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Liverpool: EPL giants favourites for Raheem Sterling transfer as Arsenal refuse to meet £50m price-tag

Raheem Sterling looks set to join Manchester City after Arsenal have appeared to pull out of the race after baulking at the £50 million price-tag for the youngster.

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Sky Sports reported City had an opening offer of £25 million rejected by Liverpool on Thursday night, and Independent Sport have revealed an improved offer is expected over the weekend.

The Merseyside outfit are thought to be holding out for at least double the fee, and while City believe they can bring the price down, Arsenal will not come close to meeting the £50 million valuation.

Sterling looks set to leave Anfield during the transfer window and is understood to be willing to join City despite his first-choice destination being a move back to his hometown of London.

Mail Sport had linked the England international to Arsenal and Chelsea last month, but a switch to Stamford Bridge looks unlikely with the Blues well-stocked in the wide areas at the moment.

There had been rumours earlier in the month [via ESPN] that the Reds were willing to do business with the Gunners over Sterling but demanded Theo Walcott and Kieran Gibbs had to be a part of any potential swap deal.

However, it would appear Arsene Wenger is firmly against that idea and with Walcott reportedly set to sign a extension at the Emirates, a part-exchange deal seems to be off the table.

Liverpool have insisted that Sterling, who has two years remaining on his current deal, will not be leaving this summer despite the public knowledge [via BBC Sport] of the 20-year-old’s desire to seek a new challenge.

Manager Brendan Rodgers has been active in the transfer window in a bid to strengthen the squad, with James Milner, Danny Ings and Adam Bogdan all set to join on free transfers on July 1. However, it remains to be seen whether these signings will convince Sterling to stay for at least another year.

20-year-old Sterling featured 35 appearances in the league this season, contributing seven assists and seven goals. He also featured in the Champions League, enjoying six outings in the group but couldn’t help the Reds drop out of the tournament at the first hurdle.

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