After phoning in sick and missing training for the second day in a row, rumours are coming to a head that Manchester City, who have already had two bids for want-away Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling rejected, will table a third and final bid of £40mil plus an additional £5mil in add-ons to finally get their man.
That, of course, would come as a relief to many Kopites the world ’round. While there’s certainly room to question the clubs ambition if they in fact let a player of of his quality force his way out of the door, the very real, extremely damaging effect that prolonging this saga could have on a squad filled with new players that will be looking to gel ahead of an important Premier League campaign has to be weighed up.
They money will also come into play with the Reds recruitment drive, which has already seen six new faces brought in to Anfield, set to continue. A rumoured rift with boss Brendan Rodgers coupled with a perceived inability for Liverpool to truly compete at the highest level is said to have hastened the youngsters exit from Merseyside, and with the Citizens spending and squad side restrictions lifted by UEFA earlier in the summer, manager Manuel Pelegrini has made the young Englishman his top priority.
The premium that’s paid for home-grown talent has only been ramped up that much more with new restrictions imposed by the Football Association in May meaning that the top clubs will need to start looking from within the United Kingdom rather than abroad for an increasingly larger portion of their squad has surely contributed to the Reds holding out for the eye-watering fee of £50mil for a player whose future looks far more promising than his present, but with the club set to embark on their pre-season tour this weekend — a trip that Sterling has reportedly asked to be left out of — they could be tempted to take the money and get shot of him once and for all.