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Chelsea enter race to really, really, annoy Liverpool

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If you've been paying attention to goings on beyond Chelsea Football Club -- and let's face it, there hasn't been enough happening at Cobham to hold our attention during the international break -- you'll know that the talk around English football is Raheem Sterling's contract dispute with Liverpool. The young forward, probably the Reds' most impressive player this season, wants rather a lot more money than the club are willing to give him and ... well, things are getting nasty.

Earlier this week, Sterling had an interview with the press, the first salvo in what looks to be a drawn-out and (from the outside) profoundly hilarious PR war. Liverpool replied by publicly claiming that the 20-year-old had gone rogue. The next step was probably a set of transfer briefings from Sterling's people, and LO AND BEHOLD the Daily Mail has us making 'discreet inquiries' about the youngster.

This is one of those situations where I think the club would certainly have some interest but are mostly being used as a smokescreen in a contract fight. Liverpool have apparently slapped a £50 million price tag on their young star, which would seem to put him out of reach, but I suspect that that's not going to stop us being used as a big bad bargaining chip, and since this is going to be a very long narrative, prepare to hear rather a lot about it.

All that said, if Sterling really does want to make his way south to a more successful club, annoying Liverpool isn't the worst transfer policy in the world. Ok, apart from that one time.