It appears that Edin Dzeko may be the crucial factor that brings Raheem Sterling to Manchester.
The Bosnian striker is, according to reports, being lined up as make-weight in a deal worth £50m to bring in Sterling. Arsenal is apparently now also putting in a bid, intensifying the battle.
Intitially, Manchester City were hopeful they could close the deal with straight cash. But now it looks like a player-and-cash deal (plus the club putting the breaks on attempts to stop James Milner moving to Anfield is on the negotiating table.
Recruiting a top-level striker would certainly solve one of Kop boss Brendan Rogers’ major headaches, and Dzeko was indeed on his hit-list over the summar as Rogers considered how to re-build.
The player swap would also suit Etihad’s decision-makers, who had been waiting on a offer worth £15m for the forward from Juventus. Whether that will fly in Sterling’s camp is a different question, as the player prefers to head to the capital.
That Chelsea would be at the head of the queue has always been assumed, but statements from both Sterling as well as his representatives this last week to the effect that he simply won’t sign a new deal has drawn new interest from Arsenal.
Arsene Wenger may therefore offer a player from his own team in a move to match Manchester City’s move. Theo Walcott, for example, hasn’t inked a new deal yet with the Gunners, and he’s coming off a long-term injury. It may be worth picking up some Liverpool tickets (available here) in advance to see the results of this.
After all, Walcott always wanted to head down the centre, and Wenger believes that position will bring the best out in him.
Either way, it seems fairly certain Raheem Sterling won’t be at Liverpool come the start of the next season.
Liverpool apparently cancelled a meeting on Sterling’s future with the team after his agent made remarks in a newspaper interview to the effect that he wouldn’t be signing a new £900,000 a week contract.
The agent was also quoted saying Sterling would be looking for a transfer, then went on to criticise the club. While the agent has disputed that he said what was attributed to him, the meeting has still been called off.
Sterling’s agent, Aidy Ward, had been set for a meeting with Liverpool manager Brendon Rogers as well as the team’s CEO Ian Ayre, but after the London Evening Standard interview the meeting was called off.
Apparently the club felt that the agent deciding to take such a clear stance in public made the meeting useless.
Nevertheless it seems Liverpool already rejected enquiries from Manchester United, saying Sterling was not for sale.
Currently the England winger earns £35,000 per week, and he’s rejected a deal that would have been worth £100,000 per week that would have run to 2020. Currently his deal will run till 2017, and he’s been heckled and booed in recent times.
When Sterling went to collect his Liverpool Young Player of the Year award, Sterling was booed by some of those present. Fans shouted “are you staying?” and then booed as he left the stage during the event. Fans also shouted out “Stay Raheem” as the player made a short speech accepting the award.
Last month saw Sterling get heckled during the launch of his team’s new home kit.