Raheem Sterling will be left behind when Liverpool fly out Sunday for Thailand fuelling speculation that a move to Premier League rivals Manchester City is imminent.
The wantaway England striker was on Saturday named in Liverpool’s 30-man squad for their tour of Thailand, Australia and Malaysia, but fresh developments mean he will not board the plane.
While there is no deal in place, talks are sufficiently advanced that Sterling will stay behind to see if a transfer can be completed.
Various reports in the British media suggest City are close to securing Sterling after having a £40 million ($62 million) offer for the unsettled 20-year-old rejected by Anfield last week.
It is believed that only an astronomical offer of at least £50 million could persuade Liverpool to consider letting the gifted youngster leave.
Sterling’s refusal to commit to Liverpool has angered the club’s supporters, who jeered him at an end of season awards dinner.
Manager Brendan Rodgers’s relationship with Sterling cooled considerably when the player turned down a lucrative new contract worth £100,000 per week in January this year.
Even former Liverpool playing legend Steven Gerrard weighed in on Friday.
“It looks very disappointing from where I’m sat. The fans have shown him great support, they want him to stay and I believe that he should too,” Gerrard told Sky Sports from Los Angeles where he made his debut for LA Galaxy on Saturday.
On Friday Sterling returned to training after a two-day hiatus when he’d claimed to be ill.
“I’m not happy with all that carry-on. He needs to go in and see the owners. You don’t have to throw in illness, or refuse to go on tour,” said Gerrard. – Agence France-Presse