Raheem Sterling’s move to Manchester City was confirmed last night. It was understood that a deal between the two clubs was struck, worth a total of A?49m, including performance-related add-ons. Sterling is likely to be confirmed as a City player today, subject to passing his medical successfully.
Plenty has been said about why the player wants a move. Money, trophies, it has all been brought to the fore. Very recently, reports broke that the reason for the player wanting to move away from the club was manager Brendan Rodgers.
The Mirror (and several media outlets) reported: Sterling remains adamant he has kicked his last ball under the 42-year-old’s leadership and maintains he will not go on tour with Liverpool’s current boss. The England international claims Rodgers has continually broken promises to keep conversations private. He is also convinced that it was the club that leaked his conversation with Rodgers about not wanting to go on tour, which the manager denies. Sterling insists he would stay at Anfield if a different manager was in charge but believes there has been a gradual decline in his relationship with Rodgers since last season. .
This same report went on to add a rather hilarious reason of why the relationship had apparently broken down. It stated: Sterling feels the former Swansea boss made a particular point of standing near him when photographers were allowed into training, so they would get pictures of the pair of them close together.
While the latter part of the report could be rubbished away, the other reasons did make some sense and people did wonder if there was such a drastic decline in the relationship between the player and his manager.
Brendan Rodgers has finally addressed those rumors after the player’s move to Manchester City has been finalized. He said, “The situation is very simple. The club has agreed with another club a deal for Raheem to be transferred and subject to medical that will go through. I spoke to Raheem at length before we left, Raheem and I have always remained strong in our relationship – there’s no issue there.
Asked how he would replace one of the stars of last season, Rodgers said, “The key for us is the overall team that’s important. Of course individuals like Raheem will have benefited the team. We aim to be much stronger than last season, but that will be reliant on everyone.”
Asked to add more on the player and the most acrimonious saga of the summer and on further transfers, he said, “It’s something I don’t really want to go into in a press conference. I spent a lot of last season talking about transfers and I don’t intend to do that this year.”
Rodgers seems intent about performing well in the upcoming season and he knows that without a top 4 spot, and possibly a trophy, he would not get another chance. In fact, with the availability of Jurgen Klopp and Carlo Ancelotti, who are both taking a sabbatical, there will be greater pressure on him to perform as he risks getting axed – even mid-season – if a repeat of last year occurs.