Raheem Sterling's agent declared that there is no chance his client is signing for Liverpool - even if the club offer him "£900,000-a-week".
With Manchester United apparently entering the race for the unhappy 20-year-old, Sterling'sagent Aidy Ward has launched a stunning attack on the Reds.
Sterling is determined to move back to London, according to Ward, and has already turned down a £100,000-a-week offer from the club ahead of a crunch meeting with Brendan Rodgers and chief executive Ian Ayre on Friday.
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.
“I don’t care about the PR of the club and the club situation. I don’t care,” Ward exclusively told the Evening Standard.
“He is definitely not signing. He’s not signing for £700, £800, £900 thousand a week. He is not signing.
“My job is to make sure I do the best with them (my clients). If people say I am bad at my job, or they are badly advised it does not matter.”
Sterling was booed at the club's end of season awards evening earlier this week and former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher said the youngster should get rid of his agent.
Speaking on Monday, Carragher said that Sterling "should be embarrassed" the next time he goes into training at the club and to "keep his mouth shut" and get on with playing football.
Ward hit back by calling the pundit "a knob".
“Carragher is a knob. Everybody knows it. Any of the criticism from current pundits or ex-Liverpool players - none of them things matter to me. It is not relevant.”
Liverpool are determined to hold onto Sterling but he as well as being linked to Manchester United, Arsenal, Manchester City, Chelsea, Real Madrid and Barcelona are all said to be interested.
Ward said that Chelsea or City are the two likeliest destinations for Sterling.
“I am not worried,” said Ward. “Worried is making a decision not knowing what is going to happen. Every Premier League club will make a bid for him.”
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