Raheem Sterling, the England winger is allowed to leave Anfield for £44m in cash plus £5m in add-ons as both clubs shook on a deal after a month of escalating bids.
After a day of negotiation, the clubs have shaken hands on a deal which will see the Merseysiders’ receive an initial £44 million, with a further £5 million based on Sterling’s appearance record for his new club.
Liverpool are confident they will eventually receive the figure in full, an amount just £1m short of the £50 million price tag they’d initially placed on the 20-year-old when it became clear how much he wanted to leave.
Raheem Sterling is now free to negotiate terms at The Etihad Stadium, where a medical is expected in the next 24 hours prior the completion of a record transfer between two Premier League clubs for an English player. Indeed, Sterling is now the 12th most expensive footballer in the history of professional football.
Raheem Sterling was scheduled to fly with Liverpool to Bangkok on Sunday ahead of a tour of the Thailand, Australia and Malaysia. Just hours before his check-in – and despite having joined his team mates at Melwood – Liverpool informed Sterling he would not be traveling.
It was clear then a breakthrough had been made in negotiations with City, who’d indicated they were prepared to get closer to Liverpool’s asking price.
Raheem Sterling’s departure ends a period of acrimony between the player and the club he leaves behind, although Liverpool were keen to stress throughout the process that their relationship with City is cordial.
Indeed, there is a sense of bemusement at the agitating tactics that were employed by Sterling’s representative, Aidy Ward, given the size of the final bid would have been difficult for Liverpool to turn even if the player was not seeking a move. Liverpool are reluctant sellers, but there is a degree of astonishment at the fee they have received for a player they signed as a 16-year-old in 2010.
For City, the capture of one of the most highly rated youngster in Europe is a statement of intent ahead of the new season. It is well known the City manager Manuel Pellegrini was eager to recruit English talent, but he admitted it would cost around £100 million to lure Sterling when speaking of his admiration for the player at the end of last season.
Given Raheem Sterling’s wages will be around £200,000 a week, that figure will be accurate when the whole package is considered.
Raheem Sterling’s pay rise is hefty given he was earning £35,000 a week at Anfield.
Raheem Sterling made it known in the middle of last season he expected to be the club’s top earner, before terminating all contract talks as it became apparent Liverpool would not qualify for the Champions League.
There was a total breakdown in communication between Ward and the Liverpool hierarchy after an ‘off the record’ briefing by the agent – making it clear Raheem Sterling would never sign a new contract at Anfield – was made public.
Raheem Sterling returned to pre-season training last Monday to tell the club he had no wish to join the summer tour, and then irritated Liverpool further by missing two days of training, citing illness.
As tensions increased the City board – who are understood to have been as uneasy about Ward’s conduct throughout the process as their peers at Anfield – felt compelled to break the deadlock before Sterling boarded his flight.
Contact was made last Friday and verbal negotiations continued over the weekend, culminating in the final, formal offer of £49 million that has now been accepted.