Arsenal are still interested in Liverpool forward Raheem Sterling. That’s despite being priced out of a straight cash deal for the youngster, who we value at £50m – reports the Evening Standard.
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That’s a fee that the Gunners simply cannot meet but they would still be open to a swap deal. Arsene Wenger’s side are reluctant to be drawn into a bidding war for Sterling and are unlikely to match Manchester City’s opening salvo.
The outgoing Premier League champions, who are intent on regaining their title from Chelsea next season, made a £25m bid on Thursday. According to the Daily Mirror, they’re now preparing to come back with an improved, take it or leave it offer of around £40m.
If that is also rejected – which, unless anything dramatically changes in the coming days, it will be – that could open the door for Arsenal. However, the Standard claim that they’re unlikely to make a move and less Liverpool start actively looking to get rid of Sterling.
The most prominent player that they could offer as part of a swap deal is Theo Walcott, although according to the Mirror, the England international is closing in on a new contract at the Emirates Stadium.
This all means that the ball remains very much in Liverpool’s court. Sterling still has plenty of time left to run on his contract and if we continue to dig our heels in then he’s going to have very little chance of forcing an exit.
If he does stay it will be intriguing to see how we use him. Will he play? Will he be consigned to the reserves? If he does play, will he be able to focus on his football and rediscover his best form? Or will we simply see the same Raheem Sterling that played for England against the Republic of Ireland last week – getting booed every time he goes near the ball?
It’s going to be an intriguing summer as we watch this saga continue to unravel. But if Liverpool’s recent business in the transfer window – signing three players already – is anything to go by, this could all be decided sooner than we might think.