New Real Madrid manager and former Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez has refused to rule out a move for Raheem Sterling this summer, although he was not giving anything away when asked about the youngster earlier today.
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ESPN journalist Dermot Corrigan tweeted the following at Benitez’s first Madrid press-conference…
Rafa asked about Sterling “We know Raheem very well, no secret, but not our player. So I will not talk about him, today not day for that.”
— Dermot Corrigan (@dermotmcorrigan) June 3, 2015
However, BBC Sport have since built on that, leading with the headline: ‘Rafael Benitez: New Real boss ‘admires’ Raheem Sterling.’ Nonetheless, the quotes they have garnered offer little more, with the Spaniard saying: “We admire Raheem, that’s no secret – but he is not one of our players so I can’t really comment on him.”
We reported yesterday that Real Madrid wouldn’t be trying to sign Sterling. Benitez’s arrival at Madrid brings fresh life to reports linking Sterling with a move to the Spanish capital, but it appears as if the 55-year-old will have a fight on his hands if he wants to push forward with any plans of his own.
We referenced journalist Guillem Balague who claimed that the Spanish giants were not interested in the player, despite Sterling and his agent – Aidy Ward – attempting to pursue a deal.
Liverpool cancelled contract discussions with Sterling and Ward in May (via Sky Sports) after the player’s representative claimed his client would not be renewing his Anfield contract – even for sums of up to £900k-per-week (via Evening Standard) confirming the intentions of Sterling to leave the club this summer.
Of course, we wouldn’t be surprised to see some form of transfer business take place between ourselves and Madrid this summer. Benitez was Chelsea boss when Daniel Sturridge was sold to us in January 2013 and I’m sure we’d all appreciate a gesture of a similar nature before the start of next season.