The bulk of 2015 has seen our newswires and back pages clogged with talk concerning the futures of David de Gea and Raheem Sterling, but with their respective clubs Manchester United and Liverpool due back for pre-season training imminently, it looks increasingly likely both streams of speculation will remain unrealised.
An enormous 20/1 says the pair will still be on the books of their present paymasters come the close of the summer transfer window and the current state of affairs renders it a very worthwhile wager.
De Gea is thought to be Real Madrid’s top priority on their summer shopping excursion, while Sterling has been linked to any amount of sides following revelations that he wouldn’t be extending his contract at Anfield.
Manchester City are the only team to lodge a bid for the England youngster, though it’s believed Arsenal and Chelsea are also interested.
Liverpool, understandably, don’t want to lose a player boss Brendan Rodgers regards as the best youngster in European football and have told all suitors any bids below £50m will not be considered.
Intended as a deterrent for those looking to lure Sterling away from Liverpool, the eye-watering sum of money has so far succeeded in its objective and it doesn’t appear likely the Reds will soften their stance.
Man City have so far refused to cross the £40m threshold and, with the player sure to be available for distinctly less in a year’s time when he’ll only have 12 months remaining on his current deal, the incentive for them to do so isn’t obvious.
Meanwhile, Real Madrid’s pursuit of De Gea seems to have run cold.
The La Liga kingpins have so far struggled to come to an agreement with their English counterparts, with Man Utd in something of a bind.
De Gea is in the last year of his contract and, according to media reports, wishes to return home to Madrid.
However, he also doubles up as United’s best player, with many considering him a worthy winner of the 2014/15 PFA Player of the Year award that ultimately went to Eden Hazard.
It appears the Red Devils would like to be compensated in accordance with his ability, ignoring contract expiry issue, even if that means losing him for nothing in a year.
Both United and Liverpool are unwilling and unlikely to relinquish their premier performers for money they don’t regard as befitting of their ability, meaning the punters can make a heap backing both to stay.