Manchester City offered Alvaro Negredo, Edin Ddzeko or Stevan Jovetic to Liverpool in a bid to sign Raheem Sterling according to the Daily Star.
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The Citizens appear to have made the England international their top summer target, and have had bids of £25 million and £35.5 million turned down by the Reds [via BBC Sport].
However, they remain determined to snare their man, and, unwilling to meet the £50 million asking price, are now considering throwing a player into the mix in order to persuade Brendan Rodgers to accept a player-plus-cash deal for the 20-year-old.
According to the Daily Mirror [via the Star], a deal has already been proposed, with City offering international trio Negredo, Dzeko and Jovetic in a part-exchange for the England international.
It remains to be seen whether any City proposal involving players would tempt the Merseyside outfit, with the Daily Star indicating that the Reds would only accept an exclusively-cash bid for the player, and that they are unwilling to drop beneath the requested £50 million.
Despite the immense amounts of money City have offered for the player to date, it is doubtful they would stretch to Liverpool’s mammoth asking price, particularly considering Sterling managed only seven goals and seven assists in the EPL last term.
Since apparently burning his bridges with the club—when agent Aidy Ward slammed Liverpool and insisted Sterling would not sign a new deal—the player has undergone talks with Bayern Munich that ultimately came to nothing [Standard].
The likes of Chelsea [Sky Sports], Manchester United [Daily Star] and Arsenal [Metro] have all been linked to the player, while there has also been some speculation that Rafael Benitez is keen to make the player one of his first signings at Real Madrid [Daily Mail].
Negredo spent last season on loan at Valencia, but has returned to City with his future very much uncertain. Despite impressing on occasion, Montenegrin forward Stevan Jovetic has struggled to impose himself on the first XI at the Etihad Stadium.
Dzeko looks in danger of being squeezed out at City following the arrival of Wilfried Bony in January of this year, and City’s pursuit of Sterling is further indication that the Bosnian is not in the club’s plans.