The ongoing saga of “will he stay or will he go” surrounding Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling looks to be approaching its latter stages, which will include the 20-year-old attacker asking Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers and chief executive Ian Ayre to sell him this summer, according to a report by the BBC.
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Sterling, who won’t turn 21 until December, has already turned down a number of new contract offers from Liverpool — believed to be in the $175,000- to $250,000-per-week range — this year. Rodgers said last month that Sterling is “going nowhere,” but according to the BBC report, Sterling is set to meet with Rodgers and Ayre on Friday, where he will tell the management pair he would like to leave the club this summer.
Sterling was accused of being a “money-grubbing teenager” in March, which prompted him to then give an extremely honest, frank interview to the BBC.
“It’s not about the money at all,” Sterling said. “It’s never been about money. I talk about winning trophies throughout my career. That’s all I talk about… I don’t talk about how many cars I’m going to drive, how many houses I’ve got. I just purely want to be the best I can be. I don’t want to be perceived as a money-grabbing 20-year-old. I just want to be seen as a kid who loves to play football and to do the best for the team.”
Manchester City, who will almost certainly completely overhaul their squad this summer, remain the name most frequently and closely linked to that of Sterling, though the report insists “a number of leading European clubs” are also interested and could make an approach. Nothing short of $50 million will pry Sterling away from the Reds’ grasp, meaning the list of possible destinations is a rather short one.
If Sterling leaves Anfield this summer, it will mark the second straight offseason the Reds have sold their top performer from the year previous, after Luis Suarez left for Barcelona last summer. Steven Gerrard, who joins the LA Galaxy of Major League Soccer in July, will also be gone next season.