Raheem Sterling has stunned Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool by telling the club that he does not want to go on the club’s pre-season tour.
The England international is determined to force a move away from Anfield and it is understood that he wants to stay behind in England to sort out his future rather than travel to the Far East and Australia.
Manchester City have yet to make their third and potentially decisive bid for the 20-year-old with Liverpool holding out for £50 million. If a sale is agreed, then his former club Queens Park Rangers, from whom Liverpool signed him when he was 15 in 2010, would be due a 20 percent sell-on fee
Liverpool rejected an improved offer of £35m rising to £40m last month.
Sterling held face to face talks with Reds boss Brendan Rodgers this week when he returned to training at the club’s Melwood base.
And he told the manager that not only does he still want to leave Anfield, but he will also refuse to go on the tour to Australia and South-East Asia.
Such a stance would force Liverpool’s hierarchy into disciplinary measures but they would be reluctant to have such a cloud hanging over them as they go on such a high profile tour.
Liverpool though found themselves in a similar situation two years ago when Luis Suarez was trying to engineer a move to Arsenal.
The Uruguayan was banished to train on his own before accepting he was going nowhere and knuckling down.
LIVERPOOL’S PRE-SEASON TOUR
JUNE 14 – Thai All Starts
JUNE 17 – Brisbane Roar
JUNE 20 – Adelaide United
JUNE 24 – Malaysia XI
AUG 1 – HJK