RAHEEM Sterling has become English footballâ€™s Â£100â€…million man Â after Liverpool finally agreed his transfer to Manchester City.
Sterling, 20, will move to City for Â£49â€…million on a Â£200,000-a-week contract, earning him a further Â£10.4â€…million yearly salary.
An extraordinary deal â€“ a record between two Premier League clubs for an English footballer â€“ was struck between Liverpool and City after a day of negotiations Â on Sunday. The Merseyside club will receive an initial Â£44 million, with a further Â£5â€…million based on Sterlingâ€™s appearance record for City.
Liverpool are confident that they will eventually receive the figure in full, an amount just Â£1â€…million short of the Â£50â€…million price tag they had initially placed on the winger when it became clear how much he wanted to leave.
The England international is now free to proceed with the formality of negotiating terms at the Etihad Stadium, where a medical is Âexpected in the next 24 hours. Sterling has become the 13th most expensive footballer in the history of the game.
Liverpool will now shift their attention on a move for the Aston Villa target Christian Benteke, with a fresh bid anticipated for the Belgian striker in the coming days.
Sterling was scheduled to fly with Liverpool to Bangkok on Sunday ahead of a tour of Thailand, Australia and Malaysia. Just hours before his check-in, and despite having joined his team-mates at Melwood, Liverpool told Sterling that he would not be travelling.
It was clear then that a breakthrough had been made in negotiations with City, who had indicated that they were prepared to get Âcloser to Liverpoolâ€™s asking price.
Sterlingâ€™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 bemuseÂment at the agitating tactics that were employed by Sterlingâ€™s representative, Aidy Ward, given that the size of the final bid would have been difficult for Liverpool to turn down even if the player was not publicly 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 signing of one of the most highly rated youngsters in Europe is a statement of intent ahead of the new season.
It is well known that the City manager, Manuel Pellegrini, was eager to recruit English talent, but he admitted that it would cost around Â£100â€… million to lure Sterling when speaking of his admiration for the player at the end of last season. That figure will be accurate when the whole package is considered. – The Telegraph