Raheem Sterling’s situation at Liverpool is naturally causing the fans some anxiety. The fact that it was reported by several media outlets that Roberto Firmino was not signed as a Sterling replacement gave the Reds fans some hope that they might be able to see an exciting trio of Sterling, Firmino and Coutinho in action.
However, the wantaway youngster remains adamant about a move away from the club. The player has now asked Brendan Rodgers to not include him in the club’s pre-season tour. James Pearce of the Liverpool ECHO writes: The England international has reiterated to Brendan Rodgers his wish to leave Anfield as he attempts to force through a move to Manchester City. Sterling has also asked the manager not to be included in the touring party who fly to Thailand on Sunday.
Liverpool have rejected two offers from Manchester City for the England international, the latest of which was an offer of A?35million rising to A?40million last month. The Reds are refusing to budge from their A?50million valuation of the player. Not to mention a chunk of the money will go to QPR.
Manchester City do seem extremely serious in their pursuit and it is likely that they match Liverpool’s demand sooner rather than later, especially so that the youngster can be included in their own pre-season tour.
Andy Hunter of The Guardian reports that Barcelona’s Pedro and Real Madrid’s Denis Cheryshev have been lined up as alternatives for the Liverpool attacker. They write: Despite their current stance, Liverpool are considering alternatives should the England forward eventually complete a move to the Etihad Stadium. The Barcelona winger Pedro is a possible target despite only recently signing a four-year contract with the European champions. Denis Cheryshev, the Real Madrid winger who spent last season on loan at Villarreal, is another option that appeals to the Liverpool manager.
Pedro, of course, could be a great purchase of Liverpool. The Spaniard is an undeniably talented player, who has helped Barcelona to many trophies. Unfortunately for him, he has to fight Luis Suarez, Neymar and now Arda Turan for a spot in the team. Both Catalan newspapers Mundo Deportivo and Sport claimed he is considering leaving his club with Liverpool and Arsenal monitoring his situation. Despite signing a new contract, Pedro has fueled speculation. “It is obviously a delicate situation. [When the pre-season starts] we have to see what is the best for everyone. Now I just think about resting and enjoying the final few days of my time off,” Pedro said, as quoted by Sport.
Cheryshev enjoyed a good season on loan at Villarreal and will be hoping he could feature in Rafa Benitez’s plans at Real Madrid. According to Marca (June 22), he does have a chance. They wrote: Rafa Ben tez wants to make room for Denis Cheryshev. He is hoping that the Russian winger will eventually become a full Real Madrid player, given that he is a specialist in wing play, which the squad needs, and Ben tez is convinced he needs a player like Denis.
Pedro doesn’t need an introduction and the established Spaniard’s abilities are known rather well to football enthusiasts. He scored 11 goals and grabbed 9 assists for Barcelona last season, despite most of his appearances coming from the bench.
It should be known that Cheryshev was an important reason why Villarreal did well last season. The winger had 6 goals and 9 assists last season. The Russian mainly operates on the left flank and is a good offensive threat, He likes to regularly cut inside and attack centrally, giving the opposition defenders a nightmare. He is quick, direct, two-footed and his strong dribbling and powerful shooting make him a big menace for the opposition. He can take players on with conviction. What is most impressive, as can be seen in the comparison between the two is that he contributes to the defensive facet of things. He tracks back, giving aid to the full-back and at Liverpool, his presence could help out the positionally confused Alberto Moreno. If Rodgers, were to play the 3-4-2-1 formation he used so successfully at the turn of the year, Cheryshev could be used as a wing-back and do better than most wingers.
Therefore, even though Pedro is obviously a much bigger name and his arrival could mean Liverpool are significantly boosted both in quality, and in morale by two world-class signings, fans shouldn’t be too displeased if it was a Russian winger who is also three (soon four, as Pedro will turn 28 at the end of this month) was actually heading to Anfield.
Whether it actually be one of the two, or neither, remains to be seen.