Manchester City academy development executive and Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira thinks that Liverpool star Raheem Sterling isn’t overpriced at £50 million, reports the Daily Star.
The Citizens have already had £30 and £40 million bids for the 20-year-old turned down and they are planning a £50 million offer, according to the Star.
The fee would represent a massive outlay, and something of a gamble for a player who is unproven in the Champions League and only managed eight goals as well as eight assists in 47 games last season. The 20-year-old remains a potential star rather than a refined world-class operator, and there are no guarantees that he would prove to be an elite performer at the Etihad Stadium.
The Star note that Chelsea, Real Madrid, and Paris Saint-Germain have all dropped out of the transfer battle as they feel the price is too high, while talks broke down with Bayern Munich, with both player and club opting to look elsewhere [Express].
However, the Daily Mirror believe that the Stamford Bridge outfit may still be interested in a lower bid of £40 million, and Sterling may be tempted by the opportunity of returning to London [Daily Star].
Liverpool’s recent signing of Roberto Firmino would suggest that the Reds are considering a post-Sterling future [via the club’s official website], although the Brazilian’s arrival also strengthens Brendan Rodgers’s negotiating position as he has no need to offload the sought-after star in order to raise money for reinforcements.
However, Vieira still believes that being linked to the England international actually shows how far the Sky Blues have come in recent years.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side failed to win any trophies in the last campaign, despite entering the 2014-15 season as English champions, but their progress over the last few years have made them genuine contenders for securing a talent like Sterling-one of the most exciting players in the domestic game.
Vieira said: “I think if you ask 10 people what they think about him, I think nine would give you a positive answer. I would be part of the nine people because he’s shown how good he is, how well he’s been doing at Liverpool. If he is in the market, not just City would be interested in him.”
On City he added: “I think the team has improved a lot, the club is really going up fast. Now, when you have Manchester City in the market, to try to bring a big name, big name players think about it. That shows how Manchester City have become bigger and important in international football.
“I think we are in a period where you have a lot of speculation and that’s the way football is. I think every big name will be linked with City because City is a big club in Europe. Players will want to join the club and have success.”