Saturday 22 October 2016

Latest laughing gas incident won't deter Liverpool from holding on to Raheem Sterling

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Published 19/06/2015 | 02:30

Relations between Liverpool and Raheem Sterling's representative Aidy Ward have soured
Relations between Liverpool and Raheem Sterling's representative Aidy Ward have soured

Raheem Sterling's latest laughing gas incident is unlikely to have any effect on Liverpool's stance in relation to the player's ongoing transfer saga.

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Manchester City failed on Wednesday in their second attempt to sign the England forward after upping their initial offer by £10m to £40m, comprising £35m up front plus £5m of add-ons.

A day later footage emerged allegedly showing the 20-year-old taking the legal high nitrous oxide while on holiday in Ibiza. It is the second time the youngster has been caught apparently inhaling laughing gas, and while Liverpool have refused to comment on the incident, it is understood the club's view on the player's position has not changed.

They value him in excess of £50m and, with a 20pc sell-on fee due to previous club Queens Park Rangers, they will hold out for the best price.

City - and Arsenal, who are also interested but have to yet to make that formal - take their public image seriously, and the latest footage of Sterling is more likely to have affected their opinion of the player than it has that of Liverpool, who have worked with Sterling since he arrived as a 15-year-old.

However, that has not helped in negotiations over a new contract after Sterling, who has two years remaining on his current contract, rejected a new deal worth £100,000 a week in January.

Since then relations between Liverpool and his representative, Aidy Ward, have deteriorated - the agent claimed the forward would not sign a new deal for even "£900,000 a week", after which the club cancelled the scheduled restart of talks.

Sterling has since stressed that he was not a "money-grabbing 20-year-old".

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