Tuesday 25 October 2016

Remarkable rise of agent at centre of Raheem Sterling saga

Published 22/05/2015 | 02:30

Uncertainty over the future of Liverpool forward Raheem Sterling has generated a fan backlash
Uncertainty over the future of Liverpool forward Raheem Sterling has generated a fan backlash

Aidy Ward is emerging as one of the most high-profile agents in the country and the key player in Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling's future.

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Ward, 34, recently split from long-term partner Rob Segal to set up his own business and has Sterling and West Bromwich Albion striker Saido Berahino as his two main clients.

He had been with Segal's Impact Sports Management stable for many years but decided to go solo, taking the two young prospects with him - though Segal claimed last month that they were still contracted to his company.

Sterling and Berahino are expected to be the subject of transfer sagas this summer and Ward has infuriated Liverpool and West Brom with his alleged tactics over the past 12 months.

In March he was behind Sterling's unsolicited interview with BBC Sport, in which he confirmed that he would not discuss a new contract with Liverpool until the summer.

His extraordinary blast at the Merseyside club, and their former defender Jamie Carragher, is further proof of his single-minded approach to his clients.

His relationship with Sterling stretches back years and on February 3 last year, Sterling tweeted "Happy birthday to my agent Aidy Ward stay blessed".

Ward is also thought to have frustrated West Brom over his handling of Berahino's future at the Hawthorns.

Berahino's own rise to prominence led to him being given a new contract in November 2013 but in the past 12 months he has irritated staff and team-mates with a number of statements about his ambitions. Earlier this year he told Sky that he wanted to "move on to bigger things" in what West Brom insisted was an interview given without their permission.

Ward was at the Hawthorns last month to watch his two main stars play in the game between their two respective clubs. However, Sterling has spoken highly of Ward's ability and he has made it clear he is only concerned with their interests.

Ward also looked after Arsenal and England winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain during his time at Impact Sports Management and was praised for helping to complete his £15m move from Southampton in August 2011.

He is clearly here to stay and it is thought many other young players are now considering joining his agency. (©Daily Telegraph, London)


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