Raheem Sterling facing a year on his current wages as Liverpool stick to £50m valuation
City waiting in wings for Reds star as contract crisis deepens
Raheem Sterling is preparing to formally tell Liverpool he wants to leave Anfield, after his agent called for fresh talks on the winger's future.
Manchester City are ready to move for the 20-year-old as the rift between the player and his club intensifies
Aidy Ward is planning to meet Liverpool's chief executive Ian Ayre ahead of the final Premier League against Stoke City. The latest face-to-face discussion has been initiated by Ward, who brought a halt to negotiations earlier in the season to enable Sterling to concentrate on trying to help his club qualify for European competition.
It is believed Ward will reiterate Sterling's unwillingness to pen a new deal and create a deeper wedge to facilitate his transfer. Liverpool hoped a period of reflection would lead to the 20-year-old committing to the £100,000-a-week offer made several months ago, but that now looks out of the question.
Manchester City are among those known to be monitoring Sterling's situation on Merseyside with interest, but it will not be easy for them to wrestle him away from Anfield.
The player still has two years remaining on a £35,000-a-week deal, with club owner John W Henry making it clear he is not prepared to sell to a rival this summer.
If Sterling does not sign new terms, he faces spending at least the next 12 months on the same salary as Liverpool refuse to budge and stick to what - on the surface at least - appears a prohibitive valuation of the player at around £50 million.
It has been a difficult second half of the season for Sterling, whose form dipped alarmingly after the contract impasse was made public. A television interview when the player said his dispute was not about finances - a matter of weeks after his agent had asked for a £150,000-a-week new deal - did not help his relationship with The Kop.
The youngster was Liverpool's star performer for the first few months of the season, although being forced to switch positions on several occasions because of the club's lack of strikers did not help him.
Manager Brendan Rodgers will be determined to return Sterling to a fixed role next season to avoid the kind of inconsistency seen during the climax to this campaign.
Liverpool are also believed to be monitoring the situation of James Milner at City, despite him being offered a bumper new deal to stay at the Etihad.
The England international's deal runs out next month but City are prepared to offer him a deal worth up to £165,000 a week; however, it is believed that the midfielder still has concerns about how much he fits into the club's future plans. (© Daily Telegraph, London)