Raheem Sterling missed Liverpool training on Wednesday after falling "ill" just two days after reporting for pre-season training, and with the midfielder wanting a move to Manchester City this summer, fans on Merseyside have finally had enough.
Sterling is not expected to appear for training again today, and with the 20-year-old informing the club that he does not wish to go on their pre-season tour later this month, supporters have turned on, Liverpool supporters have flooded Twitter with a barrage of abuse that leaves their feelings in no doubt that they want to see the back of the England international.
Sterling is determined to force a move away from the club despite having two years left to run on his contract, and with City weighing up a third bid of around £50m, his agent’s comments that the relationship between Sterling and manager Brendan Rodgers has “completely broken down” will not help relations at Anfield one bit.
Who could Liverpool sign to replace Raheem Sterling?
Who could Liverpool sign to replace Raheem Sterling?
1/7 Felipe Anderson
The Lazio midfielder has enjoyed his breakthrough season in Italy this year, but that has alerted a number of clubs across Europe including Liverpool. The 22-year-old Brazilian is contracted to the Serie A club until 2020 and will therefore cost a significant amount if he were to move this summer, but it’s believed he has the potential to become one of the most dangerous attacking midfielders in the world if he continues his steep development curve.
2/7 Theo Walcott
Arsenal’s pace merchant is finding it hard to break back into the first team after recovering from the ruptured cruciate ligament that sidelined him for over a year. With doubts over his fitness, his suitability to the current Arsenal side and whether he’s a better option compared to his team-mates, rumours have linked him with a dramatic Arsenal exit. Liverpool would be one of the teams in for the England winger, who can also play in attack, and given that his speed can terrify any defence he would be a suitable option to replace Sterling.
3/7 Marco Reus
Any move for Reus appears to be hinged on firing Brendan Rodgers and hiring Jürgen Klopp, and given the noises coming out of Anfield, it’s unlikely to happen this summer. But if another transfer window goes belly-up, don’t be surprised to see Klopp at the club soon after with Reus in tow. The Germany international is a wonderfully gifted player who combines pace and skill to dazzle defences. He has struggled with a persistent ankle injury in recent months, but he would add a proven quality to the Liverpool ranks.
4/7 Divock Origi
Rodgers already knows one signing he will see arrive at Anfield in the summer as Belgium striker Divock Origi will complete the permanent move he agreed last year, having spent the season on loan with Lille. Rodgers could look to revert to the tactics he deployed last season when he had Luis Suarez to pair up with Daniel Sturridge, and although Origi is nowhere near the level Suarez was at present, the Northern Irishman will hope he has unearthed a gem when he arrives in the Premier League.
5/7 Alexandre Lacazette
The French forward is being courted by the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea, but Liverpool could look to show a sign of intent by launching a bid for him before their rivals. Lacazette is equally adept at playing as a striker or out wide, and it would depend on how Rodgers would choose to deploy him to where he would feature. The France international has helped Lyon secure second in Ligue 1 and will finish the season as top goalscorers barring any heroics from Andre-Pierre Gignac, who trails by six goals.
6/7 Jeremy Menez
Menez’s brother and agent has fuelled talk of a move away from AC Milan by admitting he is likely to leave this summer, and even addressed rumours of a move to Liverpool as well as Monaco. However, at this point in time they are just rumours, and despite being able to play out wide he is more suited to an attacking role through the middle.
7/7 Ezequiel Lavezzi
The Argentine has fallen off the radar in recent months, but his future at Paris Saint-Germain remains far from certain and a move to the Premier League has always appeared on the cards. At home out wide on the wing, Lavezzi can also do a job up front, and would bring a physicality to the attack that is currently missing in Sterling, Philippe Coutinho and Jordan Ibe.
Below is a selection of some of the cleaner tweets that appeared online:
Just checked up on Raheem Sterling because he missed training today. He hasn't text back in while. I hope he's ok. pic.twitter.com/An5HJVW1az; Boring James Milner (@BoringMilner) July 8, 2015
Liverpool should make Raheem Sterling go on the Far East tour and as the plane lands tell him he's got to make his own way home #lfc; julian daniel (@viewfromthetrev) July 8, 2015
Im done with Sterling now, the disrespect he's shown to lfc after we gave him a chance is unbelievable. He doesnt deserve to wear the shirt.; Zach Goodchild (@zachgoodchild) July 8, 2015
Want sterling gone real quick me ; James Mccririe (@JamesMcCririe) July 8, 2015
So Sterling isn't going to on pre season tour, for a player who only scored 7 and assisted 7 goals, get rid! No player is bigger than #LFC; BantiChrist (@AnfieldsCleaner) July 8, 2015
I don't want sterling to go on tour we need to keep him away from the 1st team .all he does is bring bad press with him; Barry Mather (@BarryBmavs) July 8, 2015
With Liverpool holding firm though, the feud that has grown between Sterling and his current club looks set to go on a while longer, and the club could force his hand by insisting that he must join the party that will embark on their pre-season tour later this month or risk a heavy fine.
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