Ex-Liverpool manager Roy Evans believes the departure of Raheem Sterling must be agreed in all but name – citing their early summer signing spree as evidence.
“If you look at the transfer market and the way it has been with the amount of players Liverpool have bought, [Sterling’s sale] must be in the equation.” Evans told Talksport’s Weekend Sports Breakfast programme.
“I don’t think they would be spending the amount of money they have if they didn’t think Sterling was already a done deal to somewhere.”
The England forward is currently 1/10 to join Manchester City before the end of the next transfer window, despite a noticeable quietening of speculation in recent days.
Meanwhile, the bwin layers go as long as 6/1 that he’s still at Anfield come the September 2nd.
Yet, Evans’ flawed logic is only one of the reasons why the price differential between the two scenarios seems surprisingly large.
Of the five players brought in, only Roberto Firmino cost a particularly substantial fee, with James Milner and Adam Bogdan arriving on free transfers and the total outlay so far valued at short of £30m.
Moreover there are other players on the Anfield books that Liverpool would much rather offload than Sterling: Fabio Borini, Rickie Lambert and Mario Balotelli to name but three.
Quite apart from the fact that Liverpool haven’t spent so much as to make selling one of their prized assets a necessity there is the Luis Suarez precedent.
Namely, the club’s ability to persuade want-away stars to commit to the cause for one more season.
Before the 2013/14 campaign Suarez had seemed certain to leave Anfield, having suggested he would be seeking an exit in May 2014.
However, he was persuaded to stay and went on to lay down one of the finest individual seasons by an individual in the history of the club.
Should Sterling be similarly cajoled, he will arguably owe the Liverpool supporters little less.