LONDON. – Raheem Sterling’s agent is set to inform Liverpool the attacker wants to leave during showdown talks this week amid growing interest from Manchester City.Sterling will hold crunch talks with Liverpool this week after telling Brendan Rodgers he wants to leave.
The winger informed the Liverpool manager face to face before the 1-1 draw at Chelsea on May 10 that he wants out of Anfield.
Sterling is set to resume contract talks with Liverpool later this week, but intends to tell them he does not plan to sign a new deal, according to Sky sources.
Sky sources understand Sterling feels aggrieved at the manner in which contract negotiations have been handled because he feels the club have tried to bully him into signing a new contract. He also does not think he has been sufficiently protected, from negative headlines.
It is understood the 20-year-old England international winger will make a decision about his future by Friday, when he is due to meet with manager Rodgers and chief executive Ian Ayre.
After the meeting, it will become clear whether he intends to stay at Anfield, or leave the club.
As it stands, Sky sources expect that Sterling will tell Liverpool that he will not be signing a new deal.
His existing contract still has two years left to run and the player said last month that his decision is not about money but will be motivated by his will to win trophies.
The England star put negotiations on a new contract on hold until the end of the season but, at the request of his agent Aidy Ward, a meeting is now being brought forward for the coming days.
England star Sterling has another two years to run on his current contract. Liverpool have offered him a new five-year deal worth £90 000 a week but the player turned it down because he fears the club will not be able to challenge for major honours.
It seems unlikely Sterling’s camp will seek to broker a new deal with Liverpool and that instead they will reiterate their client wants to play in the Champions League and compete at the highest level.
Manchester City are interested in signing Sterling (20), who has turned down a contract offer of around £100 000-a-week as they look to bring in reinforcements for a renewed title challenge next season. Arsenal and Chelsea remain in the background.
Liverpool are adamant they will not sanction the departure of Sterling, who has two years left on a £35 000 a week deal but has found himself a target for frustrated supporters in recent games.
It would take an astronomical offer, something in the region of £50m, to test the resolve of owners, Fenway Sports Group, and Liverpool do not believe their rivals will go that high.
If a buying club was to offer wages over a five-year contract in the region of £150 000 a week that would make their financial commitment in excess of £85m.
City could be prepared to offer players as part of a swap deal, but Liverpool are unlikely to have an interest in Stevan Jovetic given his injury record.
Sterling’s status as an England international increases his value given FA chairman Greg Dyke’s desire to increase quotas for home-grown players and Liverpool can ill-afford even more talent leaving the club.
Steven Gerrard will feature in his last game for the club against Stoke City next Sunday before moving to LA Galaxy, while Luis Suarez, Jamie Carragher, Daniel Agger, Pepe Reina and Dirk Kuyt have also all departed in recent seasons.
Liverpool’s season has flat-lined – they are still not certain of a place in the Europa League – and they now face receiving another slap in the face from their brightest young talent.
Sterling is hugely disappointed at missing out on Champions League football next season and is desperate to play in Europe’s top competition.
He could earn more elsewhere, with Manchester City keeping a close eye on developments and ready to make a firm offer.
He is also unhappy that the club chose to release details of its contract offer – which claimed it was £100,000 a week. And he is upset at negative comments about him, which he feels have been led by the club. After the contract talks broke down last month, Sterling gave an emotional interview to the BBC where he suggested he was flattered by interest from other clubs, and claimed his refusal to sign a new contract was not over financial barriers, but footballing ones.
Liverpool have been adamant they will not sell the player, with the manager insisting recently they are prepared to take a stand, even if he doesn’t sign a new deal at the end of the season.
He said: “Raheem won’t be going anywhere this summer, even if there’s not a deal agreed. We’ve made that clear from the beginning.”
That puts the ball firmly in the Anfield court, as Sterling will make clear he is prepared to run his contract down.
Yet City’s potential to make a massive offer complicates the situation. If the Reds refuse to sell the player and insist he sees out the remaining two years of his contract, they would be entitled to some compensation when he left, after developing him from the age of 15.
But it is likely to be a figure of only around £5m, which is a 10th of any valuation Liverpool would place on the forward. – The Daily Express.