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Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling does not want to play for Brendan Rodgers

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

Sterling says that his discontent with Rodgers was due to the manager not taking him seriously last season about his desire to leave Anfield to further his career. The England forward was also unhappy at not being told when Manchester City and Manchester United made initial inquiries about his availability.

When Liverpool were asked about Sterling’s stance they categorically denied it. However, it is clear there has been a breakdown between the player and Rodgers which makes the player’s presence on Liverpool’s tour to the Far East and Australia even more unlikely.

City have had a £40m bid turned down by Liverpool but remain interested in buying Sterling. But it is understood City have no plans to make a higher offer for a player valued at £50m by Liverpool.

While the hierarchy may decide to make a further offer for Sterling at some point in the future, for the moment there is no intent to do so.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 Sterling’s claim, which is standard procedure for any player who calls in sick.

The 20-year-old does not wish to take his seat on the plane when the squad fly to the Far East on Sunday to start their close-season tour. Liverpool, though, are clear he should travel and be available for selection for the first match in Bangkok on Tuesday. It remains to be seen how Sterling’s feelings of discontent with Rodgers will affect the club’s stance over the coming days.

Liverpool may decide that it is better if Sterling is not part of the squad as Rodgers continues his preparations for the season. The manager is under pressure to ensure that Liverpool hit the ground running following the dismal end to their last campaign, during which they were knocked out of the Champions League at the group stage, lost on penalties to Besiktas in the last 32 of the Europa League and finished sixth in the Premier League, suffering a 6-1 defeat at Stoke City in their final game of the season.

In order for Liverpool to improve on that performance it would hardly be of benefit to have a player who does not wish to be at the club.

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Luis Suárez joined Liverpool on their pre-season tour of Australia in 2013 while pressing for a move to Arsenal. However, Rodgers and the club believed the striker could still be persuaded to stay and Suárez returned to produce spectacular form that came close to taking Liverpool to the Premier League title. There appears to be no chance of such an outcome with Sterling, so it seems a matter of when not if he will leave.

Danny Ings, who joined the club from Burnley in June, has spoken of his admiration for Rodgers. “He’s fantastic at developing young players. For a player like me, I think it will be perfect to work with him. I’m really looking forward to getting that relationship with him and the rest of the coaches and the players as well. It’s something I’m really excited to do,” he told the club website.

“He [Rodgers] wants me to come in, settle in and get used to the lads and enjoy training. Then we’re going to do some tactical stuff, which he does with every player, as you do coming in.

“Then obviously I’ll see how his team plays and how I can adapt to the way that Liverpool play. It’s definitely going to be a challenge but it’s a challenge that I’m looking forward to. I just can’t wait to get started.”

Along with Ings, Rodgers has acted swiftly in the transfer market this summer and has also signed Joe Gomez, James Milner, Nathaniel Clyne, Adam Bogdan and Roberto Firmino.


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