Transfer Balls: Manchester United mock Liverpool with Raheem Sterling broadcast
The Times’ story that Manchester United have asked Liverpool about their willingness to sell Raheem Sterling has been replayed throughout the mainstream media.
But the news is thin.
The Times‘ leads sports story begins and ends with United asking Liverpool “for an indication of how much it would cost to buy the unsettled 20-year-old”.
It was only yesterday we learned that Manchester City had valued Sterling at £40million and 150,000-a-week in wages – that offer following weeks of news that the player was worth anything up to £50million.
Now we learn that Sterling is without price because “United’s inquiry was rejected out of hand, without any figures being discussed”. And because Liverpool failed to include a release fee in his contract they’ll be no bids of £40million plus £1 (a bid Arsenal made for Louis Suarez).
All we know is what we knew a month ago: Liverpool want Sterling to sign a new contract but if they fail to secure a signature the club will hold him to his current £35,000 per week deal.
If that happens, Sterling will set about playing fantastic football, dragging Liverpool to Cup glory and a genuine tilt at the title. Won’t he?
As for Sterling heading to Old Trafford, well, no player has made that journey directly since 1964, when Phil Chisnall joined Liverpool from United for £25,000.
These United fans sum up the mood:
Sterling would have to spend his wages on armed guards.
— United Religion (@Unitedology) May 20, 2015
Seriously, news of United enquiring for Sterling is a useful smokescreen. Won’t happen, gets people talking, proper business can get done. — Iwan Lehnert (@IwanLehnert) May 20, 2015
What is, perhaps, more interesting than United’s inquiry is why and how it came to be known so publicly?
It looks like United have taken a leaf from the transfer machinations Real Madrid and Barcelona: tell the player you love him and then toss a huge amount of money in their direction until refusal is no longer an option.