Raheem Sterling is close to sealing his move to Manchester City.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers confirmed that a deal has been agreed between his side and Manchester City, with the fee reported to be $75 million for Sterling.
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The England international, 20, has tried to push through his move to City in recent days as he first missed the start of Liverpool’s preseason training after calling in with a sickness and then reports suggested a rift had developed between Sterling and Rodgers after the former had refused to go on the clubs preseason tour.
During his press conference in Thailand, ahead of Liverpool’s first game in their mammoth preseason tour of the Far East and Australia, Rodgers confirmed the two clubs have agreed a deal for Sterling.
“The situation currently is very simple,” Rodgers said. “The club has agreed with another club a deal for Raheem to be transferred and subject to a medical that will go through.”
He also went on to dismiss rumors that he and Sterling had fallen out and their relationship had broken down.
“Contrary to probably the last week or so, in terms of what was written, Raheem and I have always remained very strong in our relationship and have been right up until we left. So there’s no issue there,” Rodgers added.
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With City currently on their preseason tour in Australia, Sterling is with Liverpool in Thailand but will now travel back to the UK to undergo a medical and then link up with his new team.
The winger has burst onto the scene at Anfield over the past two seasons, scoring 16 goals and adding 12 assists as Liverpool finished second and fifth in the Premier League standings, while also competing in the group stages of the UEFA Champions League last season.
Liverpool paid just $1 million for Sterling in 2010 when he arrived from Queens Park Rangers, with the deal potentially rising to $7.5 million, and five years later they have made a huge profit on the player many have coveted to be the best on the planet under the age of 21. If the deal is completed as expected, Sterling will also have the accolade of having the most expensive transfer fee of any player under the age of 21.
His talents are undoubted as his pace and trickery out wide have seen him become an integral part of both Liverpool and the English national team over the past few years. However, his temperament has been questioned by many as several off-the-field incidents have brought unwanted attention on the Jamaican-born star, while he also gave a unauthorized interview stating he wasn’t a “money grabber” but wanted to win trophies. His chances of doing that at City are far better than if he had stayed at Liverpool.
City are getting one of the best young attacking players in Europe and Sterling’s arrival is a huge upgrade on their current wingers Jesus Navas and Samir Nasri. If he develops as many expect, Sterling will be a key force in helping City wrestle the Premier League title from Chelsea next season and helping the Citizens continue to challenge the elite of Europe in the Champions League.