Manchester City are considering whether to meet Liverpool’s £50m valuation of Raheem Sterling after submitting a second unsuccessful bid, of £35.5m, for the player.
City’s bid contained another £5m in add-ons, but it was soon clear that Liverpool would reject it. City’s first bid, submitted last Thursday, was for £25m before add-ons.
Liverpool’s valuation of Sterling has always been £50m and their negotiating position is still that City must pay that sum, before add-ons, if they want to sign the unsettled 20-year-old winger.
City are unlikely to offer that much with their next bid and are now weighing up the size of their third offer for the player who is their top priority this summer. A third bid is likely to be £40m before add-ons which, while not Liverpool’s asking price, would be large enough to prompt serious consideration at Anfield.
By far the likeliest outcome is that City and Liverpool will agree a price for a player who has no intention of signing a new contract at Anfield. But the pace of the bidding – City increased their offer by £10m after just six days – suggests that Liverpool will eventually be able to earn close to their asking price. There are still almost two months until the season starts. Even the Sterling camp is thought to be slightly surprised by the intensity of City’s bidding.
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.
Sterling is keen on a move to City, having told Liverpool last season that he would not sign a new deal worth £100,000 per week, three times his current salary. Sterling had initially hoped for parity with Daniel Sturridge on £150,000 per week but his stance hardened as the season wore on, especially as Liverpool’s form tailed off and they fell out of the reckoning for next season’s Champions League. His agent, Aidy Ward, declared in May that Sterling would not sign for “£900,000 per week”, at which point Liverpool gave up hope of persuading him to agree a new deal.
Liverpool have believed for a while that Sterling has had his head turned by other clubs. The Independent revealed in March that Liverpool were open to the possibility of selling Sterling to City if they could earn near to £50m for him. Liverpool are now close to doing that.
City’s manager Manuel Pellegrini said in the same month that Sterling would probably cost £100m but City are likely to be able to sign him for half that.
City’s willingness to spend big on Sterling is an indication of their determination to sign more English and home-grown players for the forthcoming season. James Milner has joined Liverpool on a free transfer while fellow England international Frank Lampard has finally gone to New York City FC in the MLS.
Sterling is City’s top priority but they are also close to completing a deal for Patrick Roberts, Fulham’s 18-year-old winger. Roberts has one year left on his deal at Fulham and the two clubs are ready to agree an £8m fee for the England Under-19 international. If City do sign Roberts, he is likely to be loaned out next season.
City also have a long-standing interest in Everton midfielder Ross Barkley, although that has cooled recently.
Pellegrini and City’s director of football, Txiki Begiristain, have been in Chile this week watching the Copa America.
The pair saw Chile draw 3-3 with Mexico on Monday night. Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal, a long-standing Manchester United target, scored for Chile but was arrested for drink-driving the following day after crashing his Ferrari near Santiago.Reuse content