Anfield star now on Allianz Arena radar.
German publication Bild claim that Bayern Munich have taken a keen interest in Liverpool attacker Raheem Sterling.
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The 20 year old England man appears to be pushing for an Anfield exit with the BBC claiming that Sterling will request a summer transfer.
Bild cite the fact that the Bavarian giants’ world-class wing pairing of Arjen Robben (31) and Franck Ribery (32) are in the latter stages of their respective glittering careers as a possible motivating factor for their interest in Sterling.
Age doesn’t appear to have been a boundary for Robben this term, the former Real Madrid and Chelsea man having smashed in 17 goals in 21 Bundesliga starts, but it’s fair to say Ribery is having less of an impact at the Allianz Arena than in his glorious pomp.
Sterling’s Liverpool contract runs until 2017 (via the BBC), and has rejected the offer of a new £100k a week deal, and as such the youngster may be backing his Merseyside employers into something of a corner.
Brendan Rodgers saw the sale of Luis Suarez to Barcelona greatly lessen his side’s attacking threat in 2014/15 and the imminent departure of Steven Gerrard to MLS side LA Galaxy will surely also leave a tough void to fill, but as much as the Northern Irishman would like to keep hold of Sterling one does wonder just what mileage there is be gained by keeping hold of a player who has made it abundantly clear he wants out.
Sterling has had a standout campaign this term, his tally of seven Premier League goals being second only to the aforementioned Gerrard and his seven assists are only bettered by Philippe Coutinho, and the lack of a Champions League carrot to dangle in front of the former QPR youth team player appears set to cost Liverpool.
Bild suggest that Bayern will be rivalled by Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City, Real Madrid and Juventus in the race to sign Sterling, but it’s safe to assume that Liverpool will be keen to sell abroad rather than to a Premier League rival.
The chance to play under Guardiola could prove enticing for Sterling too – as it was for Mario Gotze in 2013.
“Götze wanted to work with an extraordinary coach,” Jurgen Klopp was quoted as saying by the Wall Street Journal when the player left Borussia Dortmund for Bayern Munich.
“I cannot teach the tika-taka ways of Guardiola.”
Guardiola’s pedigree could be a significant draw for a player like Sterling – especially if winning trophies and maximising his abilities are top of his agenda.