Premier League – Liverpool cancel Raheem Sterling meeting after agent outburst
Liverpool have cancelled Friday’s meeting with Raheem Sterling and his agent Aidy Ward following the latter’s explosive interview with the Evening Standard.
The news was reported by the Press Association and The Times, amongst other sources.
The Times reported: “In the most telling indication yet of the seriousness of the breakdown in relations between the two camps, Liverpool informed Ward they believe a meeting would be pointless given the nature of the outspoken comments attributed to the Kent-based agent in London’s Evening Standard.
“Although Ward has since denied making the remarks and is understood to be considering his legal options, the newspaper has stuck by its story and is continuing to run it on its website. As a result, Liverpool feel the entire process has been compromised by such an unseemly sequence of events and have called off their planned summit as a result.”
Earlier on Thursday, The Evening Standard carried a stunning interview in which Ward said Sterling “is definitely not signing. He’s not signing for £700, £800, £900 thousand a week. He is not signing.”
Ward went on to describe Jamie Carragher, who had publicly criticised Sterling for his refusal to commit his future to Liverpool, as a “knob” although the agent told Sky Sports News he denies the quotes attributed to him.
The agent was quoted as saying: “I don’t care about the PR of the club and the club situation. I don’t care. My job is to make sure I do the best with them (my clients). If people say I am bad at my job, or they are badly advised it does not matter.”
On a certain Sky pundit, he added: “Carragher is a knob. Everybody knows it. Any of the criticism from current pundits or ex-Liverpool players – none of them things matter to me. It is not relevant.”
Raheem Sterling and Brendan Rodgers
What a time to be alive. The at-times bitter Sterling contract wrangle has now erupted into full-scale acrimony. Caught in the cross-fire is Ward, the reason for all of today’s nonsense. He apparently claims he did not say what the Standard accuse him of saying, and is talking about legal action, but there’s no doubt these quotes have been incendiary, lighting a fire under the biggest transfer story of the summer so far.
Having been publicly told that Sterling will not even sign for £900,000 per week, Liverpool have understandably called a halt to these proposed talks because there appears to be little point in holding them. Such a course of action handily places all the blame on Ward, and by extension Sterling, whom he speaks for. If there is a PR battle going on, the player and his agent have been slaughtered today.