Liverpool turn down massive bid for Raheem Sterling
Liverpool have rejected Manchester City's first attempt to sign Raheem Sterling by laughing off a £25m bid for the England winger.
Sterling, currently preparing for England's Euro 2016 qualifier against Slovenia on Sunday, has snubbed Liverpool's efforts to secure him to a new long-term contract at Anfield.
And City have now formalised their long-standing interest in the player by submitting an initial bid of £25m, potentially rising to £30m in incentivised add-ons.
Liverpool's American owners, Fenway Sports Group, have rejected the City bid, however, and it is understood that they will not consider any sale of Sterling unless a club offers £50m.
Sterling has become a divisive figure at Anfield after going public with his refusal to discuss a new contract at the club.
And comments by his agent, Aidy Ward, last month have driven a further wedge between the player and club, with Ward claiming that Sterling will not stay, regardless of any salary offer made by Liverpool.
"He is definitely not signing" Ward said on May 21. "He's not signing for £700, £800, £900 thousand a week. He is not signing. My job is to make sure I do the best with them (my clients). If people say I am bad at my job, or they are badly advised, it does not matter."
City have so far refused to comment on the bid, but chairman Khaldoon al Mubarak confirmed on Wednesday that the club are set to spend on 'top quality' players this summer in a bid to regain the Premier League title.