The Raheem Sterling saga could turn even nastier this weekend, if the wantaway forward fails to abide by the terms of his contract and travel with the rest of the Liverpool squad for our pre-season tour of the Far East.
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Sterling, who missed two days of training this week due to an unknown illness, hit the headlines all week long after claiming that he wanted to leave the club due to the breakdown of his relationship with manager Brendan Rodgers (via Daily Mirror).
However, the Mirror are today reporting that Liverpool’s owners remain determined to play hardball over any potential transfer, as they await Manchester City’s third offer for the 20-year-old England international.
The source states that the Reds will banish Sterling to the reserves if City fail to meet our £50m valuation and the player himself continues to act out with his much-maligned bad attitude.
City are set to make a written bid of £40m plus £4m in add-ons this weekend but FSG are contemplating keeping hold of Sterling – who has two years left of his current contract – until the January transfer window.
This should, in theory, lower his valuation – as he’ll have less time left on his contract – and I’m sure many Liverpool fans are simply urging the owners to take the money and run. Nonetheless, we seem determined to stand by our word and potentially teach the player a valuable lesson in the process.
According to The Telegraph, we are also open to the idea of the PFA intervening on the matter to ensure the player is put in his place, and will allow them to do so if Sterling fails to arrive for the start of our pre-season campaign tomorrow.
The source states that Gordon Taylor, the PFA chief executive, is monitoring the situation and will try to defuse tensions if both parties consider it in their interest – as he did when Luis Suarez wanted to move to Arsenal in 2013 – leading to the mercurial Uruguayan eventually signing a new contact.