Chelsea and Manchester City will reportedly renew their interest in Liverpool star Raheem Sterling this week, according to reports in the Daily Express.
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Their story – which focuses predominately on Chelsea’s interest in the player – follows the Reds completing a deal for Brazilian international Roberto Firmino, who many view as the perfect replacement for our wantaway Englishman.
Despite the Evening Standard claiming that Sterling’s departure would not be dependent on the addition of Firmino, common sense tells us that Brendan Rodgers is far more likely to allow the youngster to leave now that he has signed a potent rival for his place in the team.
The BBC have already confirmed that Liverpool have turned down two bids from City for Sterling, the first believed to be worth £25m and the second closer to £40m, but we are seemingly determined to hold out until our full valuation – which the BBC believes to be £50m – is met.
However, the Express expects Chelsea to test our resolve again by making a straight cash bid of £40m, without the various add-ons that City were including in their offer.
Meanwhile, the Daily Mail are tipping City to make a ‘final’ bid of their own, suggesting that they will this time go closer to our desired price tag.
There has been nothing from Sterling himself since the Premier League season ended last month. We already know, as the Express states, that he has turned down a new contract worth in the region of £100,000-per-week, while his agent – Aidy Ward – has been extremely vocal about their displeasure at Liverpool’s conduct… ironic, we know.
We’ve said all year that this story was going to drag and drag all summer long and these latest reports certainly don’t shed any more light on the situation.
If anything, Chelsea’s interest will be viewed as a positive – if we can incite a bidding war for the player then so much the better. Unfortunately, where he’ll actually end up come the start of next season remains thoroughly unclear.