City's squad, but he'll no doubt feature regularly for Manuel Pellegrini in attack. Sterling will also help the club boost their homegrown player numbers, as  they're struggling for numbers after an influx of big-money moves for players abroad. If he gets the consistent minutes that are expected, he should emerge as one of the better players in England and beyond. If not, he's still getting the wage packet he and Aidy Ward were convinced he deserved.

And Liverpool are getting a large sum of money themselves, and despite a 20% sell-on clause owed to QPR, they should be able to use the money raised from this sale to improve the squad significantly. The sale of Raheem Sterling represents a setback, but if Liverpool again act wisely, they could still come out of this more than fine.