The England winger wants to force a move to Manchester City and reportedly told manager Brendan Rodgers after returning to training on Monday that he does not want to be included on the tour which departs on Sunday.
City are yet to make a third bid for him after tabling an improved offer of £35 million, rising to £40 million last month, according to the Daily Mail. Liverpool are holding out for £50 million.
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Liverpool’s first game is in Bangkok on July 14 and, if a deal has not been completed by the weekend, the club would still expect Sterling to be on the plane to Thailand.
The issue dominates the football press on Wednesday morning, even elbowing the start of the new Ashes series off top spot in The Sun.
Andy Hunter, The Guardian: "The England forward has held talks with the Liverpool manager since returning to training on Monday. It is understood he not only reiterated his desire to leave this summer but asked to be omitted from the two-week trip to Thailand, Australia and Malaysia. Liverpool’s squad depart for Bangkok on Sunday and are not due back on Merseyside until Saturday 25 July. Sterling’s hardline stance further demonstrates the breakdown in relations since the 20-year-old rejected a £100,000-a-week contract extension last season. It also opens the way for City to make a third offer for the winger, who is under contract at Liverpool until 2017 on a £35,000-a-week deal."
David Maddock, The Mirror: "Sterling was told before he returned for pre-season that he was expected to be part of the travelling squad but now he has dramatically upped the stakes in his bid to leave the club. We understand discussions have been ongoing this week between player and manager, and the 20-year-old has strongly reiterated his desire to leave... and made clear he doesn’t feel he is in the right state of mind to play for the club. So far, Liverpool have received no further contact from City after rejecting a second offer for the England forward three weeks ago, but they are bracing themselves for an improved bid this week."

England's Raheem Sterling (C) talks with team mate Jack Wilshere (R) during an England team training session at Saint George's Park

Image credit: AFP

[PARKER: Sterling is choosing the wrong club in Manchester City]
Chris Bascombe, Daily Telegraph: "Liverpool are faced with a mutinous player, Rodgers having to deal with someone who is effectively asking to boycott key pre-season preparations in order to satisfy his transfer demands. Sterling’s relationship with the club has utterly broken down but there will be no resolution unless a £50 million bid materialises. Liverpool expect the winger to join their travelling party."
Ian Herbert, Simon Hughes, The Independent: "Manchester City have not made contact with Liverpool since their second offer two weeks ago but are aware of the development and preparing to make a third bid for Sterling in the coming days. City are unwilling to meet Sterling’s £50 million price tag, but will go close to matching Liverpool’s demands in an effort to force a compromise. It remains to be seen whether Sterling will board the flight to Bangkok for the first leg of Liverpool’s tour on Sunday morning."

Liverpool's manager Brendan Rodgers (R) gestures to Raheem Sterling (C) and Jose Enrique

Image credit: Reuters

This is the beginning of the end for the Sterling saga. Once a player begins to withdraw his labour in such a manner there's only one possible outcome: his departure. From today's reports it seems that City aren't too far away from Liverpool's valuation so there's a good chance this will be over fairly quickly. Certainly that would be best for all parties as this relationship breakdown is getting increasingly bitter.
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