Raheem Sterling’s Liverpool future was thrown in to further doubt last night with Manchester City bidding £25m for the 20-year-old midfielder.
The deal is said to include £5m worth of add-ons but Liverpool are standing firm and holding out for nearer to the £50m mark.
City remain favourites to land their man but with plenty of other clubs interested this particular transfer saga is unlikely to see a quick conclusion.
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While the fans have turned on him and Sterling has fractured his relationship with the club by turning down a £100,000-per-week contract Liverpool remain intent on keeping him at Anfield.
To those on the outside Sterling may have reached the point of no return but with two-years remaining on his contract there is still time for him to knuckle down and win the fans round.
As the first interested party to submit a concrete bid City are seemingly in pole position. Sterling will be able to realise his financial ambition at the mega-rich Etihad club but the career progression of the likes of Jack Rodwell and Scott Sinclair might be a cause for concern.
New Real manager Rafa Benitez is the man that plucked Sterling from the QPR youth ranks to take him to Anfield and while it may be an exaggeration to say they enjoy a special relationship Rafa clearly has faith in the youngster.
Should Manchester United succeed in prising Gareth Bale away from the Bernabeu, Sterling has the potential to fill the void.
Talks of Sterling returning to London for a stint at the Emirates has died down with Theo Walcott returning to the negotiating table about a new deal for himself.
However, Arsene Wenger is known admirer of Sterling’s talent and if Walcott stalls again the Frenchman could be swayed to trade his English winger in for a younger model.
The Blues have also been linked with Sterling in recent weeks and the ability to be able to offer the winger a return to west London means the Stamford Bridge outfit should not be discounted.
The same question marks over a starting berth at City would probably apply here too but it is hard to see Sterling turning down a big-money move to return home.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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