Much, if not all, of Liverpool’s summer transfer plans hinge on the future of forward Raheem Sterling. The 21-year-old scorer’s ongoing contract tussle with manager Brendan Rodgers and team officials has plagued the second half of the Reds term, but now Merseyside appear willing to let the talented player go if they can land Barcelona’s Pedro, Daily Mail reports.
The 27-year-old Spanish forward has netted five goals and five assists at Camp Nou this year, and he’s appeared in a solid amount of matches, 28. But with Luis Suarez now in the fold and playing well alongside Neymar and Lionel Messi, Pedro could find himself at the heart of an attack rather than in a complementary role.
The Mail laid out the finer points of why attaining Pedro would be more cost effective than keeping Sterling. For one, Pedro’s weekly wages would be set at roughly £90,000, £10,000 less than what’s been offered to Sterling, who’s under contract for another two years but evidently desires an raise.
Furthermore, Pedro’s transfer fee is in the £50 million range, much less than Sterling’s overall market value.
Other parties interested in Pedro include Serie A’s Inter Milan and Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich, two clubs who could better any offer from Liverpool.
But there’s no telling what Rodgers might do should Sterling ultimately force his way out of Anfield. It was also back in May last year that Rodgers was considering a deal for Pedro, with the manager showing appreciation for Pedro’s technique and intelligence on the pitch.
Acquiring Pedro could become a very realistic move, should Manchester City pull off the reported raid of the Anfield. Daily Star reports that City are preparing bids for Sterling, and midfielders Jordan Henderson and Philippe Coutinho.
City officials seem to believe the Reds will be willing to part with Coutinho for £20 million if they fail to qualify for Champions League this term. Liverpool sits seven points back of City in fifth place on the Premier League table, making the raid that much more believable.
Another move with Sterling at the center involves Arsenal. The Star also reported that the Gunners and Liverpool are considering a player-for-player swap, with £20 million on top, with Sterling headed to Emirates and winger Theo Walcott shipping off to Anfield.
The Star points out that Walcott, 26, almost went to Liverpool last summer, when Arsenal were hoping to land Suarez. Walcott’s appeared in only eight matches this term, scoring two goals, and with Arsenal rising to second on the table without him, he’s become expendable to manager Arsene Wenger.
The Reds also have their sights set on another member of Arsenal, right-back Carl Jenkinson, who’s been on-loan to West Ham this season, according to The Sun.
The Hammers would like to make the deal permanent, and Jenkinson welcomed he switch away from Emirates because it allowed for more pitch time. Arsenal are set at right back, as Hector Bellerin has emerged as a solid reserve right back for Mathieu Debuchy.
No figures of a potential deal were included in the report, but the 23-year-old Jenkinson has three years left on his contract with Arsenal and his market value is roughly £7 million.