Manchester City attacker Raheem Sterling’s agent – Aidy Ward – has suggested the England international might have stayed at Liverpool had he known Brendan Rodgers would have been replaced with Jurgen Klopp.
The 20-year-old joined City ahead of the 2015-16 campaign for a transfer fee in the region of £49 million and Sterling’s representative has now revealed the presence of Rodgers was one of the main reasons behind his decision to move on.
“The new Liverpool manager probably would have been a great fit for Raheem – passionate, disciplined in the right way, new ideas, not afraid of trying new things. He’ll do great at Liverpool,” Ward told The Daily Mail.
“Would Raheem under Klopp have been a good scenario? Yes, 100 per cent, definitely, mainly because of the person Klopp is – the passion, the drive, the emotion, wanting to achieve. Raheem has all of this, but you won’t always see it outwardly. Working with Klopp – that could have been great. He’s going to get the best out of those players. It could have been a dream come true.
“Raheem could’ve stayed, he should be at Liverpool. In December I spoke to Liverpool and said we’ll sign a contract if there is a buy-out clause – those clauses are now common practice. They said no to that. Then there was an underhandedness, there were sly remarks.
“In press conferences, Brendan told everyone Raheem would sign – why do that? I knew, Brendan knew and Liverpool knew there was an issue. I have no issue with anyone but Rodgers: he had a massive job with massive funds.
“How did he do? Good coach, but as a manager I didn’t like certain things about how he dealt with Raheem. Fifty per cent of the players would probably tell you Brendan is not a good manager, but he is a good coach.”
Sterling had also been linked with clubs such as Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Arsenal before eventually joining City and Ward has claimed that he had been in touch with all of Europe’s big guns apart from Barcelona.
He added: “The only club I didn’t speak to from all the super-powers was Barcelona – they were the only ones, and that was because they had a transfer embargo, so it was pointless.
“But you know Xavi came out and said Raheem is a world-class player in the making and could play at Barca in the future.
“In the end it was Manchester City and I thought he’s got a job to do, go and do it, and he’s doing it. Right now he probably should be a Liverpool player, but he’s not and he’s in a great place at City.”