By now everyone knows that Raheem Sterling and Liverpool are in a bit of a standoff, and that the 20-year old will likely be one of the top stories to watch during the summer transfer window. On Friday, ESPN put out a report suggesting that things could get ugly. Here's how they opened their article:
Raheem Sterling will not sign a new contract at Liverpool this season as he waits to see what offers come his way this summer, a well-placed source has told ESPN FC.
Now, here's how they ended it:
Sources have told ESPN FC that Liverpool won't sell Sterling this summer even if he doesn't sign a new contract but, with the player entering the final two years of his contract at Anfield, a huge bid from Europe's elite would test their resolve.
This wouldn't appear to be anything new for Fenway Sports Group to deal with, as top players have been wanting away from Anfield since they took over the club in 2010. That ownership has managed top dollar for both Fernando Torres and Luis Suarez, so if Sterling is sold this summer, it most certainly will not be cheap.
As far as Chelsea are concerned, Sterling would be a very interesting target. His age, talent, and home-grown designation make him an extremely enticing addition, while his ability to play both on the wing and in a central role would be something any manager could use. The Blues management also seem to have a relatively decent relationship with Liverpool at the moment, with quite a few deals being done between the two sides in recent seasons. If Jose Mourinho rates Streling highly and wants to push hard for a move, I'd imagine the two sides would be able to work something out if Liverpool actually listen to offers.
That said, there's no reason to think this situation will be resolved anytime soon, so get ready for a fun summer involving the evil Mr. Money Grabber.