Liverpool want £50 million for Sterling as Man City weigh up options
City’s first offer in what promises to be a protracted attempt to reach a compromise fee would have meant Liverpool receiving an initial £25m, with another £5m in potential add-ons, but the bid was never likely to succeed at a time when Sterling’s employers insist the player is not for sale.
Liverpool are expected to relax that position if a much higher bid comes in now it is absolutely clear Sterling is determined to leave and has an agent, Aidy Ward, who is willing to embroil himself in a public dispute with the club to help get what he and the player want. However, the likelihood is that City would have to make a substantially larger offer. Liverpool’s valuation of Sterling is over £50m and City having gone in relatively low as their opening move merely increases the chances of drawn-out and potentially difficult negotiations.
Sterling has already turned down Liverpool’s offer of a new £100,000-a-week contract and knows City can give him significantly more, as well as the promise of Champions League football and a greater likelihood of winning trophies. Yet City are reluctant to pay an exorbitant fee, not least because they have extensive spending plans elsewhere aimed at making them more credible challengers to Chelsea next season.
City look sure to make a second bid but it would be a major surprise if that too didn't fall short of Liverpool's valuation. With no other suitors on the horizon - at least publicly - City might be tempted to wait a while.