Queens Park Rangers will make a windfall of up to £10million if Liverpool sell Raheem Sterling.
Liverpool are adamant that they will reject any offers they receive for the winger, who has two years left on his current contract, despite his agent Aidy Ward declaring Sterling intends to leave the club this summer.
Their resolve to retain Sterling may soften should a club offer around £50million, in which case Queens Park Rangers would be due at least 20 per cent of that fee under the terms agreed when Liverpool signed him for £600,000 from the Loftus Road club in 2010. That would equate to around £10million.
Should Liverpool not be persuaded to sell Sterling this year, and the player does not plan to issue a formal transfer request, the situation is likely to change in 2016, when Sterling will enter the final year of his contract unless he agrees to sign a new one in the meantime. Liverpool do not want to allow Sterling to run his current deal down beyond that point, even though manager Brendan Rodgers has said they would be prepared to do so.
In essence, Liverpool appear to be heading towards a re-run of what happened with Luis Suarez when they rejected Arsenal's bid of £40million (plus £1) in 2013, then persuaded the striker to sign a new contract before selling him to Barcelona the following summer for £65million.
As well as hoping to keep Sterling for one more years, it is believed they would prefer to sell the England international to an overseas club should he go.
Sterling, it is understood, would prefer to remain in England and is hoping that either Chelsea or Arsenal will bid for him.
Both Manchester clubs, United and City, are believed to have already registered their interest in Sterling, with City the likeliest to bid a sum close to what is perceived to be the asking price. Sterling does not represent a priority for United, it seems.
As transpired with the Suarez case, Liverpool's owners, the Fenway Sports Group, are determined to sell on their terms and are willing to force an unhappy player to stay.
FSG also told Suarez that they would not sell to another Premier League club under any circumstances and may deliver a similar message to Sterling.
Liverpool called off a meeting with Ward which was scheduled on Friday to discuss Sterling's future after comments attributed to the agent in the London Evening Standard made it clear there was no intention of negotiating a new deal. However the two sides are still expected to meet in the coming weeks.
Liverpool have offered Sterling a new £100,000-a-week contract on a five-year term, to replace his existing £35,000-a-week deal, but he has steadfastly refused to sign. Liverpool had hoped to announce the new deal as long ago as last January but have been thwarted.
Sterling is expected to play for Liverpool in Sunday's final league match of the season, away to Stoke City, and it will be interesting to see the reaction he receives from the away fans. The game also marks Steven Gerrard's final appearance for Liverpool before he leaves to play for LA Galaxy.
Liverpool are believed to be confident that they can land deals to sign Burnley's out-of-contract, striker Danny Ings, for a fee that could nevertheless still go as high as £7million and midfielder James Milner whose deal at City is also coming to an end. Milner is also wanted by Arsenal.