Rumours abound that the Real Madrids and Paris Saint-Germains of this world have taken a shine to fledgling Liverpool superstar Raheem Sterling.
According to the transfer policies of both outfits, one can never get enough attacking midfielders and the teenager is apparently the latest blip on their sweeping radars.
Los Blancos are priced up at 3/1 to house Sterling come the end of the 2015 summer transfer window and, given Liverpool’s Premier League flailing at present, such a move is not beyond the realms of possibility.
Plus, if Sterling knows what’s good for him, he’ll jump on the first train out of Anfield.
In many ways, the Jamaican-born winger can be likened to Gareth Bale, who has sampled enormous success since abandoning a Champions League-chasing English club to join Real Madrid.
They’re both lightning fast, excellent dribblers and have a keen eye for goal.
These assets, not his world-record transfer fee, make Bale a shoo-in starter for Carlo Ancelotti’s side, so there’s no reason to suspect Sterling wouldn’t get in the team.
The Real team selectors would also revere his versatility.
Capable of playing out wide or in the in-vogue number ten role, Sterling would have no issues adjusting his position to a central berth when the Real attack reshuffled, as it frequently does, mid-match.
Unlike Bale, Sterling has no genuine prospects of winning the Champions League in the near future, as odds of 34/1 about Liverpool landing ‘Old Big Ears’ this season compared to Real’s 4’s.
While it’s also fair to say the Reds will never have a better chance of hoisting the Premier League trophy than the one that they failed to capitalise on last term.
Judging from this season’s shenanigans, it would appear that Brendan Rodgers isn’t as clued up as he could be regarding how to manage his prized possession’s development either.
After stressing the importance of keeping Sterling well-rested, he left him on the bench for Liverpool’s 1-0 home defeat to Aston Villa, before bringing him on in a futile attempt to avert disaster with half an hour left on the clock.
Since that delayed introduction, the 19-year-old has not missed a single minute of action, completing six games in succession, including a two-hour marathon against Middlesbrough in the Capital One Cup.
Rodgers’ original stance that young players are better served if they’re forced to work for the massive contracts the professional game pays looks to be ditched too, with reports suggesting Sterling will be offered a £100,000-a-week deal in the coming weeks, before he turns 20.