LONDON (THE GUARDIAN) - Raheem Sterling has left Brendan Rodgers in no doubt over his determination to push for a transfer to Manchester City by informing the Liverpool manager he wants to be left out of the pre-season tour of the Far East and Australia.
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 also 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 July 25.
Sterling's hardline stance further demonstrates the breakdown in relations since the 20-year-old rejected a £100,000 (S$209,352)-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.
City have had two bids rejected by Liverpool, a £25 million offer rising to £30 million plus a £35 million rising to £40 million package. The Anfield club value the player at £50 million and would want the bulk of the money up front.
Whether Liverpool accede to Sterling's request to be left out depends on an acceptable offer arriving from City before Sunday rather than the player's wishes.
Rodgers expects Sterling to travel and play if selected for their first friendly, in Bangkok on Tuesday, should the situation remain.