Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling will tell Brendan Rodgers he wants to leave the club this summer, according to the BBC, with Arsenal and Manchester City having registered interest.
The 20 year-old gave a lengthy interview to the BBC last month, in which he admitted turning down a £100,000 per week deal, but repeatedly stressed that his refusal to sign an extension was not about the money – but trophies.
Sterling saw Liverpool compete for the Premier League title last season, with a rampant attack of Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge ably supported by himself, Philippe Coutinho and a still-brilliant Steven Gerrard.
This term, the Reds haven’t been able to rely on Suarez (sold to Barcelona) or Sturridge (injured for most of the campaign), while Gerrard’s legs are deserting him and his contribution hasn’t been nearly as good.
That’s put the pressure on Coutinho and Sterling, and while they’ve delivered to some extent, they’re not quite ready to be the true leaders of the team just yet – and Liverpool have dropped three places to fifth, and miss out on the UEFA Champions League.
Sterling in particular has improved a great deal, but has been played at right wing back, on left and right flanks, and as a number ten – and it’s impressive he’s played as well as he has with no consistent position.
He’s also had to learn to play up front in the absence of last season’s top scorers Luis Suarez (sold to Barcelona) and Daniel Sturridge (injured for most of the season) with none of Mario Balotelli, Rickie Lambert or Fabio Borini trusted to perform the role.
The England international has been a rare bright spark in Liverpool’s season, with seven goals and seven assists from 34 games, placing him second-top scorer and provider for the team in the Premier League.
The BBC suggest a fee of £35 million could be considered by Liverpool owners FSG, with Arsenal and Manchester City interested parties from the Premier League.