Six possible destinations for unsettled Liverpool star Sterling
Raheem Sterling’s representative Aidy Ward has bluntly all-but confirmed that the England star will not sign a new deal with Liverpool, who are 14/1 shots with Coral to be Premier League champions next term.
“I don’t care about the PR of the club and the club situation. I don’t care,” Ward said. “He is definitely not signing. 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 [my clients]. If people say I am bad at my job, or they are badly advised it does not matter.”
Ward carried on by incredibly slamming an Anfield icon… “[Jamie] Carragher is a knob. Everybody knows it. Any of the criticism from current pundits or ex-Liverpool players – none of them things matter to me. It is not relevant.”
Following this, our football experts have put their heads together and come up with six destinations for the highly-rated forward.
Real Madrid – 14/1 to be Sterling’s next club
Soon to no longer be Champions League holders have been linked with Sterling all season, and he could be tempted to join Los Blancos, where British widemen Laurie Cunningham, Steve McManaman and David Beckham and, more recently, Gareth Bale, have all prospered.
Real currently have two-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo, and the world’s most expensive player Bale occupying their flank positions, but Sterling’s versatility in attack could see him as an alternative just behind the striker as well.
Bayern Munich – 10/1
Bundesliga giants Bayern may be put off going in for another English attacker that spent time in Liverpool’s youth academy, after current Barnsley winger Dale Jennings had an ill-fated spell in their reserves.
However, Sterling is a far more accomplished player and already an established international, so could be a great replacement for the likes of ageing widemen Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery. He can take heart form ex-England star and fellow Americas-born Owen Hargreaves’ successful stint in Munich.
Manchester City – 5/4
Switching to the Etihad, with City 5/2 second-favourites for the title next term, is seemingly the only realistic option to keep Sterling in the Premier League. He would fit right in with fellow diminutive and tricky attackers David Silva and Jesus Navas, who are both similar in style.
One issue for the former QPR product, though, is that Man City have a habit of stalling promising English players’ careers in the past, with the likes of Scott Sinclair and Jack Rodwell all flopping there in recent years.
PSG – 28/1
Cash-rich French club PSG are another alternative for Sterling, with the Ligue 1 champions just clinching a third straight title. They have been linked with a few English players of late, after David Beckham finished his career there.
The Parisians are certainly lacking creativity and pace in attacking areas, with superstar Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimvoic joining South American quartet Lucas Moura, Javier Pastore, Edinson Cavani and Ezequiel Lavezzi, who could go the other way to Anfield, as current options.
Barcelona – 14/1
Catalan club Barca are renowned for recruiting and/or developing diminutive players, so Sterling would see Luis Enrique’s tactics suit him, following a La Liga title triumph built on mixing it up more with some direct player on the counter supplementing midfield dominance.
Barcelona are proud of their English roots, with the St George Cross even on their crest, and a certain Gary Lineker being a former Nou Camp icon. Sterling would get the chance to reunite with ex-Reds clubmate Luis Suarez, and England’s very own ‘Lionel Messi’ could be an ideal long-term replacement for the Argentina captain.
Like PSG above, Liverpool could get something out of selling Sterling to them as it would surely mean the end of Spain winger Pedro Rodriguez’s Nou Camp career.
Manchester United – 14/1
Amazing revelations have recently come out that even the Reds’ bitter rivals Man Utd are said to be interested in signing contract rebel Sterling.
No player has crossed directly between the two teams in 51 years, when Phil Chisnall moved from Old Trafford to Anfield for £25k. You’d have to go back even further to find a switch going the other way, when Allenby Chilton was signed in 1938.
It would be difficult to see Liverpool selling Sterling to the Red Devils, and they will at least have some choice as to where he ends up, as his contract doesn’t end until 2017.
Whether or not United can fit him in their team is another issue, after they just signed Memphis Depay and Ashley Young looks to have won over the fans after some impressive displays. The likes of Angel Di Maria, Juan Mata and Adnan Januzaj will also be options.