Firmino deal could seal Sterling exit.
Manchester City are reportedly set to try again to sign Liverpool forward Raheem Sterling this summer after already having two bids rejected for the 20-year-old, according to the Manchester Evening News.
The Premier League runners-up sense they may have more luck in persuading the Reds to let Sterling go now, with news confirmed in the last few days that Hoffenheim attacking midfielder Roberto Firmino has joined the club (via Liverpoolfc.com).
Firmino is an exciting buy for the Reds, having impressed greatly in the Bundesliga in the last two seasons, and it could be that the versatile winger/forward could be being brought in with the anticipation that Sterling will be leaving this summer, as he arguably looks the ideal replacement for the England international.
Sterling has notably turned down a new contract at Anfield and seems to want a move away from the club this summer (according to a report from BBC Sport in May), which has alerted City as the Manchester Evening News claim they have not given up on bringing him to the Etihad Stadium, even if they do not plan on paying Liverpool’s full £50m asking price.
City could do with an attacker of Sterling’s quality after a difficult season in 2014/15, which saw Manuel Pellegrini’s team looking a little over-reliant on Sergio Aguero to provide the goods up front, with players like Samir Nasri and Edin Dzeko not living up to expectations in terms of contributing goals and assists.
Sterling, meanwhile, has looked one of the best young forwards in Europe in the last two seasons, and netted an impressive eight goals whilst laying on eight assists for his team-mates last term.
Although it would be a big blow for Liverpool to lose one of their best players for a second summer in a row after seeing Luis Suarez join Barcelona this time last year, the arrival of Firmino perhaps puts them in good shape to cope without the youngster next season.