Former Liverpool midfielder Jason McAteer has criticised Manchester City for the role they have played in Raheem Sterling’s relationship-breakdown with the Reds.
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The forward has made clear his desire to leave Anfield this summer, following his agent’s confirmation that he would not be signing a new contract with Liverpool [Standard].
Manchester City look to be the likely benefactors from Sterling’s impasse with the Reds, and have already had two bids rejected for the player [Express].
As things stand, Liverpool are keen to profit from one of their prized assets, and are holding out for £50 million for the forward [Telegraph].
However, Sterling’s recent actions will further increase the pressure on Brendan Rodgers to offload the troubled forward.
The England international refused to turn up to training after claiming he was sick, while has also indicated that he is not prepared to join the Reds on their pre-season tour [Daily Mail].
Speaking to talkSPORT, ex-Red McAteer has blamed City for encouraging Sterling to behave in such a way as to increase the pressure on Liverpool to sell.
“Manchester City are playing a part in this though. They’re all trying to persuade him to do all the wrong things, to not act professionally and to try and get out of the football club that way,” he began.
“I’ve not doubt that he’s going to get out of the football club but just on Liverpool’s terms. He’s got to act professionally.
“We all know how it works, if a football club wants you, and City are being held to ransom for the transfer fee,” the former Ireland international continued, “they might have a word in your ear and they’ll say, maybe do this or that and cause a scene. See if you can get out that way.”
McAteer closed by admitting that he was convinced Sterling would eventually leave Liverpool.
“Everyone knows Raheem Sterling is going to leave Liverpool,” he concluded.
“It’s another bitter chapter with him not turning up for training. He’s been ill-advised again.”
Sterling managed seven goals and seven assists in the Premier League for Liverpool last season.