The Raheem Sterling transfer saga threatens to rumble on for much of the summer, with no major tournament to slow its progress.
Liverpool’s battle to tie down their sought after youngster is in danger of rivalling Manchester United’s pursuit of Mats Hummels as 2014/15 most enduring rumour.
Despite the welter of column inches devoted to Sterling and Hummels’ potential whereabouts next season, neither man’s departure can be said to be inevitable.
At least not compared to the transfer of Theo Walcott to Manchester City, an unheralded switch that stands 0% of not happening, for the following reasons.
Manchester City have today been linked with a summer bid for Sterling worth between £20m and £50m depending upon who’s doing the reporting.
That they will need to stump a fee towards the upper end of that bracket, was clear from Liverpool chief executive Ian Ayres fairly intractable rebuffal:
“Raheem is a Liverpool player and has two years left on his contract. We expect Raheem Sterling to be here for a long time.”
Any willingness to splash out the requisite sum would doubtless have much to do with the Citizens’ oft-reported desperation to bring in ready-made home-grown first team players.
Anfield is distinctly unlikely to countenance another star-player sale a year after Luis Suarez’s departure to Barcelona.
Not that it’s stopped a good deal of speculation regarding Theo Walcott’s future at Arsenal and a possible move to Merseyside as Sterling’s replacement.
Walcott has failed to force his way back into the first team picture after returning from a lengthy spell out injured, starting just once in Arsenal’s eight-games-and-counting winning streak.
Such a state of affairs is likely to see the Gunners that much less accommodating to the England forward’s demands as he sits down imminently to negotiate his new deal at the Emirates.
Sterling will be staying put in Liverpool, Walcott is far from essential to the Arsenal cause, while overspending City harbour a burning desire to fulfil their home grown quota and prefer to do their shopping in north London no matter what the price.
In other words now is the time for punters to avail themselves of the 7/2 about the Southampton academy product plying his trade in a sky blue shirt next season.
Sign up for a new account at bwin.com for a £30 free bet that cops a £105 pure profit balance booster if the summer’s most inevitable deal comes to fruition.