Gunners unhappy at £50m price tag.
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Arsenal could be prepared to try a swap deal with Liverpool to sign Raheem Sterling in this summer’s transfer window, though are unprepared to go into a bidding war with Manchester City due to the Reds’ current demands for the player.
According to the London Evening Standard, Liverpool are still set on bringing in around £50m from Sterling’s sale, which would make the England international Arsenal’s most expensive signing of all time, beating the reported £42.4m paid to Real Madrid for Mesut Ozil in 2013, according to BBC Sport.
At the age of 20, that seems a big fee to be paying for Sterling, who still has much to prove in the game after an up-and-down season at Anfield, scoring only eight goals despite being regarded as one of the team’s main attacking players, and even finding himself used up front eleven times in total.
Arsenal already have plenty of quality of their own in attack, with Alexis Sanchez scoring 25 goals in all competitions and players like Olivier Giroud, Theo Walcott and Danny Welbeck around him.
Still, the Standard states that Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is a long-time admirer of Sterling, and has been since his days as a youngster coming through at Queens Park Rangers, and that a swap deal would not be ruled out by the Frenchman at this stage, if it could mean lowering his transfer fee.
It is not yet certain if Liverpool would be open to such a deal, despite the Standard mentioning that Reds manager Brendan Rodgers is keeping an eye on Theo Walcott’s contract situation at the Emirates Stadium. The 26-year-old moving to Anfield in return for Sterling would certainly seem like the logical deal, with the move representing a like-for-like swap in terms of replacing one pacey wide-player with another.
Still, given Walcott’s impressive performance for Arsenal in their FA Cup final win over Aston Villa, it may be that the England man has done enough to win over his manager and become more of a regular in the side next season, having failed to feature that often this term after struggling with repeated injury problems.