Want-away Sterling refusing to play for Rodgers

Liverpool's Raheem Sterling.
Liverpool's Raheem Sterling. PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • Raheem Sterling has told Brendan Rodgers that he no longer wants to play for the manager and that is why he wants to leave Liverpool.

According to the player's agent, the relationship between the England forward and the Reds' boss has broken down beyond repair.

Sterling, who skipped training for the second straight session yesterday, reportedly told Rodgers on Wednesday that his discontent was down to the Reds boss not taking him seriously last season about his desire to leave Anfield to further his career.

The 20-year-old was also unhappy at not being told when English Premier League rivals Manchester City and Manchester United made enquiries about his availability.

Aidy Ward, the player's representative, was quoted as saying in the Daily Mail: "With Raheem, there has been a breakdown in trust between him and Rodgers."

Liverpool have categorically denied any rift between the pair. However, it is clear there is a thorny issue between Sterling and Rodgers which makes the player's presence in Liverpool's tour to Asia and Australia even more unlikely.

City have had a £40 million (S$83 million) bid turned down by Liverpool, and have no plans to make a higher offer for a player valued at £50 million by the Reds.

Sterling did not report for training at Liverpool's Melwood complex on Wednesday morning, saying that he was ill. The club did not offer any comment although the medical department has been asked to verify the player's claim.

Sterling has already told the club he does not wish to be with the team when the Reds fly to Bangkok on Sunday to start their pre-season tour. Liverpool, though, insist he should travel and be available for selection for the first match on Tuesday.

They may decide that it is better if Sterling is not part of the squad as Rodgers continues his preparations for the season as he bids to ensure his players hit the ground running in the new season.

In order for the Reds to improve on their sixth-placed league finish last season, it would hardly be of benefit to have a player who does not wish to be at the club.

THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 10, 2015, with the headline 'Want-away Sterling refusing to play for Rodgers'. Print Edition | Subscribe