The main transfer saga of the summer is showing no sign of slowing down, with Liverpool forward Raheem Sterling the main transfer target of some of Europe’s top teams.
Manchester City are leading the chase for the Liverpool youngster, already making two offers for the player, including a £40million offer earlier this week, that has since been rejected.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers remains adamant the club will be keeping hold of the England international, despite his desire to move away from Anfield.
However, the Reds need a change of heart and now is the right time to sell the 20-year-old. Sterling has been a key player at Anfield since he emerged into the first team during the 2012/13 season and was expected to play a leading role in the post Gerrard era, before he shocked many by revealing his desire to move on.
The Reds are holding out for £50million, but could risk losing out on any fee at all if the likes of City get put off by their tough stance on the fee. The current offer of £40m is massively overpriced for a player who is not anything special.
Sterling showed incredible promise when he moved into the first team and looked like he could go on to become one of the best footballers in the world, defenders couldn’t cope with the blistering pace and ability of the youngster.
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However, first impressions can be deceptive.
So much of that was down to the Luis Suarez effect, an incredible footballer whose talents rubbed off on all those around him. Suarez had the ability to help make anybody look good.
Together the Suarez, Sturridge and Sterling partnership were unbeatable, but with Suarez moving to Barcelona last summer and Sturridge spending most of the season out injured. Sterling was left to spearhead the attack and lets face facts really struggled to handle the pressure.
The player has looked very average, failing to reach double figures in terms of goals, he looks half the player he was.
Sterling’s major strength of his game is his pace, however it was evident to see from some of the youngster’s performances this season that he also lacks some of the most important qualities of a forward. Sterling missed so many clear cut opportunities this season for the Reds, many at such vital times and it is hard to believe how bad the player is at crossing a football.
Not what you expect from someone who has clubs lining up to pay over £40m for him. Of course he has incredible potential and is still learning his game, but how often have we seen this situation before.
Players like Aaron Lennon and Shaun Wright-Phillips were the stars of the future in English football but both failed to live up to that potential – Lennon can’t get in the Spurs squad and Wright-Phillips has just been released by QPR.
English youngsters have this added pressure to reach the top level and for some reason this just seems to mute their ability, stopping their massive potential being reached. Sterling looks likely to be the next name on that long list.
The fact is the longer this story drags on the less Liverpool are able to demand for Sterling, especially with more and more people beginning to work out plans to handle the lively forward.
Sterling and his agent have also told Liverpool they have no plans to sign any kind of new deal at the club, meaning if Liverpool are so determined to hold onto the 20-year-old then they could risk him leaving for nothing in two years time at the end of his contract. This simply cannot happen.
The situation will only end one way and that is with Raheem Sterling on his way out of the club, nobody can keep hold of someone so determined to leave, it is purely just a matter of time, the only factor Liverpool can affect is how much they receive for the player.
Rodgers would be wise to take a change in his stance regarding the youngster and take the opportunity to boost his summer transfer budget.