Liverpool have already signed five players this season and they look determined to continue their recruitment drive with many more summer additions.
Although four of Liverpool’s signings have been very cheap – Adam Bogdan and James Milner were free transfers, while Joe Gomez cost just £3.5m and Danny Ings arrived from Burnley for a modest compensation package which has yet to be determined – Wednesday’s £29m capture of Roberto Firmino was anything but.
The Anfield club, who are still keen to sign an established out-and-out goalscorer, are playing a dangerous game.
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Raheem Sterling has made it clear that he wants to leave Merseyside this summer.
It it understood that Sterling, who rejected a £100,000-a-week contract at Liverpool, was keen to move to London, making Arsenal and Chelsea the early favourites to sign the 20-year-old England starlet.
However, neither capital outfit are prepared to pay Liverpool’s asking price, nor are either particularly short of attacking midfielders.
Manchester City are the only club to show serious interest in Sterling, but the Sky Blues have twice had bids rejected, including a second offer worth £40m.
Sterling is an excellent talent, but he is not worth more than £40m. City know that and, although they want to boost their ‘homegrown’ quota, if Liverpool continue to play hard ball, Manuel Pellegrini’s men may just switch their attention to another transfer target.
If City don’t sign Sterling, then nobody will, at least not for mega money. Liverpool may be left with an unmotivated player, who could potentially disrupt the dressing room.
Liverpool want to sell – this is clear. Sterling won’t sign a new deal, so his value will only drop as his contract winds down.
The Reds really should take City’s £40m before Etihad chiefs change their mind.
Liverpool are spending Sterling’s sale money, before they’ve got it. That is risky.