Tuesday 23 January 2018 / 01:33 AM

Is Sterling really worth £50 million?

With the rumour mill suggesting that Man City will return with a third bid for Liverpool starlet Raheem Sterling, it now seems that the 20-year-old could soon be on the move to the Etihad from Anfield.

Two previous bids, believed to be in the region of £30 million and £40 million have been lodged by the Citizens, were both swiftly rebuffed by the Reds.

However, it has now transpired that Liverpool will accept a bid of around £50 million, and reports suggest that City are willing to meet this price tag. The question is, is he worth that?

The first thing to consider is the fact that it looks almost certain that Sterling wants out.

His refusal to sign a new contract at Anfield has been telling, especially considering the forward has been offered a reported £100,000 a week. When interviewed about it, Sterling was very candid in saying that he was not a ‘money-grabbing’ teenager, and that for him, football was not about the money, but rather about the success.

To be honest, despite the huge amount of money on offer, it’s difficult not to empathise with Sterling in this instance. Here we have one of Europe’s most talented young players, playing at a team that doesn’t play in the Champions League, finished sixth in the Premier League, has lost their talismanic captain and looks a million miles away from a team that can compete at Europe’s top table.

If we look at it in this way, it is difficult to understand why Sterlingwouldstay. As an ambitious player, with no mean talent, why would he want to play at a second-rate club?

From Liverpool’s point of view, the situation is rather more difficult to decipher. At one level, it’s hard for the Reds to turn down a figure of this magnitude. A £50 million transfer would be a sizeable chunk for Brendan Rodgers to spend on his squad, and if it was invested wisely, it is a sum that can go quite a long way.

On the other hand, selling Sterling would do two things. Firstly, it would remove a player of significant quality from Liverpool’s squad, making it more difficult for them to move up the Premier League. Secondly, it would send a message that Liverpool are a selling club, a message that began when they sold Fernando Torres to Chelsea, was exacerbated when they let Luis Suarez go to Barcelona, and would be confirmed should they accept Man City’s offer for Raheem Sterling.

The long and short of it is simple – the best and biggest clubs only sell players when it suits them. Manchester United, Barcelona, Chelsea and Real Madrid don’t tend to allow their players to dictate their moves. If Liverpool lets Sterling go, it’ll send a message. A negative message. If they don’t let him go, they risk losing him on a free in two years’ time. Not an easy choice.

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Seb Greenwood

CBS’s longest-serving contributor, Englishman Seb is our leading football correspondent, pulling no punches with his opinions on the Premier League and the international scene.

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