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cash in or hold out?

LIVERPOOL'S grip on Raheem Sterling has weakened to the point where it is now a matter of when, rather than if, the disgruntled forward leaves Anfield.

After a remarkable day of claim and counter-claim revolving around Sterling's agent Aidy Ward who was quoted in one English newspaper as saying that his client would not sign a new deal for "£700k, 800k or £900k" a week, all that seems left to do is for Liverpool to put up a 'For Sale' sign.

Liverpool have cancelled a planned meeting with Sterling and Ward today and the question for John Henry and the club's owners is whether to cash in now or force the England international to play out the remaining two years of his contract.

Although Ward is taking legal advice about the comments attributed to him in which he lashed ex-Liverpool players and pundits, John Aldridge now believes that Sterling has only one option.

"This shows exactly who he is and what he is and just cements the fact that Raheem Sterling needs to change his adviser.

"What the agent has done to Sterling has been absolutely woeful. He hasn't just tarnished his own reputation, he's tarnished the reputation of Raheem Sterling," said Aldridge.