Liverpool forward Raheem Sterling is reportedly refusing to embark on the club’s pre-season tour of the Far East, so rather than force him to travel against his will, the Reds should finally send him packing in another direction.
It has been widely reported that Manchester City have tested the water with a couple of bids for the rebellious winger, but have not yet met Liverpool’s hefty £50m valuation.
However, the latest development in this ugly saga must act as catalyst for both parties to get a deal over the line sooner rather than later.
Other than physically forcing Sterling to get on the plane, there seems no chance the England international will be turning out for Liverpool either on the tour, or in the coming campaign.
Ladbrokes now rate Sterling’s proposed move to the Etihad as virtually inevitable at 1/6 and with bridges scorched this looks an increasingly safe wager.
Although there are principles at stake from a Liverpool perspective – i.e their player is under contract for two further years – the situation has now spiralled beyond repair.
Furthermore, Liverpool’s desire to bring in another big-name striker means recouping the bundle of cash from Sterling’s sale has an added incentive.
This is especially true if Brendan Rodgers is intent on prising Christian Benteke away from Aston Villa, where the Villans are understandably unwavering in doing business for anything less than the Belgian’s £32.5m release clause.
With a roster now jammed full of new attacking talent as well, Sterling’s spot in the line up can easily be filled.
Roberto Firmino, Danny Ings and Divock Origi are all fresh in the mix, not to mention players unable to nail down a spot last season in the form of Adam Lallana, Lazar Markovic and Jordan Ibe.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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