Premier League – Paper Round: Sterling set for Chelsea, Man City AND Liverpool
The papers have three very different views of where Raheem Sterling will end up – but they can’t all be right. Paper Round tries to read between the lines.
Manchester City and Chelsea fight over Sterling – but Liverpool won’t let him go: There are not one, but three separate lines on the Raheem Sterlingnews in Wednesday morning’s papers. We’ll kick off with the best of the rumours – or at least the most far-fetched – which is from the Daily Star.”Jose’s Ster Crazy!” blares the back page headline, with the story suggesting that Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is to sell Oscar and Juan Cuadrado in order to fund a £50m move for the unsettled Liverpool winger. The paper claims that Brazilian Oscar will be offloaded after simply not fitting in to the side this season, while “the singing of Colombian winger Cuadrado in January for £26m fromFiorentina has proved to be a failure.”The Daily Express has a different line – unusual, since it tends to follow (and lead) its sister paper, the Daily Star, on these things. They claim that Manchester City will be the lucky club to land the 20-year-old forward courtesy of a £200,000-a-week offer that will blow any other bids out of the water. The five-year deal will be worth a stonking £50 million to the England star. The Daily Mirror runs a similar piece, but much less exciting simply because they say Sterling will get a paltry £150,000-a-week. Who wants to read about that? Come one guys, up your game please.
The Guardian, meanwhile, has a very different line: Liverpool will simply not let Sterling go, they claim. “FSG is willing to take the same hard-line stance it adopted with Suárez in 2013 should Sterling refuse to sign a contract extension,” claims the paper’s Andy Hunter.
Paper Round’s view: Man City have long looked like the most likely landing spot for Sterling, if he is sold. They have the money to get the deal done and are desperate to get both younger and more English. Sterling is exactly the kind of player they want and they’ll pay up for him.
As for Chelsea’s interest? Well, Sterling is obviously a good young player who would be a boost to any team, but Chelsea have lots of good players and several other areas they will want to upgrade like central midfield. That makes it a bit unlikely that they would make Sterling a priority and rejig their squad to make the transfer happen. And even if they were willing to do so, they probably won’t be as committed as Man City, who need him far more.
Of course, one team needs Sterling more than even City: Liverpool. The Guardian’s piece rings true: Liverpool still don’t want to sell, so none of this may matter. The Reds have shown before that they can be stubborn and they may do it again with Sterling.
Man United could replace De Gea with Cech: Petr Cech would be open to a move to Manchester United, according to The Telegraph. More, Chelsea won’t stand in his way if he wants to join a Premier League rival. Man United could need a new goalkeeper if David De Gea goes to Real Madrid and while they would like Hugo Lloris, Cech would be a cheaper alternative and also a very good one.
Paper Round’s view: Cech has long been set to leave Chelsea this summer. The question was whether the Blues would try to stop him from joining another top club in the Premier League, but it’s looking more and more like they won’t do so. Jose Mourinho recently admitted that they wouldn’t be able to stop Cech if he has his heart set on a club and the Red Devils would probably be better off buying Cech on the cheap than paying huge money for Lloris and dealing with Daniel Levy.
– – –
West Brom ready to make huge Berahino offer – West Brom are going to do everything they can to keep Saido Berahino from leaving, including making him one of the club’s top earners. The Mail understand that the club will offer Berahino a new deal worth £50,000-per-week, a figure that onlyBen Foster and Joleon Lescott currently make. The club will not sell Berahino for less than £20 million, but would prefer to keep him.
Paper Round’s view: West Brom were unhappy with Berahino’s attitude earlier this season, but the club and player appear to be on better terms now so a new contract could be in the offing. If a big club come in and are willing to pay up, Berahino is still going to leave. It’s possible that happens too, but if West Brom are willing to pay £50,000-per-week then they could hold onto him for at least one more year. And it makes sense – there’s no other way they’d get a striker that good.
– – –
Advocaat expected to stay at Sunderland: Dick Advocaat will not decide on his Sunderland future until next week, but he is expected to remain at the club, per The Telegraph. There had been reports that Advocaat would retire after the season, but he dismissed those and said he has yet to decide on whether he’ll manage the Black Cats next season. His return is dependent on Sunderland avoiding relegation and staying in the Premier League, but that looks likely, as does his staying.
Paper Round’s view: Advocaat spoke so highly of the Premier League and how his dream was to manage there so even though he was hired as a caretaker manager, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him stay. Things are a bit complicated because he reportedly promised his wife he would retire after the season, but if he can keep the Black Cats in the top flight then a full season in the league will be tough to turn down.