Friday 22 September 2017

Liverpool dig heels in over £50m Sterling asking price

Liverpool's Raheem Sterling
Liverpool's Raheem Sterling

Nigel Whittaker

Liverpool remain unmoved by the latest developments in the Raheem Sterling saga, meaning Manchester City will have to significantly increase their improved bid of £40m if they want the England international.

Even footage of the 20-year-old on holiday apparently taking laughing gas, his second incident in as many months, has not altered Liverpool's stance.

They value Sterling at a minimum of £50m and video of him taking the legal high is likely to have hurt his reputation more with City than it has with the club that have nurtured him since he joined their academy at the age of 15.

Liverpool have declined to comment on the latest footage of Sterling but, back in April, when his first misdemeanour came to light, manager Brendan Rodgers said: "When you are a professional sportsperson at the top level of the game I don't think it is something you should be doing.

"Young players make mistakes. As long as they learn from them, that is what is important."

While Sterling has so far refused to sign a new contract, having turned down a £100,000-a-week offer in January, Liverpool have had more success in persuading centre-back Martin Skrtel to extend his deal, which has 12 months remaining.

Southampton's signing of Sporting Lisbon right-back Cedric Soares paves the way for Nathaniel Clyne to leave for Anfield but, having had an initial £10m bid turned down, the Merseysiders are prepared to be patient in their pursuit of the England international, with the Saints reportedly holding out for £15m.

Out-of-favour forward Fabio Borini appears to have finally realised his time at Liverpool is up after his agent criticised the club's treatment of the player.

The Italian turned down two chances to leave last summer with both QPR and Sunderland, where he spent a successful season on loan.

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