Manchester City has agreed to buy England winger Raheem Sterling from Liverpool, paying a £49 million transfer fee. Sterling is going to become the most expensive English player of all time.
The transfer of the 20-year-old is subject to contract negotiations and a medical, though City bosses are hopeful of sealing the deal within 24 hours. The Premier League runner-up will follow-up, acquiring Sterling with a bid of £40 million for Wolfsburg midfielder De Bruyne.
City bid twice for Sterling last June as he aspired to leave Anfield, which was rejected by Liverpool. Sterling turned down a new £100,000-a-week deal at Liverpool to join City. He has a contract till 2017.
Sterling was ranked as the most valuable player of Europe in a recently concluded study.
Liverpool signed 15-year-old Sterling from QPR in February 2010. The Loftus Road Club is going to receive 20% of any fees Liverpool gets for the promising star.
Sterling was initially named on Saturday among the 30-member squad for a tour to Thailand, Australia and Malaysia, but was later withdrawn. He was bitterly criticized by former Liverpool players since he expressed his desire to leave Anfield for Manchester City last summer.
Former skipper Steven Gerrard said earlier that he was “disappointed” with the 20-year-old winger’s behavior.
“You don’t have to throw in illness, or refuse to go on tour,” LA Galaxy midfielder Gerrard added. “The fans have shown him great support, they want him to stay and I believe that he should too.”
Most expensive British players, according to BBC
£85.3m – Gareth Bale (Tottenham to Real Madrid, 2013)
£49m* – Raheem Sterling (Liverpool to Manchester City, 2015) *subject to deal going through
£35m – Andy Carroll (Newcastle to Liverpool, 2011)
£30m – Rio Ferdinand (Leeds to Manchester United, 2002)
£27m – Luke Shaw (Southampton to Manchester United, 2015)
£27m – Wayne Rooney (Everton to Manchester United, 2004)
£26m – James Milner (Aston Villa to Manchester City, 2010)