Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has insisted that there has been no fallout between he and Raheem Sterling during the winger’s attempts to force a move away from Anfield.
The 20-year-old is on the verge of joining Manchester City in a £49m deal, subject to passing a medical and agreeing personal terms at the Etihad Stadium, according to BBC Sport.
Outspoken agent Aidy Ward cited the breakdown of Sterling’s relationship with Rodgers as one of the reasons for his client wanting to leave Liverpool, as The Independent reports.
But the Reds boss has stressed that there is “no issue” between he and the England international.
“I spoke to Raheem at length yesterday so there’s no issue,” Rodgers is quoted as saying by Sky Sports. “The two clubs have agreed a deal and he will move on.
“But at the moment the interest is with the players that are here. It was important to improve and build the squad. We are very pleased with the players we’ve brought in.
“The key for us is the overall team. Individuals like Raheem will have benefited from the team. We aim to be much stronger and more competitive than we were last season, and we’re relying on everyone.”
The transfer fee would make Sterling the most expensive Englishman and the eighth most expensive signing in history, despite his relatively mediocre return of 23 goals in 129 games for Liverpool.
His combined tally of 14 goals and assists in the Premier League last season puts him behind Nacer Chadli and Gylfi Sigurdsson, who cost Tottenham Hotspur and Swansea City less than £10m each (via BBC Sport and Swansea’s official website respectively).
The youngster has minimal Champions League or international pedigree compared to World Cup winners Juan Mata and Mesut Ozil, both of whom have moved for smaller prices in recent years (via Sky Sports and BBC Sport) respectively).
Rodgers has already made nine signings this summer and will hope to use the Sterling money to complete his squad reshuffle ahead of another tilt at Champions League qualification next term.