Manchester City have opened the bidding on Liverpool renegade Raheem Sterling, who is widely expected to leave Anfield this summer.
According to ‘sources’ of Sky Sports News, the Citizens waded in with a £25m offer, plus £5m in add-ons for the 20-year-old that was promptly rebuffed by the Merseyside club, who say they won’t accept a penny less than £50m for the England international.
Such contrasting valuations got the number crunchers at news.bwin.com to thinking just how much should the Jamaica-born speedster cost potential suitors this summer?
The initial approach has seen the two-time Premier League champions whittled into 67/100 to be Sterling’s employers come September 2nd, with the club believed to be keen on redressing the alarming lack of home-grown players in their ranks.
This perceived desperation is sure to drive up the price of any English-schooled recruits, but all the way into the £50m bracket? No chance.
Lets not forget, that’s just £25m shy of the £75m the Reds commanded for goal machine Luis Suarez last summer after the mercurial Uruguayan hammered home 31 league goals in 33 appearances the season prior to his move.
Sterling mustered a mere 11 in 47 across all competitions last time around.
Comparing a finished-article striking superstar with a youngster who has plenty of developing to do is more than a little unfair, but Liverpool can’t reasonably expect £50m for potential alone, yet that is what they’re seemingly asking for.
Seven league goals and as many assists (recorded while playing for one of the country’s elite outfits, no less) is not the return of a player who would become the joint-second most expensive signing ever for an English club, if Man City were to pay the piper.
Another factor that makes it difficult to fathom how such a sum can be commanded is the player having just two years remaining on his current deal.
It has been made unequivocally clear to Liverpool, and, in turn, all of those who might want to buy him, that Sterling won’t be elongating his Reds career beyond 2016/17.
The prospect of signing one of the game’s best young players for nothing just a tantalising two years away (when, of course, he’ll be a better, more experienced player) must severely dent any eagerness to fork out £50m now.
There isn’t much precedent for the Reds to demand these numbers when examining transfers between Premier League clubs either.
Juan Mata, a World Cup and Champions League winner who claimed Chelsea’s Player of the Year award two seasons running, went to Manchester United for £37m, while the same club sold Romelu Lukaku, another potential-loaded youth who represents a far greater goal threat than Sterling, to Everton for £28m.
All things considered, the Liverpool prodigy’s talent, potential contract situation, home-grown status and inter-English club transfers, it’s hard to see the most lenient of valuators going north of the £30m-£35m threshold when putting a price on Sterling.